Thursday, January 3, 2013

Joanna from Canada

Peplum Top - Zara; Cardigan and Skirt - Jacob; Boots - Calvin Klein (Winners); Belt - Loft 82; Tights - Unknown;  Cuff - Unknown; Earrings - The Bay

The peplum trend made its first appearance (or comeback from the 80s) earlier this year.  This is another trend that can easily be incorporated into your wardrobe, especially for work.  A peplum top can be worn with a pencil skirt or pants and it's easy to throw either a cardigan or blazer over top.  I quite enjoy the peplum silhouette as it hugs you right around the smallest part of your waist and then flows out nicely around the hips. This adds the appearance of curves and is perfect for those who have more of a boyish figure.

Skirt - Loft 82; Top - Jacob; Belt - J Crew; Shoes - Madden Girl; Earrings - Rox On by Karina Miller; Bracelets - Rox  On by Karina Miller, JCrew, Other (Gift); Necklace - Tiffany & Co.

A great way to make a work outfit a little more interesting is to colour coordinate with accessories.  There are so may different ways to do this. You can...

  • Match bracelets with shoes;
  • Wear a matching necklace/bracelet combo;
  • Colour coordinate shoes with a belt;
  • Paint on nail polish to match a skirt;
  • Sport an earrings and belt colour combo;
  • Similar coloured rings and shoes!
The list goes on and on. If you're confused about how to do this, start by picking one item of clothing (which is coloured, of course) and match that item with one piece of jewelry in the same or similar colour.  From there add one more accessory (belt,clutch, ring) in the same shade.  Then stop. I think three accessories is the most that should be matching for one outfit. 

I started with a mint green skirt, added a few similar coloured bracelets, then finished the look off with some matching earrings.  

Blouse - Zara; Skirt - Calvin Klein (Winners); Purse - Matt & Nat; Belt - J. Crew;  Pumps - Nine West;  Bracelet - Rox On by Karina Miller; Tights - Unknown Brand (The Bay)

Many ladies out there are afraid to wear animal prints, especially if it’s anything other than a blouse. Animal blouses are quite prevalent for women in the business community. Animal printed skirts or pants on the other hand, are not so common.  We have been trained for most of our professional careers to wear solid coloured bottoms. This may be because solid black, navy and grey are associated with professionalism. Cheetah or leopard print, not so much. These patterns may cause Peggy Bundy or those ladies from the Real Housewives to come to mind. Not the most professional associations.

In order to look more business woman and less cougar, follow these three simple rules.
       Ensure that your skirt or pants are not too tight.
       Wear a loose fitting blouse on top, tucked in ALWAYS.
       Pair animal printed bottoms with solid colours on top. Bright colours are encouraged if the animal print is black, brown or grey.

Blouse - Dex Clothing (The Bay); Skirt - Bay; Tights - Unknown Brand (Purchased in Budapest); Shoes - Nine West; Bag - London Fog (Winners); Lips - Rebel by MAC

I'm sure I don't have to remind any of you that showing cleavage is a huge no no at work.  Its unprofessional and distracting for both male and female colleagues.

 What I do want to point out is how great a collared blouse can look buttoned up all the way.  Many of us work at offices where business casual is acceptable; ties aren't required and shirts don't have to be buttoned up to the collar. But just because its not mandatory doesn't mean you should never do it! Pair a button down blouse with a cute pencil skirt and patterned tights and viola! you've created a great look that is professional, fashionable and also kind of sexy. You really don't have to show much skin to look and feel great at work. 

Blouse - Calvin Klein (The Bay); Skirt - French Connection; Boots - H&M; Tights - Unknown Brand (Winners)

Of course it is, you say! You'd be surprised however, how many people shy away from wearing it to the office. If you work downtown you start to notice that the most common colour combinations for work clothes are black, grey, beige and navy (boring!).  I have to admit that I also only recently started to incorporate all of these wonderful colours into my wardrobe thanks to the florescent fad that hit hard last spring and summer.

So what are my rules for wearing colour? I just have a few.

  • Wear a bright colour either just on top or just on the bottom...never both. There are some bright colours that go really well together but for the office you want to tone it down a little by sticking to just one.
  • The non coloured piece should be neutral - grey, black or beige.
  • Match your lipstick to your coloured item. Pink, coral and red are my favourites!
  • Lastly, be confident! Wear that colour like you own it! 

Blouse - Jacob; Skirt - Max Studio (Winners); Boots - Locale; Tights - Unknown Brand

I see this happening all over downtown - woman wearing pencil skirts and knee high boots with bare legs. Trust me, adding that one small detail can make a huge difference in how professional you look.  I was trying to think of where knee high boots and bare legs would be appropriate and the only place that popped into my head was in a Vegas nightclub...on a go-go dancer.

I'm not implying that you should NEVER have bare legs when wearing skirts to work. Bare legs are perfectly acceptable with a nice pair of pumps or peep toes in the summer. There's just something about bare legs and knee high boots in the winter that screams street walker.

And you don't always have to opt for black tights. There are so many different colours these days that are more than acceptable for work. Stick to more neutral colours like grey, beige and burgundy for the office.

                                      Preppy In Polka Dots

I got bored of wearing solid coloured pencil skirts to work so snatched up this one as soon as I saw it went on sale! 

I used to be afraid of wearing anything too out of the ordinary to work but since I started reading fashion blogs and browsing Pinterest on a daily basis, I find that I am more attracted to the items that are not considered your typical office attire. I did initially have to get over the fact that co-workers would give me the once over if I came to work wearing something loud or different, though. I think as long as your skirt isn't too short or blouse isn't see-through, anything is fair game for work, unless you have a strict dress code of course. Stick to wearing one 'out of the norm' piece and pair with a classic item. 

                       Simple Sweater Dress

Sweater dresses come in many different colours, patterns, textures and lengths. One thing that they do have in common is how simple they are to style for the office.

All you have to do is this...

-Add tights (I prefer super opaque ones).
-Add a skinny belt.
-Add a blazer.

Easy right? Its a good idea to save your sweater dresses for those blah mornings when you don't feel like putting much effort into your outfit. You'll be comfortable and warm all day AND you'll still look professional!

Dress - DKNY; Blazer - Bryans (old); Tights - The Bay; Pumps - Nine West; Wristlet - Coach; Skinny belt - Unknown;  Key necklace - Gift; Watch - Bulova; Bracelets - Pandora and gift; Ring - Unknown

                             Varius outfit

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