Monday, 15 May 2017

Office Wear for the Summer: Informal but Pulled Together

Summer Work Style: Casual Choices

Closet Content Analysis: Casual Separates for Easy-Going Office Wear

NICE, NO THANKS, NOTE-WORTHY, NEED & NECESSARY

NICE: "Informal but pulled together" or "casual elegant" are probably the best style profiles one can choose for the summer. A t-shirt under a jacket or blazer with a skirt, pants or knee-length shorts can be the outfit of choice for any office job.

NO THANKS: Especially in the summer, many will dress too informally and then be caught embarrassingly underdressed when an unplanned meeting with an important client arises. I do know of some young execs who wear jeans and a tank top to the office during the summer and dress up if they have a meeting. In fact one young corporate type claims to keep a "suit" at the office specifically for such occasions. Comme vous voulez (as you want).

NOTE-WORTHYIf you work in a professional office you need to be well-groomed and well put together. Designer head to toe is not recommended unless you are in the fashion industry. Bank employees, depending on who their clients are, need to be particularly mindful. If you are serving a couple worried about mortgage payments, you will dress differently than if your clients are corporate entities with nose-bleed high assets.

Anne Fontaine Levana shirt
Photo Source: Anne Fontaine
NEED: Everyone needs a relatively simple blouse/shirt. In the summer, the tailored shirt can be replaced with a good quality dense cotton t-shirt. The fabric weight is important since you do not want a see-through gauzy fabric unless of course, you wear a simple camisole under it. But that just adds to the bulk, so go for an opaque finish and you will feel cooler. You can finish dressing in record time and you look more professional in a tailored shirt or blouse and pants, skirts or knee-length walking shorts. Even if it is casual Fridays, you need to look professional and a pencil skirt instead of pants or walking shorts accomplishes that.




Striped Smythe Blazer. Photo Source: Lyst

NECESSARY: A blazer is necessary. Everyone has a simple blouse/shirt and skirt, pants or walking shorts. You can finish the look and crossover to professional with the simple addition of a blazer. This Smythe blue-striped Duchess blazer would be perfect for the summer. It's on my wish list.












Check out what I have written before on the topic of "casual clothing":
Comfortable Casual or Business Attire
Summer Office Wear - What is Too Casual?
What is "Comfortable Casual"?
Knee-Length Shorts at Work and Play
Defining Casual Clothing
What Kind of Comfortable?












Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Bridesmaids' Dresses from the Past: Thoughts to Consider

It may be spring but brides who are getting married in the fall and winter are choosing the dresses for their attendants. Although styles are certainly different, each of these stories may give the 2017 bride something to think about when considering bridesmaids' dresses. One needs to consider  many factors including body type, even personality, when choosing a dress for someone else.

Bridesmaids Dresses: Flattering or Fattening Choices

Closet Content Analysis: Post-Wedding Possibilities

NICE & NO THANKS


NICE: It was the late 80s and the wedding was held over the Christmas holiday season. The bride chose a Victorian theme for the maids' attire. She bought dark green velvet for the skirts, told us to have a skirt sewn in whatever style was becoming to our figures (the length had to be mid-calf) and then she took us to a shop that sold Victorian style blouses. We bought what we wanted, each blouse being different but still in that Victorian style. Thematically we were the same but we all had different skirt styles and blouse details. We carried holly and white magnolias (albeit artificial). Insofar as dress goes, it was the most beautiful bridal party I ever was part of. I wore that blouse many times after (with jeans and to work under a blazer) and although velvet is not my favourite fabric, I did wear the skirt to my mother's house during the holiday season a few times and once out for a New Year's party.

I still think that dresses or an outfit in the same fabrics and colours, with a theme that ties them together, but in styles that complement each maids' figures is more beautiful than choosing one dress style that everyone has issues with.

I'm your friend. Why are you doing this to me?

NO THANKS 1: to Little Bo Beep bridesmaids' dresses. A friend relayed this 1970s' bridesmaid's story. She was asked to be a "maid of honour" for a friend in southern Ontario. The bride came from old money and so my friend, the maid of honour, believed the dresses would be more elegant than the Bo Peep bridal suggestions that were popular at the time. She told the bride that she would be "honoured" but "mind the Bo Peep style". You know how the story ends. The maids' dresses honoured no one but Little Bo Peep.

NO THANKS 2: On the other end of the continuum is the over the top sexy dress. It was the 90s and the bridesmaids were asked to wear slits up to there showing cleavage down to there. What was the bride thinking? Two of us said no because of the dress. I guess you could accuse us of not being true friends. But at the same time, what kind of friend would expect you to wear something that was not only uncomfortable but also embarrassing?

NO THANKS 3: Another bridesmaids' story from three decades ago concludes in the same way as NO THANKS 1. I was asked to be a "maid of honour" for an "older" bride and I too believed that because she was "older" the dresses would be more elegant, not so cutesy. I too said I would be honoured but I didn't want a bow on my butt. This story ends the same way. My size 4 backend was magnified with a gathered drop waist  and a huge bow on the behind. The shiny stiff satin fabric in teal didn't help either. Each of us wore a different colour - a turquoise-y teal, fuchsia and a deep green. "Garish" is a good word. I'll let you imagine what the young woman who was a size 12 said about the dress.

None of the NO THANKS dresses ever saw the light of day again. What a waste! 

Hit the ___Comments to tell us about the NICE and NO THANKS bridesmaids' dresses from your past - whether you were wearing them or just an innocent bystander.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Spring Choices: Sandals or Flats

Flip Flops and Flats: Summery Choices

Closet Content Analysis: the Best Shoes for a Carefree Summer

NEW

Brian Davis is ready for spring and summer. If you do not know, he is my resident male ballet flats expert and he not only knows Tory Burch flats, he owns more than I can keep track of. But there are three new acquisitions in Brian's flats closet and he is definitely ready to strut.


Tory Burch Sandals and matching Polish. Photo Source: Brian Davis
First on the list for spring footwear is not so much the footwear as the foot. Get a pedicure or give yourself a pedicure. Of course it is much nicer if you book a relaxing pedicure, at least the first one of the season. I had one a couple of weeks ago and I am usually happy but this time, the little details were just off. It cost me $99.00 + taxes (the sale price for a $130.00 Thai pedicure) and I was not so impressed with this salon's interpretation of the procedure or with the technician. My goal this summer may be to experience the perfect pedicure.

Brian did the same but he was much more adventuresome than me. Sometimes, Brian does what I only think about doing - in this case, lime green polish would have been a passing thought for me. Good on you, Brian.

Of course Brian's sandal choices come from the Tory Burch collection and I have lusted after these particular sandals but had a hard time getting over the price. To me, no matter the designer, sandals should not cost that much. Brian is a diehard for Tory Burch so the price of the flip flops doesn't seem to be an issue for him. In fact he bought two pairs, red and green.

Red Tory Burch sandals. Photo Source: Brian Davis, 2017
But there is another pair of ballet flats in my favourite colours for the summer, blue and white, that Brian bought this spring.


Tory Burch blue and white logo ballet flats. Photo Source: Brian Davis, 2017
Now these would be perfect for me and I wouldn't even mind paying full retail price.