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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dress for Success: Fashion Tips for the Trendy Young Professional

Since summer temperatures have arrived, I've been having a difficult time trying to find clothes that say trendy & professional yet comfortable. In my line of business, I meet distinguished people on a daily basis and have to stay polished at all times. After work, I attend numerous cocktail parties and networking events so, I have to buy clothes that are transitional. Just like Tyrese says on the movie Baby Boy" You can wear it from work straight to happy hour". I found some great tips for us young professionals who have a difficult time trying to find that perfect balance between runway and business casual.

Here are the essentials:
* Wear a blazer with matching pants or a skirt (knee-level please, we don’t want to overemphasize our youth).

*Wear a colorful dress shirt: choose a colour that complements your skin tone and represents your personality. Not only white and black, but also red, blue, green, and even pink can look professional and will help you make an appearance. Just make sure your shirt matches your suit colour; you don’t want to look like a smudged canvas.

*Have fun with your hair: back-comb it a little to add volume, and use a simple headband. This will give you a very clean, youthful look, plus you get a chance to match it with your shirt. If you tie your hair up, backcomb your front and pin it up. Some tips say that you shouldn't wear it in a ponytail, I disagree. If your style is clean and sophisticated - go for it!! The key word here is sophisticated.

* The great thing about women in the business field is that we can dress in menswear, but still look pretty doing it. Make a statement, and wear a tie. Why not? It’s obviously professional; men have been doing it for as long as the tie has existed. Make it match your suit colour, or if you have a simple black suit with a white shirt, then add a little colour with your tie.

* Keep your jewelery to a minimum: you don’t want to distract your audience with too much bling. I know that big chandelier earrings and hoops are in, but, you really don't want to wear these to work. I know I learned the hard way!! LOL :)

* Don’t wear too much perfume: you don’t know this person well enough to make that kind of a statement. I had a boss who wore so much perfume that you could smell it all the way down the hall before she even comes in. Not a good look (well smell).

* Be very cautious with makeup. If you wear it, be sure to wear natural colors that emphasize your features, but, not to scream out I HAVE MAKEUP ON! If I were you, I'd visit your local makeup counter and ask for a natural makeover. You'd be amazed at how many natural looks you can play around with.

* Nails. Nails are very interesting. I heard from someone that professional women don't wear fake nails???? I don't know if that's true - but, I do know that as long as your nails are cleaned and manicured it's fine. You may want to steer away from loud colors too. It's your call. The same thing goes for toes.

* Oh yes, and the shoes: the best thing is to wear leather or suede ballerina flats, or low-heeled shoes. Make sure they’re clean and comfortable. You want to feel confident! Now, I've read a bit of old school dress for success style tips that say that you should always wear pantyhose or always wear closed toe shoes. I don't believe this to be the case. Especially in the summertime. Who wants to walk around in hot pantyhose all day?? Especially with open toed shoes? My boss's boss wears peep toe pumps all the time with knee length skirts and suits. She looks very business savvy and isn't breaking any "professional" rules. Not to mention she's a young professional as well.


Fitness Goddess said...

Great tips! I'm trying to dress a little bit more professionally. I work in Academia so most people dress really casually but I like dressing up a bit.

Sam said...

This is an excellent post girl! This is definitely one to print out or bookmark for future reference. I agree w/ Fitness Goddess, that for those of us that work in fields where dress is really casual, it is nice to "dress it up a bit" sometimes. We should always "dress for the career you want, not the job you have"

Pinkie said...

Fitness Goddess - thanks for reading my blog! I agree casual is fine, but, sometimes you have to step it up. Even if it's just a little bit. One of my good friends works at the Limited and she loves to wear blazers with clean cute tees and jeans with boots. In the summer, she wears it with cute peep toe pumps. She looks incredibly professional and trendy.

Pinkie said...

Sam --thanks for the compliment. Thanks for being a regular reader. I appreciate it!!

You said the phrase of the day " Dress for the job you want, not the one you have"

I see so many professional dress offenders and I think to myself - do you want to have this same job forever? Or don't you know any better?? LOL!!

MahaibaLuv said...

these are great tips!! i'm still a student, but its always nice to know what direction to head in once i graduate. great post!!

Pinkie said...

MahaibaLuv good for you for trying to step the professional game up as a student... it's never too early to learn....thanks for reading :)