Corporate Chic

 

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The Conversation Piece

Dressing for success is environment specific. Consider this…

Alannah HIll dress

Alannah HIll dress

Many of us find ourselves at networking events not knowing the best way to break the ice. It’s very common. The solution? Let your look do it!
Before we speak to other women the first thing we notice is their appearance. It’s just how we are. Don’t fight it – use it! Wearing something that creates interest and invites comment is a wonderfully easy way to melt barriers so the conversation can develop naturally in more purposeful directions. So, buying one or two items per season that are rare or quirky might just be a good career investment. Okay, I know you need to be dressed like the job you want or the clients you want. However, this doesn’t mean blending in to the point of invisibility. In networking circles, don’t just be the next woman in classic lines.
What you need is a conversation piece to ensure that you stand out from the crowd. These are wonderful ice-breakers allowing other people to come up to you and exclaim, “Where did you get that amazing jacket!” or, “That necklace is to die for!” or, “That skirt in that colour looks so striking on you!”
To purchase a couple of these key items you need to think about fashion. For instance, floral patterns are in and many of the prints are beautiful right now. If you buy something that suits you and makes you look elegant (like the pictured pencil skirt) then it is an easy piece to adapt into your wardrobe and it will help you stand out from the crowd.

Alannah Hill skirt

Alannah Hill skirt

This design and colour could be worn by anyone and matched back to black or neutrals depending on your colouring. It has a front split with a zip that you can adjust wearing it closed or open depending on the look you want to achieve. Perfect for all shapes except a martini.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015-02-19 14.29.06

Alannah Hill Jacket

 

Or consider this jacket – it’s perfect for an Hourglass or Flute shape. It has a shape that emphasises your waist with the interest-inspiring lapels you want. Keeping it buttoned up may be beneficial and it would look great mixed back with a pencil skirt for an Hourglass or a full-skirt for Flutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember, getting the job or client you want is often about being noticed. So, let your look attract the attention that will allow you to work the room.
Oh, and enjoy the extra attention you’ll receive!
Enjoy!

Lisa

BARGAIN BONANZA

Sale-ShoppingOnly a couple more sleeps till Christmas…

Even better… I’m thinking only a couple more sleeps till SALE TIME.

It’s my favourite time of the year and it kicks off on Boxing Day. Thank you to all those retailers who happily mark down and clear all their summer clothing whilst we still have 3 good months of warm weather to wear them!

So, start by reviewing your wardrobe and think about what you might need for the next few months. Is it sandals, essential pants or skirts?  Go out with a list otherwise you’ll find you gravitate to, well in my case, printed tops.  Now, think what brands are most likely to supply the things you’re looking for.

There are 2 approaches I would recommend when planning your bargain hunting.

Firstly, if you have a favourite brand, for instance Cue, take a look at the clothing range and check out if they have products you want. If so, then think about where the stores are located (you’ll find Cue in most major shopping malls.) Now consider who would be the core customer; for Cue perhaps mid-income, living in better suburbs. So, find the store that is in a big mall in a less affluent suburb.  Generally, that store will be in stock of all sizes and colours and all at great prices.

A while ago, one of my favourites was Mango.  They often used to bring out European clothes in the wrong season. The city store and Chadstone were well shopped but if I went to Highpoint, well, it was bargain city!

Secondly, this is a great opportunity to get great quality clothing at bargain prices by shopping for the brands that you aspire to but cannot ordinarily afford. Department stores offer a great range of brands to select from under one roof. However, beware of the tables of special purchases as these are often engineered products at a lesser quality.  Sneakily, they are bought in just to be discounted for the sale. The other place to visit is shopping malls or strip centres full of specialty stores.  Usually, they have brands at 30-50% reduction straight after Christmas.

Remember, clothing purchases should be emotive.  If you want to feel good you need to love what you are buying and know that it makes you look good. There is a trap that many of us get sucked into – buying the bargain for bargain’s sake.  You know, I’ve just got to have this Dolce Gabbana top for $50 because it’s DG and it’s $50. But on you it looks… uh!?!?  If it doesn’t look good on you then don’t buy it and avoid the regret later.

Happy hunting and Enjoy

Lisa.

PERFECTLY PETITE

Hi Corporate Chics,

Being short in a world that uses excessively tall models creates a major gap between expectations and reality.  However with some corporate styling you too can look suitably chic.

Many petite women try and make themselves appear taller by adding incredibly high heels.  If you want to do this, and not break your neck, then go for the ones with a platform sole as they are easier to walk in.  Or you can add stability with a wedge or a squared off heel. Try and avoid flats.

Wittner shoe range

For petite ladies, it’s easy to buy dresses at the moment as nearly all the fashion labels are making them to finish inches above the knee. This is fine for a day out but not appropriate for the office where you need to be able to sit down and not feel like your knickers will be exposed. For those that are petite you will find that many of these dresses finish on or below the knee – a perfect length for the office!

The next thing to consider is the dress shape.  If you take the advice of a corporate stylist, you will wear the one that suits your basic shape (hourglass, flute, magnum, shake or martini). If you are unsure of your shape check out my shape calculator at www.corporatechic.com.au

Magnum or Shaker shape. regatta petite dress

Magnum or Shaker shape. regatta petite dress

Shaker shape. Trent Nathan petite dress

Shaker shape. Trent Nathan petite dress

Flute shape. Basque petite dress

Flute shape. Basque petite dress

 

Martini shape. Trent Nathan petite dress www.myer.com.au/shop/mystore/petite

Martini shape. Trent Nathan petite dress
www.myer.com.au/shop/mystore/petite

Magnum or Hourglass shape Regatta petite dress

Magnum or Hourglass shape Regatta petite dress

The challenge is getting a jacket to fit. Depending on your shape, you want it to finish about your hip so you really need a cropped jacket.Fortunately, the cropped look was hot in the 90’s which is the basis of a lot of the fashions at the moment.  It’s worth checking out the great petite ranges in Myer, Target (for the Dannii Minogue range), ASOS , Birdsnest , Next Online and M+S online.

Here is a great online range from Next, a UK company renown for quality.  Once again, the corporate stylist in me recommends you select the style appropriate for your body shape.

Magnum and Shaker shape. Next berry waterfall jacket

Magnum and Shaker shape. Next berry waterfall jacket

Shaker shape. Next cotton sateen jacket

Shaker shape. Next cotton sateen jacket

Flute and Martini shape. Next navy dot jacket

Flute and Martini shape. Next navy dot jacket

 

Flute and hourglass shape. Next cropped jacket.

Flute and hourglass shape. Next cropped jacket.

Hourglass and Martini shape. Next tailored mink jacket. www.au.netxdirect.com/en/women/petite/workwear

Hourglass and Martini shape. Next tailored mink jacket.
www.au.netxdirect.com/en/women/petite/workwear

 

 

 

 Getting some well-fitting core basics are essential and here you may need to be prepared to get things altered. A nicely fitting pencil skirt suits most shapes as does a fitted pair of pants. If you buy the Capri pants in summer you will often get a better fit than buying pants in winter as they are cropped in length. If you leave your pants to gather at your ankles it just looks like you don’t fit into your clothing. Make the effort to get the length altered. Remember to consider the shoes you are going to wear and ensure that wide leg pants don’t drag on the ground and that fitted pants finish on the ankle.

Now your all set to knock them dead. Remember first impressions count!

Enjoy

Lisa

 

STYLISHLY SHEER

The latest trend is to have a semi-sheer element to your clothing. When considering corporate styling, this can be done with feminine style or it can go the other way and look tarty.

Here’s how some of the celebrities have been styled… 

Diane Kruger has done semi-sheer with block stripes.  Whilst on Khloe Grace Moretz it is done like an overlay.

Diane-Kruger_glamour_11feb14_rex_b_592x888

Diane Kruger www.dailymail.co.uk

Chloe-Grace-Moretz2_glamour_23sep14_rex_b_592x888

Chloe Grace Moretz www.reveal.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This semi-sheer shirt from Forever New looks stylish and achieves a hint of femininity with the sheer panel.  Of course, you will need to have a white bra underneath!  It’s great for those with narrow shoulders and Magnums or Shakers too to add breadth.  It also looks fabulous on an hourglass figure when it’s tucked in.

Forever new semi sheer shirt

Forever new Semi sheer shirt www.forevernew.com.au

forever new sheer yoke top

Forever New Semi sheer top www.forevernew.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Tee top is another great version that’s suitable for those with a large bust who worry about shirts gaping at the buttons. Track is down at Forever New.

Mink Pink Top  www.shopdeca.com

Mink Pink Top
www.shopdeca.com

Here is a Mink Pink laser cut top which gives the illusion of sheerness but really isn’t.  It’s the perfect top for those trying to hide their waist (Shakers, that’s you.)

Witchery sheer pleated skirt  www.witchery.com.au

Witchery sheer pleated skirt
www.witchery.com.au

 Here is Witchery’s sheer pleated skirt.  The underlay is a fairly decent length so modesty is covered! This could be a great maxi look for a petite person and would look great on Martinis to help add bulk to your hips.

Dorothy Perkin's Laser Cut dress www.dorothyperkins.co.uk

Dorothy Perkin’s Laser Cut dress www.dorothyperkins.com

Here’s a fantastic laser cut dress available online from Dorothy Perkins.  The colour is perfect for all those blondies out there and the lining is reasonably long.  Overall, it is the corporate stylist’s pick for those business women with an Hourglass, Flute or Martini figure.

Witchery Sheer straight skirt www.witchery.com.au

Witchery Sheer straight skirt
www.witchery.com.au

Witchery Long maxi skirt  www.witchery.com.au

Witchery Long maxi skirt
www.witchery.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both these skirts show the sheer look, in fact are great knock off’s from the cat walk shows,but for the  business are probably too short.  Save them for the nightclub.  Remember, you have to sit down sometimes and you don’t want to be worried that your knickers are showing. 

Here’s the bottom line – sheer can be subtly stylish or overtly exposing.  You pick the look you’re after!

Enjoy

Lisa

MAXIMUM SATISFACTION

MAXIMUM SATISFACTION

The maxi skirt is one of the new trends for now and heading into the new year.  To make this look work for most business women, be aware of your shape (Hourglass, Flute, Shaker, Martini or Magnum and see www.corporatechic.com.au if you’re unsure) and read on to find out which maxi style will suit you. 

The Celebrity Take.

Olivia Palerma  www.celebs.allwoemnstalk.com

Olivia Palerma
www.celebs.allwoemnstalk.com

 

Olivia Palerma looks like a stylish business chic , with this tulip shape maxi skirt that would suit most shapes.  Teamed with a jacket and belt, this combo would be fabulous for Flutes as the belt emphasises the waist.  For Magnums, the long jacket covering the hips and shoulders helps to balance the look and to hide your hips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maxi Tulip skirt Sass and Bide  www.sassandbide.com

Maxi Tulip skirt Sass and Bide
www.sassandbide.com

 

 

Wish wonder skirt  www.wish.com.au

Wish wonder skirt
www.wish.com.au

Here is the same skirt from Sass and Bide at $390 or you can get this printed on from Wish for $139.  

Most petite women should avoid maxi skirts but this tulip shape and the following pencil style will work for you – just be prepared to take the length up. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria Beckham  www.celebs.allwomenstalk.com

Victoria Beckham
www.celebs.allwomenstalk.com

Victoria Beckham looks every inch the stylish business woman in this maxi pencil skirt.

Now this is a look a petite person could adopt – the skirt is slim and so creates an illusion of height which can be maximised by adding high heels!

For Magnums, the white shirt makes the shoulders look broader and helps to balance your hips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tabeez Women's Pencil Maxi Skirt  www.overstock.com

Tabeez Women’s Pencil Maxi Skirt
www,overstock.com

This knit maxi skirt would suit most figure types since it’s slim lined.  Magnums, you would layer it with a long line top covering the tops of your thighs.  Shakers, the top would be shorter and end at your hips.  Hourglasses could pick a top that emphasises the waist.  Flutes could try a belted jacket look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren Conrad  www.celebs.womens stalk.com

Lauren Conrad
www.celebs.womens stalk.com

Wish Cupid Skirt  www.wish.com.au

Wish Cupid Skirt
www.wish.com.au

 

For a neutral business alternative this outfit worn by Lauren Conrad looks amazing. Here is a similar one from Wish for $140.  Skirts like this work well for Shakers if you layer it with a long line top.   This is a great look for Martinis as it adds bulk to your hips and helps balance your shoulders. Note the lovely soft colour, a great alternative to black,  perfect if you are a warm skinned blondes.

 

Witchery Siena Pleated skirt  www.witchery.com.au

Witchery Siena Pleated skirt
www.witchery.com.au

Witchery Long Wrap Skirt  www.witchery.com.au

Witchery Long Wrap Skirt
www.witchery.com.au

These 2 maxi skirts from Witchery look fabulous for most shapes when layered with long line tops.  If you’re a Shaker and want to minimise the look of your stomach and hips, you could change the white top to a dark colour or a distracting pattern and layer with the skirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However you stack it, a maxi can give you maximum satisfaction in a business setting when paired with a shirt ir top and jacket.  Try to avoid the huge floral versions though, as they look like they should belong at Kuta Beach in Bali as the sun sets.

Remember, no matter what your shape you can dress with style and Corporate Chic.

Enjoy.

Lisa

HAREM SCAREM

Hi Corporate Chics,

                                        No matter how nice you think the latest harem pants look, they should be left in the Arabian Nights!  If you happen to resemble Barbara Eden when she lusted after Larry Hagman (Really?  People lusted after the would-be J. R. Ewing?  Yes!  Back in the early 70’s he was quite the catch!) then, sure, whack on harem pants.  But let’s face it – most of us don’t!  Most of us don’t, um, bounce like Barbara anymore.  Mostly, the bounce is closer to the belt than the shoulder therefore rendering harem pants obsolete to our era of genies who rescue astronauts after failed re-entry missions.

Generally speaking, unless your hips are smaller than your shoulders harem pants are just going to make your hips and butt look larger than they are.  Heaven forbid!  Check out how these are making Khloe Kardashian and Nicky Minaj look.  These are gorgeous women whose clothing choices are unflattering.

Nicky Minaj  www.teen.com

Nicky Minaj
www.teen.com

Khloe Kardashion  www.teen.com

Khloe Kardashion
www.teen.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you with wide shoulders and slim hips, the martini shape, then harem pants are for you. They’ll look amazing!  Team them with heels to add extra height and slim or close fitting tops.  Additionally, finish it off with a blazer! This picture shows Sienna Miller looking glamorous with the blazer.  See how it covers the hips and keeps the line slim?

Sienna Miller  www.mirror.co.uk

Sienna Miller
www.mirror.co.uk

 

If you have a well-defined waist, pick harem pants with a separate waistband.  This will help to highlight an asset.  Then balance it with a wide shoulder top or shirt – see the picture of Kim Kardashian as an example.  She always wears high heels to accentuate length and provide balance.  Also, note the harem pants are fairly flat across the hips.

Kim Kardashian www.stylebistro.com

Kim Kardashian
www.stylebistro.com

By contrast, Halle Berry, who does have a great waist in this shot, has it covered up.  By wearing this low crotch version pushed down below her waist, she has just made her hips look bigger!

Halle Berry www.fashionbombdaily.com

Halle Berry
www.fashionbombdaily.com

 

So, what about real women – not celebrities!

Well I recommend you wear the plain black version teamed with the patterned top as you see here in RavingsByRae.com

By comparison, the printed pant is emphasizing, not distracting from, the lower part of the body.  Not good.

www.ravingsbyrae.com

www.ravingsbyrae.com

www.helloberlin.net.plus

www.helloberlin.net.plus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well Corporate Chics, you now know how to wear harem pants with style. I recommend only wearing them if they suit your shape.  But remember, even on casual Fridays in most companies, you still need to look business like to get ahead.  You can get away with them teamed with a blazer but, generally, be wary – they do not look good on most people. 

Cheers,  

Lisa.

CRAVING SOME INDIVIDUALITY? JUST BUTTON IT!

Hi Corporate Chic’s,

In this day and age of mass production most garments are made to appeal to the majority.  Effectively, this means very little is added to them that someone might not like.  As a result, some are more like uniforms. 

BORING!

Also, we all have clothes that we love dearly.  These clothes we have an emotional connection to are hard to part with even though they may be looking tired.   They can become like besties! 

So why not restore the old ones and individualise the uniforms?   Get creative and rejuvenate them and wear them with pride.

In one of my jobs, sourcing product for Spotlight, I was exposed to the vast and wonderful world of buttons.  CC’s I’m here to tell you – there are zillions of buttons available to enhance any tired old garment you have or to boost one of those current off the rack ones that lacks a little personality.

Taking new buttons is a simple way to individualise, update into fashion or just restore a garment you currently have.  Specifically, why not target your jackets, cardigans and vests?

Black and white and floral trends are part of this season.  Have a look at these buttons to give some of your outfits a lift.  These are the little details that help make you look chic.

Beautiful Black and White buttons  some with floral designs  very appropriate for this season (Summer 14)  available at Spotlight or Lincraft

These beautiful buttons are hand carved from old bakolite and I have yet to find the outfit they need to go one.  Maybe this season I will…

 My hand carved floral buttons

You can see the plain button put onto this cardigan.  How much more interesting would it look with one of these other buttons?

My favourite cream cardi with a selection of new buttons.

This cardigan is obviously well-loved.  It was really cheap and I added the unusual buttons and did a simple embroidery stitch.  It took me all of 1 hour to do this and what was a $30 garment now looks like a $150 one.

My super cheap cardigan updated with embroidery and fancy buttons.

 

Updating and playing with existing favourites is great fun!  You already know you look good in these garments and they make you feel good too.  That’s two problems solved.  So renovate or restore don’t replace until it’s necessary.

Enjoy

Lisa xxx

ACCESSORIZE TO IMPRESS

Hi Corporate Chic’s,

From the time you walk into a meeting, people are making assumptions about you based entirely on how you present yourself.

Have you stopped to consider what your accessories say about you?

Taking a commerce-chic notebook to meeting is really important.  It says, “I’m a professional individual who’s here to do business.”  I use this leather binder that’s a little unusual.  These little notebooks are a real fashion statement and you can go safe black or get really interesting ones from stores like Typo, Kikki K etc.  Why a notebook and not a binder?  It depends on the answer to this question, “does size matter?” For instance, if you are going to a meeting offsite and need to put everything in your handbag then the notebook is handy. I prefer to use the binder and take a bigger bag.

My Favourite Accessories From the top a Leather bound Folder,  A Notebook, A Glasses Case . A Jewelled calculator. 2 Pens

My Favourite Accessories From the top a Leather bound Folder, A Notebook, A Glasses Case . A Jewelled calculator. 2 Pens

A lot of the choice depends on how you run your follow-up system.  I file my notes from each meeting and refer to it by organisation or person I am dealing with.  Other people prefer the chronological order of a notebook.

Fashion Notebooks . They could be colour co-ordinated to your bag . from www.aliexpress.com

Fashion Notebooks . They could be colour co-ordinated to your bag . from www.aliexpress.com

Then you need to consider the pen choice, try not to have the obviously stolen pen from a hotel room… Again a nice pen says professional, organised etc.

I try to make my accessories become a talking point, saying professional and yet a little bit different. For instance the calculator and the glasses case both show a bit of fashion, because that’s the industry I am in.

Another talking point is often my umbrella.  Mind you, I have lots of these fold-up jobs purchased out of necessity because I forgot to pack one.  My favourite is this one from Pylones.  This red girl in the gumboots never fails to draw comments.

Umbrellas, Compact to go in any handbag. My favourite its the red lady with gumboots from Pylones. www.pylones-newzealand.com

Umbrellas, Compact to go in any handbag. My favourite its the red lady with gumboots from Pylones. www.pylones-newzealand.com

 

Today, with the increasing amount of electronic gadgets, many people are choosing to take i-pads or tablets to meetings. These all say, “professional”. These can be a great time savers.  Just be aware that many people view you as being disconnected with the meeting when you are putting info into an Ipad.

Colourful i-pad case.

Colourful i-pad case.

 

Fashion I-Pad case from www.aliexpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember, use your accessories to reinforce the image you wish to convey.  Perhaps somewhere between business like and fashionable is suitable for most of us?

Enjoy

Lisa xx

DRESS TO IMPRESS

Hi Corporate Chics,
Everyone has a different body shape.  You can’t change it so don’t waste your time trying.  Instead, love what you’ve got! But please – don’t dress to fatter! Dress to flatter! 
Understanding and accepting your shape is as liberating as it is empowering.  Still, some of the names which have been historically attributed to feminine body shapes are less than flattering in themselves.  With that in mind, I thought having some fun with them might be in order.  After all, we’re women – dressing should be fun!  So, gone are the rectangle, the oval, the inverted triangle and the pear.  What are we?  Maths homework next to a fruit shop!?!? 
So it is with great pleasure that I introduce…
– The Flute,
– The Magnum,
– The Martini and
– The Shaker. 
– And let’s not forget The Hourglass – it’s the only old one worth keeping!

ALL STYLES : Magnum, Flute, Shaker, Martinin and Hourglass

ALL STYLES : Magnum, Flute, Shaker, Martinin and Hourglass

 So there I was shopping the other day and looking for the best corporate dresses for each different shape to discuss with a group of corporate women I am training.

Cue Georgraphic, stripe, floral dress for a Martinii style. www.cue.cc/shop

Cue Georgraphic, stripe, floral dress for a Martinii style .www.cue.cc/shop

 This dress is perfect for a martini shape! It helps to balance the hips to the shoulders and would also look good on a magnum shape as long as it was layered with a strong coloured cardigan to make the shoulders look broad.

Cue Mirror paisley spliced  dress for a flute shape . www.cue.cc/shop

Cue Mirror paisley spliced dress for a flute shape .
www.cue.cc/shop


Cue Stretch cotton contrast dress . www.cue.cc/shop

for Cue Stretch cotton contrast dress . www.cue.cc/shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 These are both  excellent styles for a flute shape. The pattern and waist detail all work to add waist definition and could be layered with a bolero cardigan in suitable colours. The colour blocked dress works to create curves for a straight figure type through visual distraction .

Cue Spliced A line dress for a shaker shape. www.cue.cc/shop

Cue Spliced A line dress for a shaker shape. www.cue.cc/shop


Witchery sheer and solid dress for a shaker or a magnum. www.witchery.com.au

Witchery sheer and solid dress for a shaker or a magnum. www.witchery.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both of these dresses are great for the magnum or shaker. Adding a midi cardigan is a great way to broaden the shoulders visibly for both shapes and would be awesome when balanced with the latest chunky shoes.

Cue Racer neck Zip front  dress for an hourglass shape . www.cue.cc/shop

Cue Racer neck Zip front dress for an hourglass shape . www.cue.cc/shop

This is the perfect dress for an hourglass! Make sure you have the right cross-over back bra for mammary maintenance as visible straps are as undesirable in an office as stilettos are on a jumping castle.
If you want to dress to impress at work, get chic with one of these trendy dresses that suits your shape and the corporate situation you are about to enter.

Enjoy

Lisa 

PS For more info on dressing for your shape go to my website www.corporatechich.com.au

MIDRIFF INTERVENTION

Hi Corporate Chics,

                                         You may have noticed that the latest fashion is all focussed around the midriff – the bit if skin between the waist and your bust. Fashion is like that – it tends to want some “skin in the game.” Sometimes it’s legs with high-rise mini-skirts or belly buttons with low rise jeans. None of these looks are chic unless you are a size 8 and Elle-esque. Regardless, none of them are corporate.

                                       The good thing about the midriff is it’s thinner on most people than their belly. However, remember this – when you sit down most people get some rolls. Sausage rolls.

So there’s the problem. Now, how do you solve it?

Consider if the dress code in your office is liberal. After all, part of being in business is that you have to deal with other business people and they will judge you on your appearance as you do them. So given this is a key fashion trend and you want to look up to date then how do you adapt it?

Sportsgirl sunray pleat skirt and cross over top

Sportsgirl sunray pleat skirt and cross over top www.sportsgirl.com.au


2014-09-02 14.06.33

Sportsgirl Front window. Pleated skirt with floral tee. www.sportsgirl.com.au

 

               Okay, let’s avoid the first outfit – not sure who could or would wear this. The new sunray pleat skirt is really good for people with a martini shape, broad shoulders and small hips (for more info on dressing for your shape see www.corporatechic.com.au). To make it wearable for the office, team it with a floral top or a jumper. Ensure that the top is shorter than usual or you will add too much bulk and look like Michelin woman.

2014-09-02 13.49.54

Forever New Layered Lace Dress www.forevernew.com.au

 

Another way to get the look is to layer a crop top over a dress. Or, in the case of this dress it is designed that way. It is probably too short for the office… you know, when you sit down and suddenly feel like your undies are exposed. However, would be perfect for someone petite.

Portman’s Etched Floral Midi Dress www.portmans.com.au

This is a more modest version of the midriff look, but, remember those sausage rolls? Well, a simple way around it is a skin coloured singlet that will keep any rolls tightly wrapped in puff pastry. Consequently, you get the look but keep it modest.

If you want more ideas about dressing for your shape see my website www.corproratechic.com.au

Enjoy!!

Lisa xx

SHOPPING SHOTS – FOREVER NEW

Browsing the new season’s fashion recently, I found myself fossicking in the regular shops for something more interesting than the usual black and white stripes the fashion gurus put out when they have run out of ideas.  Really, fashion shops opening spring with black and white and navy and white – can it get more boring???  Are we all to be in sailor suits this season???  It’s spring – the season for colourful floral prints!  It’s not that hard.  Anyway, can you believe it? All I could find was an endless sea of crop tops.  Well that’s not going to happen!  My middle-age muffin line has put a stop to that.  Sometimes I just wish the people in charge of the women’s fashion world would MAN -UP and offer a real selection!

Then… 

…I came across Forever New.  HOORAY no B+W or nautical statement to be found!  They have the most beautiful selection of floral prints around.  So then I looked to see if there were colours for different skin tones.  Remember, if you look at my colour page it shows blue bloods having fair skin are best suited to cool colours whilst those with green veins look great in warm colours. (Not sure?  Then follow this link www.corporatechic.com,au/colour/) Anyway, it was a hallelujah moment!  There are red and purple based prints and all in really wearable shapes!  Thank-you Forever New!

 

Cool coloured top and was available as a dress. Suits most cool coloured babes

Cool coloured top and was available as a dress. Suits most cool coloured babes

 

2014-09-02 13.58.38

Warm coloured dress . As the print has both strong colours and cream this print would work well on most warm coloured peopl

 

Warm coloured floral top

Warm coloured floral top

 

Both tops and dresses were available in these beautiful designs.

Thanks Forever New!

CASUAL FRIDAY’S

Casual Friday – it’s enough to send a shudder through anyone wanting to free themselves from the constraints of office attire while not leaving the boss thinking you’re too left of centre for the next promotion. I know, I know – it sucks! Why can’t you just wear what you want on casual Friday and not be judged? Well, you can wear what you like – you’re in control of that. But you can’t stop other people from thinking their own thoughts. So, if getting ahead in the office is on your agenda then looking the part, even on casual Friday, is essential. Having shallow people in positions of power in your office is a weakness you can exploit for your benefit. So play them at their game and win.

But how do you determine what is appropriate to wear on casual Friday? Well, the general rule of thumb is to look to your boss and notice what he/she wears. Remember – people promote clones of themselves. You can fight it if you want and rail against society or you can accept that some things are too big to change. It’s your choice but if you’re in an office full of suits, even on casual Friday, then the despite whatever may be said, casual Friday is frowned upon. Take the hint. However, if casual Friday alters the dress code of those who have approved the policy, then look to them for hints about how far you can go.

Sportsgirl new seasons fashions

DONT WEAR RIPPED JEANS OR MIDRIFF TOPS 


This jacket and top look OK but the shorts look too casual

BE WARY OF SHORTS 

 

 

And remember – if a senior meeting or a client meeting is scheduled for Friday, forget about casual and concentrate on being professional. It’s expected. Clients and senior management don’t care for casual no matter what day it is. They care about the image of their company and how that image helps them achieve their bonuses. And sometimes, these meeting arise with little or no warning so keep a snappy jacket somewhere handy – just in case.

Great outfit for those with a shaker shape

Great outfit for those with a shaker shape


Great outfit for an hourglass shape

Great outfit for an hourglass shape


Great outfit for a flute shape

Great outfit for a flute shape

 

Great outfit for a magnum shape

Great outfit for a magnum shape


Great outfits for a Martini shape

Great outfits for a Martini shape

For more information on looks to suit your shape , the shape calculator and free style information follow this link 

www.corporatechic.com.au/body-shape-style/

SURVIVING 4 SEASONS IN ONE DAY…. WITH PROFESSIONAL STYLE

We’ve all been here… 

You leave for the office early in the morning in the middle of winter.  It’s so cold even the sun is thinking of taking the day off so you pull on your favourite moth-eaten fleecy overcoat to get to your car then take it off to get in.  Then from the car to the office the coat is back on.  You hurry to your desk glancing cautiously about hoping no one has noticed your old weathered covering.  The coat is the warmest one you have but its patches and tears make you look like a Collingwood supporter!  Finally you’re seated at your desk in the warmest place in the office – right under a heating vent.  And though the heating vent makes you temporarily popular in winter it presents another problem when you have your weekly meeting in Mr Schnidely’s office where the temperature is set on Frostbite!

Aye, yai-yai – hot, cold, hot, cold.

So, what are you going to wear? You can hardly wear the fleecy overcoat in Schnidely’s office.  
LAYERS…
But they must be the right type of layers.  Wearing a jacket all day can be very uncomfortable. And, tactically, it’s best to save jackets for meetings or important events where you really want to make an impression.
So-oo-oo… prepare yourselves for the cardigan!  Not the cardigan that reminds you of your grandmother in the 60’s.  Get with the program and come over to the now…
The perfect layering piece, cardigans can be used to hide or distract and can be discreetly carried in your handbag ready for any occasion.

It is important to get the right cardigan for each body shape.

FLUTE _ BELTED CARDIGAN

FLUTE _ BELTED CARDIGAN

HOURGLASS - CARDIGAN

HOURGLASS – CARDIGAN

MAGNUM CARDIGAN

MAGNUM CARDIGAN

Flutes – a belted boyfriend cardigan as the belt helps to shape your waist.

Magnum – either a bolero cardigan worn with a dress or empire line top will enhance your figure. Or, if you are wearing pants a boyfriend cardigan that finishes below your hips.

Hourglasses – a cardigan that finishes at your waist is best so you can maintain your hourglass definitions.

Shakers – the one that finishes at the hip is best and helps to disguise your waist.

Finally, Martinis – it depends on what you are wearing on the bottom. If you are wearing a full skirt or harem pants to add bulk to your hips then a cardigan that finishes at your waist is best. However, if you are wearing a dress then a bolero may be more suitable.

For more ideas, have a look at style page s by shape and if you are unsure of your shape, use the style shape calculator.

MARTINI CARDI

MARTINI CARDI

 
SHAKER CARIDGAN

SHAKER CARIDGAN

Don’t be a Citrus tart

If the color choices in the clothing stores offered a rainbow of options every season  then finding your stylish pot of gold would be easy. But the gurus in charge of the palette available often act more like fruit shop owners than suppliers of flattering alternatives. You see they would rather limit the options to tangerine, lemon and lime, for the ease of the dye houses than give us a whole spectrum.

Accordingly, we have to work with what’s on offer.

To combat this seasonal irritation, a little bit of specialized knowledge goes a long way and may help to overcome any aversion to citrus that you may have….

Two of the most impotarnt determinants to finding compatible colors for a woman are her hair color and skin tone ( see my website color page for more information).

Winter 2014 Colour Direction - Pantone

Winter 2014 Color Direction – Pantone

So for those of you with blonde hair and olive skin , who look great in warm pastels, well ….give up finding colors to suit. The powers that be have decided that you don’t matter this winter.

However there may be a way around the problem for you. Here are some tips if the colors of the season are not for you

1. Buy the color but in a print mixed with a base color like black or cream that suits you .

2. Layer with a jacket or cardigan in a color that you know works.

3.Add accessories, like scarves or necklaces, near you face in colors that work. 

4. For loud colors that are too string for you ,  buy a pastel version if available. Sometimes a sheer top is available and you can soften the color by layering over  white.

 

However if all this leaves you cursing the fruits in charge of stocking the shelves then visit my color page and we’ll get you sorted. And don’t despair  – black is still the new black.

Fashion v’s Style in business

Hi Corporate Chic’s,

Well, first of all, what’s the difference between fashion and style?

Fashions are here and now and unlikely to ever be now and forever.  Style was, is and will be for several generations.  So, armed with that knowledge, what should you wear to work?  Something stylish or something fashionable?  Because, let’s face it, it’s rare that these two overlap for business attire.

Classic Audrey Hepburn

Classic Audrey Hepburn courtesy of www.classicmoviechat.com

Madonna from the 80's courtesy of www.gaurdian.com

Madonna from the 80’s courtesy of Sipa Press/ Rex Features

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s the answer – I can’t work it out for you!  That’s right, you are far better placed to come up with the right answer.  So, here’s the rule of thumb to get you started…

What’s your boss wearing?

Is she in the latest fashion trends?  Does she go for the time-honoured lines of bygone Hollywood legends?  Does she look like she’s just come from the skate park?  A hooker?  Is HE in a suit?  Boardies? Jeans and T-shirt?  What happens on casual Friday?  Now, of course, it’s not all about the boss.  She/he is just an example.  Scan the spectrum of your senior people and take stock.  The answer you come up with is the culturally defined dress code of your organization.  Ignore it if you will, but don’t’ be surprised if they ignore you when promotion time rolls around.  They are a club constantly sizing up who is worthy of becoming a new member.  And guess what – they want more people like themselves because all people thrive on affirmation!

Okay, so here’s another take home message.  If you want to get ahead at work…

Mimic and flatter, mimic and flatter.

All right, there is one piece of clothing that imposes itself on a dress code more than any other.  I speak of the not-so-humble jacket.  My advice?  Study it!  The jacket determines where power resides.  Do these senior people wear jackets?  Just to meetings?  Just to meetings with external people?  All around the office? (Oh, I pity you if that’s the case.)  Consequently, if you are giving the big presentation and want an air of authority, should you wear a tailored jacket with business lines?  Just a thought…

Don’t look good in what the boss wears?  Perhaps that’s something I can help you with.  There are always variations on the theme that will suit different body shapes and my background with retailers and suppliers comes in handy here to quickly locate which outlet has the look you’re aiming to achieve.

photo of Dr Evil and Mini Me

DR Evil and Mini Me , courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk

 Cheers,

Lisa

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