Friday, October 18, 2013

Fashion Friday: Business Casual Shirt Dress

Today is Friday and the students are on Fall Break.  I decided to go "casual Friday" today and wear a comfy shirt dress that I got on sale from The Loft this week.  This dress inspired my Fashion Friday post today.  I tried on three different shirt dresses before I decided on the one I bought.  Shirt dresses are everywhere right now and they are so comfortable and versatile.  I came up with three ways to style a shirt dress business casual:

Here are the three dresses I tried on from The Loft:

I ended buying the grey dress.  It is so soft and comfortable that I couldn't resist.  It actually looks like a darker grey in real life.  I have it on with tights and brown riding boots for a casual Friday look.

Have you tried a shirt dress this season?

Friday, October 11, 2013

6 Ways to Style a Suit - Not just for interviews

A lot of  college students worry about the return on investment when they purchase an interview suit.  They see a suit as something you only where for interviews or corporate jobs and don't foresee that they will wear a suit often enough to warrant investing in one.  I, of course, beg to differ.  A suit is most definitely an investment piece and an absolute for interviewing.  Even if you don't enter an industry or career field where suits are normal dress code, it is always great to have a suit to turn to for important meetings and business functions.  I rarely wear a suit to work, but I would always wear one to an interview or important presentation.  Let's face it, if a suit helps you land a job then it is definitely worth the investment.

I wanted to share some ideas on how you can work a suit into your everyday wardrobe and not save it up for interviews or formal business functions only.  I mix and match my suit into a variety of style options to get full use out of the pieces.  That way you feel like you are getting a lot of wardrobe options out of your suit and makes it worth the money.

Let's start with a basic charcoal grey suit:

Now, look what you can do with it:

Here's a closer look:

1.  Corporate:  This is a traditional and conservative way to style your suit.  This is how you would style your suit for interviews and corporate jobs.  Notice the minimal jewelry, sleek and stylish bag and the pantyhose.  Many corporate jobs still require you to wear hose and they are considered a standard for interviewing.

2.  Creative:  This is how you would style a professional business suit in a more creative setting.  This takes away the "stuffiness" of a business suit and allows you to add your own personal touch to your look.  Notice the bright colors, fun shoes and bold jewelry.  This would be more appropriate and expected in a creative work setting.

3.  Business Casual:  The emphasis is on business, not casual.  Here you model business professional but in a slightly more relaxed way.  In this example, you could wear the suit skirt but not the jacket.  Combine it with some classy, yet professional, shoes and great accessories (a statement necklace and business tote).

4.  Smart Casual:  This is one step down from business casual.  With Smart Casual you are still polished and professional looking but leaning more towards casual.  You should always be business appropriate on the job.  Smart casual can include jeans, but jeans should always be trouser cut and dark wash.  (Skinny jeans with flats is too casual looking and skinny jeans with heels is too "night time" looking).  You would want to pair the jeans with a blouse or business appropriate top.  In this example  you could pair the suit jacket with a great pair of boot cut, dark wash jeans and some fun booties.  Here I added a pop of color with the cobalt blue bag.

5.  Club/Date Night:  You can even work your suit into your evening wear.  I love boyfriend jeans with strappy heels.  Here I paired the suit jacket with both of those and some funky jewelry and animal print wristlet.  That way you can have your phone and lip gloss handy but don't have to worry about keeping track of your purse.  Just stick it on your wrist and head out for the night.  This is great juxtaposition between business and casual.  The shirt and jeans are loose and casual but the jacket adds formality and structure.

6.  Campus:  You can even wear your suit skirt on campus to class, student organization meetings, meetings with faculty and other events.  Brown riding boots are a staple on college girls these days - here I paired the boots with the skirt suit and a cotton long-sleeved tee with a colorful plaid scarf and jean jacket.  It takes the typical "college girl" look but dresses it up just a little bit.

Suits don't have to be stuffy and boring.  One suggestion I have is to look for jackets with a more feminine cut rather than a boxy "man looking" blazer.  I blazer that is cut just right can be very slimming around the waist and very figure flattering.  I hope this gives you some ideas on how your don't need to look "cookie cutter" in a suit.  Have fun with them and mix and match for all kinds of occasions.

How do you wear a suit?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Infographic: 12 Tips on Staying Inspired

I was so inspired by the tips that I decided to share them on my blog.  I agree with every single one of these great tips.  Hope you are inspired too.

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