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.

Part 1: Consignment pieces for your Spring/Summer wardrobe? Yes please!

Earlier this week, I was invited back to Breakfast Television to share some work and play looks for spring and summer. As you know, I like to highlight how one can look polished and put together while stretching those hard earned dollars. So, I decided to put these looks together with the help of two amazing consignment stores right here in Edmonton. Shopping second hand stores (consignment and/or vintage) is a great way to find unique pieces and/or designer pieces at a fraction of the cost.  Here’s a quick tip: Don’t immediately discard a piece if it doesn’t fit you perfectly off the hanger.  If it’s too small, you’re likely out of luck.  However, if it’s a great quality piece, at a great price, look to see if there is something that can be altered to make it work for you.  A gush: I once found a MaxMara dress that was $30 at a consignment store.  Though the dress was several sizes too big for me, I bought it anyways – it was beautiful. I then took it to my tailor and had her bring it in to fit me.  I’ve had it for at least 3 years now and wear it all the time. It’s like we’re playing Simon Says First up, a professional look for the office that I would best describe as elegant. S/S Professional Look Model #1: Cheryl   Why this look is amazing: A classic white dress (yes, that’s a Tahari dress) will be your go-to item throughout the spring and summer.  A brightly coloured blazer can be paired with this dress for a strong pop of colour.  With the detailing at the waist, there’s no need for a belt. A nude pump is an investment item.  If cared for properly, they will last you for years.  Yes, those are second hand Jimmy Choo’s and they are in perfect condition.  These ones are more than 50% off the regular retail price. The pops of colour in this look are the clutch, earrings and lip colour. The goal is to make sure that these colours complement one another rather than match. Also, if you’re going to add a bright lip for work, make sure you don’t have heavy eye makeup on as well. Balance is key. Don’t you just love Cheryl’s loose bob? This is a soft, feminine look that will keep her neck cool during those hot summer months. Stay tuned.  I’ll be doing a breakdown of our second professional look from this segment. Shout outs Hair: House of Tin Salon Makeup: Makeup by Bean Styling: Yours Truly Clothing, Accessories, Shoes: Vespucci Ladies Consignment Model: Cheryl P.

Skimp vs. Splurge: Casual fall looks (part 4 of 4)

Phew! We’re at the end of our breakdown from our recent style segment on Breakfast Television.  Check out our last look: This is the perfect “going out dinner with friends/your partner” look.  It’s stylish, effortless and pretty comfy. What I love about this look: Splurge items: This Helmut Lang bomber jacket is really the perfect transition piece for fall.  Why? It’s lightweight and loose enough so you can add or subtract layers, underneath, according to the weather (yes, I just did some math while talking style).  Though I often recommend staying away from black, I throw that advice out the window with this piece because of its interesting details- 3/4 length leather sleeves, the clean neckline and the bunched seeming along the back hem. ~ Coup Garment Boutique ($720) If you’re one of those people who want to try a print but you’re just not sure if you can pull if off (yes, I regularly work with clients who struggle with adding print/pattern into their wardrobe rotation), try this one.  It’s a great investment pieces since you can pair it with MANY solid colours – think deep teal, eggplant, magenta, navy and so much more really. ~ Coup Garment Boutique ($320) These Jenny Kayne flats are great for casual work days or out and about on the weekend.  I often encourage people to think of deep rich colours, such as these marine-coloured suede flats, as a “black alternative”.  This is a great way to keep an overall dark colour palette while being a bit more style-forward. ~ Coup Garment Boutique ($475) Skimp Items: Sometimes you just don’t want to spend a fortune on pants, especially when it’s a coloured pant that you’re not sure will be in style in a couple of years.  I get that. Enter: maroon skinny jeans. These are a great fall item (and winter, for that matter) at a very reasonable price point.  You’ll surely get your money’s worth while strutting down the street. ~ Smart Set ($45) I’ve added a few accesories that I know you’re going to love.  Since the jacket is 3/4 length, I’ve gone ahead and stacked some bracelets.  If you’re into bolder pieces, go ahead and add them.  I’ve also added a bold, gold/black linked necklace.  I love it.  It looks dressy, it’s versatile and it won’t break the bank. Since the necklace is a heavier item, I’d suggest adding a smaller earring, like this black pyramids studs, to balance the overall look. ~ Smart Set (Necklace- $14, Bracelets- $12/$12/$14, Earrings- $8) I hope you enjoyed the skimp vs. splurge segment as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Here’s a quick look at our four models.   Credits Hair: House of Tin Salon Makeup: Makeup by Bean Model: Aileena Styling: Yours truly Clothing/Accessories/Shoes: Coup Garment Boutique, Smart Set Thanks to Brill Communications