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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dressing for Success: Image and Attire in the Workplace

In a previous post, I mentioned a talk that I gave a few years ago to a group of interns in my office.  I also gave a similar talk to a group of undergraduate design students.  The message is intended for those who are trying to dress appropriately for a corporate setting, but some of the points can be used in any environment.  The information is pretty timeless and I just thought I'd share...

Dressing for Success: Image and Attire in the Workplace

With the current state of the job market, the ability to best present yourself in the workplace is more critical than ever. You must use a variety of tactics to ensure you differentiate yourself from the competition in a positive way, to either land the job you’re seeking, or raise visibility in your current role.
As much as we'd like to think otherwise, it's human nature to make instant judgments about people based on their appearance.  You can be capable, intelligent, and knowledgeable, but if your attire and image portray something else, you may potentially miss out on valuable opportunities.

Clothing, image, and style help solidify your brand and convey a message.  So what is the message you’re trying to send?  Regardless of whether your company’s dress code is conservative, business casual or non-existent, it will benefit you to create a look that conveys professionalism and competency.

If you don’t know where to begin, “The 4 D’s of Dressing for Success will provide you with the basics for polishing and perfecting your office look:
  1. Determining what is appropriate for your workplace
  2. Designing a flexible and functional wardrobe
  3. Do’s of workplace attire
  4. Don’ts of workplace attire

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Six Scents

There are certain things that help solidify a woman's sense of style.  They include how she wears her hair and makeup, her clothing, accessories, and her scent.  Some women go the route of having a signature scent, and others love variety and wear a multitude of fragrances.  I'm somewhere in the middle.  When I find a fragrance that I like, I usually wear it exclusively, until I'm tired of it or until I run out, making it my de facto signature fragrance - at least for a period of time, and then I move onto something else.

But there is a core group of fragrances that are in regular rotation, which I now refer to as The Six Scents.
 I recently received this as a gift. It's light and pretty and comes in such a beautiful bottle.  This is the newest of The Six Scents, but it has quickly become a go-to fragrance.

Coco Mademoiselle
Coco, how I love you so.  I started wearing this fragrance about 3 years ago.  I've smelled it on women in passing, but never knew what fragrance it was.  At a happy hour a few years ago, I smelled this exquisite fragrance on an acquaintance and inquired about the brand. I went out and bought the eau de toilette, and when I purchased it, the saleswoman at Nordstrom told me that I would graduate to the eau de parfum, and sure enough I did.  The eau de parfum is so much more potent. This is my favorite fragrance at the moment.

Gucci by Gucci
I smelled this for the first time in one of the fashion magazines that I read - probably In Style. This was another of those fragrances that I was immediately drawn to. I like fragrances that aren't overly sweet.  This has a musky, almost masculine scent to me.  I've gotten numerous compliments on this fragrance.

Flower Bomb
This was another fashion magazine find.  I smelled it and rushed out to get it.  I've been wearing this for a few years now.

Gucci Rush
I smelled this on a few of my girlfriends and fell in love with the fragrance. It has such a sultry and smoldering aroma, I copied.  But I'm careful not to wear it when I'm around them.

Gucci - Rush

I've been wearing Calyx for about 20 years.  A former colleague turned good friend used to wear this.  I loved her sense of style.  She was so well put-together and at the time, this was her signature fragrance. This scent is so clean and refreshing and has a citrusy aroma.  It's nice and light for the summer and brings back such good memories for me.

Over the years, I've also worn Gucci, Romance by Ralph Lauren, and Delices de Cartier.  I also recently smelled Candy by Prada, and put that on my mental list of "things to buy," but haven't purchased it yet.

Stay pretty and smell pretty!


Friday, January 10, 2014

How to AccessorEYES

When you think of accessorizing do items such as shoes, ties, handbags, and jewelry come to mind? Have you ever thought about using eyewear as an accessory?  I’ve been wearing glasses since grade school and I used to view them as an unstylish but necessary evil.  As far as I was concerned, my glasses were an obstacle that oppressed the inner fashionista trapped inside me.  However, in recent years, many stylish options have become available and I’ve begun using eyewear as a tool to enhance my personal brand. 

Eyeglasses can be stylish, smart, sophisticated, and sassy; and when selecting your next pair of frames, consider the variety of designs, colors, and shapes available.  To help you get the most out of your “quest for the perfect specs” I consulted with expert Steve Davis, owner of OmegaOptical, located in Philadelphia, PA. 

Steve has been in the optical industry for over 15 years and has amassed a tremendous amount of knowledge on stylish eyewear and proper eye care.  The Omega Optical team specializes in exceptional customer service and upon entering the boutique you will experience red carpet treatment.  By the time you leave, you’ll be able to put your best face forward.

Steve Says:
  1. When building your eyewear wardrobe, consider investing in several different styles.  You wouldn’t wear the same pair of shoes for every occasion, so why should you wear the same glasses every day?  Frames should suit your mood and attire.
  2. Don’t waste money on a lesser-quality unattractive pair of frames as your “backup.”  Treat your frames as if they are an investment – they should all be suitable to be worn in public.
  3. Even if you’re not “optically-challenged,” frames can allow you to update your image and have been used effectively by athletes, hip-hop stars, and corporate executives to portray a different side of themselves or project a more scholarly appearance.
  4. Although style is important, proper eye care is a MUST.  Get an annual eye examination to determine the health of your eyes and seek any necessary treatment.  Some eye conditions are symptomatic of underlying health issues, such as hypertension or diabetes.
  5. If your prescription changes, simply use your existing frames and replace your lenses only.
To help prepare you for your visit to Omega Optical, the following tips will give you a starting point when making your selections:
  • Select frames where your eyes are positioned in the middle of the lens.
  • Your frames should balance out and complement the structure of your face and be of the opposite shape.  For example, if you have a round face, select frames with straight lines and angles such as a rectangular or square shape.  
  • For an oblong face, select frames with enough height to balance your face.
  • For a square or angular face, select shapes that will soften your look, such as rounded or oval frames.
  • Oval faces can be enhanced with a variety of shapes, including rounded, rectangular, and cat eye shapes.
These are general rules, but there are always exceptions, so incorporate your personal style into the selection of your frames.  Consider using colors, embellishments, and unique details to really elevate your look.

Visit Omega Optical for all your eye care needs to experience their first-class approach to customer service.  Omega Optical is a full-service optical facility with locations in the Comcast Center and the Cheltenham Mall.  Visit for more information.



Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Long and Short of It

I wear a lot of sleeveless dresses.  Some of the fabrics are suitable to wear all year round, so I wear long sleeve tees under the dresses to help stretch my wardrobe when the weather is cooler. But depending on the cut of the dress, the tees can sometimes show through the bottom of the dress, creating a line similar to the dreaded "visible panty line."

I've taken advantage of the recent resurgence of the "crop top."  Now believe me, I am waaaaay past the days of wearing a top that bares my midriff - for a myriad of reasons; however, I realized that if I wear the cropped tees UNDER my tank dresses, I'll still get the coverage of the long sleeves, but the benefit of the short top, so the line doesn't show through the bottom of my dress.

I bought several cropped tees from Express a month or two ago when they were on clearance, but they have all types of styles at Nasty Gal, Forever 21, Lulus, and pretty much anywhere they sell "trendy" clothing.

Here's an example of the type of dress I'm referring to. I'd probably wear a charcoal or black under the dress.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shoe Love

I don't think it's much of a secret, but I LOVE SHOES!  Shoes have the ability to transform an outfit and really provide some insight into your personality.  Now I certainly don't have the most extensive collection of shoes - or even the most expensive shoes, but my always growing and evolving shoetique has served me well over the years.

I was recently searching for a gift for a fellow shoe lover and stumbled across this website, Shoewares, which sells unique gifts for us shoe fanatics.

I purchased one of these mugs and packaged it really nicely with one of my t-shirts...Oh, I didn't mention that I design women's t-shirts, did I?  Check out Belle Femme Tees.  Or visit shop Belle Femme Tees to purchase a shirt.

 Here's the shirt, but I gave the recipient the white version of this design.

Of course I purchased a mug for myself addition to the following candles...
 I love the idea of Shoewares...wish I had thought of it first!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Eve 2013

My sister and brother-in-law threw a Masquerade New Year's Eve bash and I was excited for the opportunity to dress up.

I wore a skirt that I purchased from Talbot's a few years ago.  I wore it earlier in the year, but was anxious to remix it.  I absolutely LOVE the blouse, which  is from Fox's in New York.  They have really cute and unique designer pieces at a fraction of their original costs. The belt is from The Limited, and I got it about 4 years ago.  The shoes are from Nine West.

I also absolutely LOVE my earrings.  You can't see all the details, but they're rhinestone earrings by "ABS by Allen Schwartz" and I was fortunate enough to snatch them up during one of the Neiman Marcus flash sales a while back.