Thursday, January 24, 2013

Catherine from U.K

Black 'n White Dress

Dress: Karen Millen (old), Tights: ASOS, Shoes: ASOS, Headband: ASOS, Chevron rings: ASOS, Diamond ring: old, costume, Watch: Fossil, Nails: Models Own Red n Black

--> This Karen Millen dress I bought several years ago, but one I've not worn on Christmas Day before. I added a couple of new extras I treated myself to just before Christmas: the pretty feather headband and these amazeballs tights from ASOS: how great are they?! I love how the pattern's on both the front andthe back of the tights.

Job Interview Outfits

I thought this was a really great brief, as I can imagine that going for an interview after being out of the job market for a while would be pretty daunting (I suspect many readers may well have been in this situation)? What you wear would play a big part in helping you feel calm, comfortable and confident.

My idea was to go bold and bright - this way I should be very memorable after the interview ("she was the one wearing the bright stripes"), and the punches of black and colour would give me the confidence I'd need if I hadn't stepped inside an office for several years. I avoided florals or soft colours as I'd want to send subliminal messages that this girl is bold, determind, and not a pushover...!

I think I probably deliberated over the accessories more for this brief than the other three put together. Tights seemed appropriate so I went for a sheer/ribbed/fishnet style that gives the impression of sheers but with a more interesting pattern (and less likely to rip); high black platforms show that I may be a mum, but I haven't lost my sense of style or femininity; nude nails and a bold ring with a brooch at the neck (I tried on most of my necklaces but none looked right) make a bold statement but work with the outfit rather than fight against it.

Job Interview Outfits 2

First of all, we have to address the fact that I graduated nearly 20 years ago... so I am most definitely not of post-uni age! I thought it would make this week's challenge a little more, shall we say, 'awkward' for me, but as I always say, dressing should be occasion appropriate, not that nonsensical age appropriate idea. If I've got a dress that flatters me (which I think I do), then I should be able to meet this week's brief simply by accessorising it correctly, remembering the fact that it also needs to be suitable for someone straight out of university who's also most likely on a budget.

So with all of that in mind, and the fact that the job is for a creative agency, I decided to omit any sort of blazer, and instead dress up my neutral dress with colour and accessories that showed some creative flair. I chose yellow and orange as the two accent colours, with a bright orange clutch (which is actually a laptop case), my trusty tan/mustard heels and a yellow belt. As mentioned in week one, I think the style of the dress is very "Mad Men" - I also feel a little bit Zooey Deschanel in it - so I subtly played up the 60s feel with the hair and glasses. The black of the collar necklace, glasses and patterned tights added a graphic edge, and I was a little more daring for this brief with my nails and jewellery: a darkish grey nail polish and a simple ring, bracelet and watch added some interest to otherwise bare arms. So no super-expensive additions to the outfit, just some budget brights to showcase my accessorising/design skills.

Job Interview Outfits 3

A job interview for a bank or a law firm may well be the most challenging brief for me, as my usual style is not the office attire normally associated with working in a corporate role. But I think there are a few basic rules to follow to ensure you are suitably and appropriately dressed to bag that senior position. 

I decided to keep the look simple, polished and neat, adding a blazer for a professional touch - too much bare arm (or armpit!) would definitely not be appropriate. But a small spotted print in neutral colours stops the blazer looking too plain, and a knotted skinny belt over the jacket adds a little interest and shape for a neat waistline. The one other small adjustment I made was to neatly fold the sleeves of the blazer under - not over - to "shorten" them slightly (I find full length sleeves look a little dated). Although a trend-led outfit is not what's called for in this situation, it's important to get small details right to keep it looking modern, otherwise you run the risk of looking frumpy whether you're older or younger.

As for the rest of the accessorising, I styled my hair in a neat side bun (I LOVE this hairstyle - thanks Adele for the inspo), added a structured patent bag and kept the jewellery very simple: classic watch, small feminine earrings and a simple ring. I chose medium height heels as I think it's important to wear heels, but my usual 5" platforms would be very inappropriate for a senior corporate position!

Russian doll with a twist

I don't know what the twist is exactly, but this is quite an old but much loved dress that always makes me feel like I'm one of those Russian Babushka dolls. And you know what is amazing: until I saw these photos I'd never noticed that there was a large yellow flower on the front of the dress... I thought it had the spots and geometric patterns all over it?!!

This outfit seemed like a good antedote to all the masculine chic looks I've been wearing recently; my legs need to remember what freedom feels like now and then (I still kept them clad in tights though). With all the warm weather that's creeping up on us they might even find out what air feels like before long... not without a spray tan first however: things that white might blind you lovely people ;)

Raspberries, tobacco and coal

--> I think this may just be my new favourite colour combination - hot pink, tobacco brown and black - love love LOVE. And as it's nearly Christmas I've had my hair coloured even redder... it's always so bright when it's first done - I wish it would stay this red! I even did my nails and lips to match :)

The weather's getting extra cold now (surprised it hasn't snowed yet) so the fur boots have had their first airing this side of summer. I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year - I'm so not a cold weather person but I love the knitwear and the layers and the scarves and the furry accessories and the and the...

Sweater: Asos
Scarf: Gift
Jeans: River Island
Top (just seen): Primark
Boots: Dune (in the sale earlier this year)
Belt: Asos
Glasses: eBay
Watch: Red Herring
Gold link bracelet: Asos
Pink pom pom bracelet: Urban Outfitters
Brown leather bracelet (pack of two with white): Topshop
Gold rings: Asos
Nails: Barry M Bright Red

Skirt and tights

Shirt: Very
Bow tie: free "belt" with a pair of trousers
Skirt: Mango
Tights: F+F
Heels: French Connection
Bracelets: Asos
Watch: Red Herring
Bird ring: Asos
Gold rings (set of three): Asos
Nails: Models Own Concrete Mixer

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