At this week’s monthly luncheon of New York City’s Cornell Club “Ladies Who Lunch” networking group, guests were treated to a feature presentation by Dianne Boras, Image Consultant most notably to corporate types and professional women. Dressed appropriately in a navy suit, tan pumps and sheer stockings, Ms. Boras had figured out “what to wear.” She was dressed as a fashion and image consultant to a group of professional women in the heart of midtown Manhattan at an Ivy League private club factory customized mink lashes.
LRsmn What was most informative about her presentation were not her PowerPoint slides showing us “what to wear”; we gained more insight viewing images of “what not to wear.” Key takeaways include the following:
1) Do not look particularly artsy unless you work in a creative profession. The 1960’s Flower Child look, while perfectly in place in the creative divisions at advertising agencies, art schools and Montessori classrooms, is not appropriate in a corporate setting. Ms. Boras relayed the story of one extremely competent employee who lost her job due to her unprofessional presentation. Dressing for a role in which you are not paid nor expected to perform is “what not to wear.”
2) Jackets that hit broad-hipped women right at the widest point on the hips is “what not to wear.” Remember self-described wide-hipped Hilary Clinton in her former pant suit days? Most of her jackets hit her at exactly the wrong place on her body. Accentuating your less favorable bodily traits is “what not to wear.”
3) Tank tops without a jacket or sweater to cover most of your flesh are absolute no-no’s and “what not to wear.” Please keep those pieces for your intimate home environments or when out in a purely social setting, advises Ms. Boras. Too much skin on a professional woman inside her office setting is “what not to wear.”
4) Ditto for any outfit that shows cleavage. The fashion trend of wearing blazer jackets without anything under them is not for woman desiring advancement, despite what sizzling media reports want us to think. The professional woman who lets others see too much of “the girls” is “what not to wear.”
5) Leggings underneath skirts, especially dark-colored ones, are not for the corporate type. They are, however, within reason for those women working in creative professions. Lacey stockings and fish nets can be made to look appropriate if the rest of the ensemble is more understated or if the wearer is not a Wall Street professional. Otherwise, edgy leg wear is “what not to factory customized mink lashes .”
6) Toe nails are to be kept under wrap at all times for the corporate gal; the creative professional can get away with an open-toed good-looking shoe. I was always advised, working as a finance professional, to allow no client to be exposed to my toes and my toe nails, regardless of how well-groomed. Exposed toes are generally considered to be in poor taste and “what not to wear.”
7) Skirts, pants, blouses or jackets that are at least one size too small are “what not to wear.” Ms. Boras noted that just because you might be a perfect size 12, sometimes a size 14 looks better on you. Panty lines, extra flesh under the bra line or above the waistline are not attractive in our youth-driven culture. Invest in a few good figure flattering undergarments so that your ensemble appears to be fitted well to your body type. Ill-fitting clothing is “what not to wear.”
8) Loud make-up that draws attention to your eyes, lips or skin in an overtly obnoxious way is “what not to wear.” Unless you are Lady Gaga, you are not permitted to wear gobs of blue eye shadow and extra-thick, dark false factory customized mink lashes to work in any kind of professional setting. Your make-up should be understated so that people look at your face and are interested in hearing what you might have to say; they do not want to be distracted by weird make-up applications and odd colorings. Outlandish make-up is “what not to wear.”
9) Mini-skirts on professional women are “what not to wear.” Let’s face it, ladies: the legs are the first thing to go. Keep that cellulite hidden from the light of day. Skirts riding higher than 6 inches above the knee are “what not to wear.”
10) Lastly, anything generally regarded as distasteful is “what not to wear.” While we all admit that fashion sense is a highly personal and subjective area, there is general consensus about appropriateness and weirdness. If you have any interest on remaining gainfully employed, please opt for appropriateness while at work. “Weirdness” in a business setting is almost always “what not to wear.”
In the end, allow yourself the joy that comes with the daily expression of your factory customized mink lashes personality, creativity and femininity. Do not shy away from developing your unique style and flair for fashion. As long as the look is appropriate, you, too, are likely to find yourself happily exhibiting “what to wear.” It’s the “what not to wear” category that will trip you up every time. And that is what this article attempts to prevent you from doing.
Carolina Fernandez works as a Registered Independent Advisor in Private Wealth Management. She holds the Series 7; Series 66 (63 and 65); Life, Accident and Health Insurance Licenses, including Long Term Care; and Alternative Investments and Guided Portfolio Management Certifications. The author of two books, ROCKET MOM! and Country French Kitchens, she is currently working on What Color is Your Handbag? A contributing writer for more than sixteen years, her articles have been syndicated by more than 60,000 unique online sites, blogs and newsletters. Her work has been quoted by Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Nickelodeon, NewsDay, BottomLine Personal and Advertising A factory customized mink lashes Cavuto.