Back to Work: Formal business attire that’s anything but stuffy (Part 2)

Last week, I shared a style segment I participated in on Breakfast Television. I had such a great time putting this together and I’m thrilled to give you a breakdown of the second look from this segment. My thoughts: You probably know how I feel about this topic (as I shake my head).  In general, I feel that people present themselves WAY too casually. This is especially true on days when dress codes are relaxed (casual Fridays). My take on it is this: even on casual workdays, you’re still a professional, in a professional environment.  Anyone can walk into your office at any given time. It’s important to always present yourself professionally. Ok, enough of that. Let me show you a much better way to do casual Friday. The items I showcased for this segment are all from LOFT. Yes, the shoes too. You’re going to love this one. 2nd Look: Biz Casual (that isn’t so casual) Why this is awesome: This leopard print blouse is perfect for your work wardrobe. It’s easy to wear, layers well and can be dressed up/down. I’ve paired it with my take on khakis, which I’d say is a common casual Friday garment. This skirt is much more than a standard pair of khaki pants. It has great structure and has a sleek cut.  It really is a foundational wardrobe item (yes, this is an investment garment). You may have noticed that the common thread throughout this segment was the black blazer. This is likely the type of black blazer that most of you have in your wardrobe right now (rather that the velvet, black blazer I showcased in the first look). If you don’t have this basic item, LOFT has it for you. Go get it. I’ve paired this look with a deep brown, pointed booty. Yes, the boot doesn’t match the blazer. That would be too boring and typical. You’re not boring and typical. The bit of brown and taupe in the leopard print blouse complements the brown booty but doesn’t match. THAT’S effortlessly stylish. No need to overthink this ladies. If you’re looking for a new updo for work, try this braided crown. It’s an elevated work-appropriate updo that looks like you’ve just stepped out of a magazine. It doesn’t look too polished; that would look too beauty queen-ish. The only real pop of colour in this look is the red lip on our model. If you’re wanting to try a brighter lip colour at the office, my suggestion is to keep the rest of your makeup subtle. You certainly don’t want to look like you’re ready for the bar while you’re on your way to work.   Who contributed to this look? Hair: Colleen McGinn Makeup: Gina Bilocerkowec Clothing, Shoes and Accessories: LOFT Styling: Me, of course.

Back to Work: Formal business attire that’s anything but stuffy (Part 1)

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to share some “back to work” looks on Breakfast Television. I see it all the time. Lax, very lax, professional dress during those hot summer months. Well, no more ladies! It’s time to step it up again.  In each of the outfits that I showcased on Breakfast Television, you’ll notice that I’ve kept a black blazer on top. Yes, I had you in mind ladies. I know you just LOVE a black blazer – it’s your go-to garment. Here are interesting, stylish ways to wear your favourite closet staple. Grab a tea/glass of wine. You’re going to want to settle in for these. 1st Look: Power Meeting “Suit” Why this is awesome: You don’t always need to wear a matching suit to get the power suit look and feel. These separates come together as a suit without looking too rigid.  The structured shoulder on this blazer gives it a strong, powerful look.  These are small but noticeable details. Yes, it is easier for you ladies to pull off a velvet blazer in the office than your male counterparts.  Don’t be afraid to try combinations that you would typically shy away from. You might just discover your favourite profesh outfit this way. This is just a basic black skirt with a bit of a twist.  It’s one that I know you’ll have for years to come.  Yes, this is an investment garment. Her blouse has a few different colours and patterns.  On the rack, you wouldn’t think it would pair nicely with a velvet blazer but it does. It also goes with those tassel, suede pumps. I love that deep red colour. Next week, I’ll give you some tips/advice on the next two outfits from this style segment. Who contributed to this look? Hair: Colleen McGinn Makeup: Gina Bilocerkowec Clothing, Shoes and Accessories: Who Cares Wear Styling: Me, of course.

Female professionals: Don’t let this happen to you

I see this all the time- female business professionals who are wearing skirts or dresses that are just too short and/or too tight for a workplace environment.  This is particularly common amongst young, female professionals. Think about this: Pairing a blazer and blouse to the skirt pictured above kind of looks like a mullet.  It’s all business on top and a party down below. A skirt that is too stretchy and feels like a piece of elastic is not work-appropriate.  This is a party skirt. If you would wear your itty bitty skirt to a pub/club, it’s likely not right for the office… and that would apply to most, if not all, office environments ladies. You may feel attractive in this type of skirt but this is doing NOTHING to help you progress in your career.  Rather, this detracts from how smart, competent and capable you are and is a knock to your credibility. You aren’t going to be taken seriously.  The men in your office may like your choice in skirts/dresses, which may make you feel like you’re being taken seriously, but you’re not. Plain and simple. What’s appropriate? For skirt/dress lengths for work, stick to ones that are no more than 2-3 inches above the knee.  For more conservative work environments, go with 1-2 inches at most. Opt for more structured materials.  This will lay flat against you without hugging your curves too much. Skirts with less structure can be fine too, just make sure they aren’t pasted to your body. Here are a few examples of skirt/dress lengths that make the cut (did you see how I did that??).   Remember, it’s perfectly fine to be stylish at work; I encourage and highly recommend this.  What becomes a problem is when you start crossing the line into “provocative” or “sexy”, particularly when it comes to the length of your skirt/dress.  You’re better than that.