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.