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Easy and Stylish Work Outfits

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It’s not always easy getting dressed for work, especially since dress codes are starting to trend more towards casual than professional. You used to wake up, put on a suit or dress (and stockings of course!), and head out the door.

Now, it’s much more complicated.

What does business casual mean? How can I wear jeans without looking sloppy?

The answers to these questions aren’t simple and can’t be contained in just one blog post. However, I hope to provide you some ideas and insight that will make your morning ‘getting ready for work’ routine a little bit better.

Ps. All outfit pictures are from pinterest and can be found here.

Keeping your work wardrobe to just neutral colors with one or two signature colors makes dressing easy AND it looks sophisticated. I call that a win-win.

You can never go wrong with a button down blouse and a pair of pants. Tuck in the shirt and add a belt for a professional look.

Tip #1: Know your dress code. Every company has their own dress code. If you don’t know the dress code for your workplace, ask your Human Resources professional. This will help provide a clear yes and no to what you can and can’t wear.

Jackets make everything look more polished- and are a must on jean Fridays (they balance out the informality of jeans and still keep you looking like the pro you are).

Tip #2: Know what looks good on your body shape. If you are a pear shape (have wider hips/booty and a smaller bust/shoulder area) then you will tend to look better in darker bottoms. Knowing what flatters your body shape will help make shopping and putting outfits together easier. Find out your body shape and how to dress for it here.

Invest in a few dresses that are flattering and professional. I have found that Calvin Klein (available at most department stores) dresses look great on most body shapes. They are also easy to wear with heels (if you want to dress things up) or flats (for a more casual look).

Tip #3: I get dressed in under 3 minutes every day. How? I have a special formula I use that is now second nature to me. By mentally going through the formula when I get ready, I don’t have to think twice about what I’m doing (which is good, because there’s only so much thinking I’m capable of that early in the morning!) Keep scrolling to get the free webinar and start saving time in the mornings.

What’s the hardest part about picking out work outfits for you? Comment below and I’ll write a blog post about it!

Cheers,

Leslie

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Easy Halloween Costumes for Women

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinI love Halloween, but to be honest, I’m not always great about planning out my costume in advance. Most of the time, I don’t even really know what I’m doing until the day of Halloween or associated party.

 

So, in honor of all you other ladies that procrastinate your costumes as I do, I’m presenting you with 5 easy Halloween costume ideas that you can make from clothes already in your closet.

 

And in case you don’t own some of these items, I’ll give you options below the pictures. Who says Halloween can’t be an excuse to buy new clothes?

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link, I may get a small payout with no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

 

1. Goldilocks

Goldilocks Halloween costume

 

This costume is great looking and made from classic pieces- like a white shirt and colorful dress. Chances are, you have both in your closet. 

 

Quick hint: Bear costumes are easy to make! Simply get a brown hoodie and attach paper construction ears to the hood. 

2. Airline Attendants/Pilots

Easy flight attendant or pilot costume for women

 

After I drew this picture, I realized that this outfit could fit for both a flight attendant or a pilot. You can use any color suit or scarf you want; every airline has their own colors. Need a cute idea for a spouse or child? Try dressing them up like peanuts, coke, birds, clouds, or an airplane. 

 

Once again, this costume is made from really classic pieces! If you’re struggling to know what basics you need in your wardrobe, this makes it super easy.  

3. Farmer

 

Halloween outfits for women

 

One of my favorite parts about the farmer outfit is that it is little kid- thus school- friendly making it a great option for teachers. If you are a teacher to small ones, you’ll love this style e-book; it contains a full wardrobe and 12 weeks of workday outfit ideas!

 

This would be particularly cute if you had a bunch of kids dressed up as farm animals. The cow kid costume above is made from a white t-shirt and black construction paper dots. A headband with construction paper ears tops off the outfit. 

 

 

4 & 5. Mime & Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn)

 

Mime (left). Maybe it’s the francophile in me, but I’m a total sucker for the mime costume. The makeup is also super easy: cover your face in white powder (baby powder works) and then use black eyeliner to draw a triangle under each eye. Done! 

 

Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (right). Such an easy and classic look! Don a black boatneck dress (or skirt and top), add pearls, big sunglasses, and a topknot and you’re ready. 

 

Did you know?: Both of these are great outfits for pear-shaped women. Click here to get more pear outfit ideas. 

 

Mime:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Audrey Hepburn):

Have a great Halloween!

 

Cheers, 

Leslie 

 

Ps. If you love everything Fall, you need this. 

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What to wear to work in the summer

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinAh, summertime.

 

Love it or hate it, you still have to go to work and look like a decent human being no matter how hot and/or humid is it outside.

 

Although I am definitely in the #lovesummerhateeverthingelse camp with Leandra Medine, I realize that looking professional in the hot hot heat isn’t always the easiest accomplishment. That’s why I’ve decided to come up with a couple simple steps to getting dressed for work in the summer.

 

 

summer work 2

 

Step 1: Choose the right fabrics

Did you know that some fabrics can make you hotter than others? It’s true! Here’s a breakdown of what materials you should be wearing (and which you shouldn’t)

 

WEAR THIS:
  • Cotton, bamboo, and linen natural fibers. Natural fibers are ‘breathable’ meaning that they let air pass easily through them. The more air passing through the fibers, the more your body is cooled down (not to mention all the hot air isn’t stuck right next to your body). BONUS: they also dry fairly well.
  • Performance fabrics. These are specific fabrics that are designed to wick (aka: pull) water away from your skin and transfer it through the fabric letting it evaporate into the air. Think: your fabric yoga outfit. The tricky part is to make what is essentially work out clothes work appropriate (no fear though, I’ll show you some examples below!)

 

NOT THAT:
  • Wool. Wool’s specialty is trapping body heat which is why it’s so effective at keeping you warm in the winter. Even if you are opting for a summer sweater, be sure to choose cotton.
  • Anything plastic (that isn’t a performance fabric). Plastic fabrics are the worst in hot weather. Not only do they allow NO air flow, but they also take forever to dry out…meaning that you’ll sweat a lot and everyone will know. I use the term ‘plastic’ to describe these fabrics because they are literally made out of plastic (fun fact!). The most popular plastic fabrics are: polyester, acetate, and nylon. (IMPORTANT! Technically, performance fabrics are made from some of these same materials. The difference is that PF have been specially modified for athletes. A button down shirt from your local department store made from polyester IS NOT a performance fabric).

 

Step 2: Work around your classic wardrobe

Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you have to neglect your entire wardrobe. The first step to putting together a great summer work outfit is to have the right basics. (Not sure what the basics are? Click here to learn more about the 20 basics every woman needs in her closet.)

Once you have the right basics, you can build off of them for summer. Here’s an easy formula to doing just that:

1. Start with a skirt or pants (or tailored shorts if your work allows)

2. Add an undershirt (this soaks up most of the sweat, if you’re a sweater)

3. Choose a blouse that is sleeveless or short sleeve (you can stop here if you aren’t required to cover your shoulders)

4. If your dress code requires you to cover your shoulders, wear a light cardigan instead of a blazer

5. Top with fun accessories. Since you aren’t wearing as many layers, use accessories to make your outfits more interesting.

 

Keep reading to see outfit ideas using this formula!summer work 1

 

Step 3: Know the tricks of the trade

 

When you live in a hot place, you develop ways to work around the heat (and still look professional).

 

Here are my favorite tips:

 

1. Wear an undershirt.

I know I already said this, but it really does work! There’s a relatively new company that makes ‘sweat proof’ undershirts. I have never tried them, so I can’t vouch for whether they work, but if you have tried NUMI, leave a comment below and let us know!

 

2. Keep things as loose as possible.

A-lines skirts > pencil skirts. Swing dress > sheath dress. Loose blouse > fitted blouse. I think you get the idea. The more air flow you have, the better things will be. To achieve a more tailored and less bohemian look, tuck in shirts, belt tops and dresses, and add fitted clothing once you get to the office. See picture below.

image

3. Layers are just as important in the summer as the winter.

With the summer heat also comes severe air conditioning abuse. Keeping several blazers or cardigans at work allow you to still look professional without the need to walk across the city in a suit jacket.

 

4. Get your hair and makeup to play along.

Wearing your hair in a nicely coifed up do not only looks professional, but it keeps it off the back of your (hot) neck. As for makeup, you need some sort of setting spray or powder. Seriously. If you don’t, your makeup will take an unfortunate pilgrimage down your face as the day goes on.

 

Need some outfit inspo? Check out these ideas:

workoutfits1

(Can you tell which items are actually activewear? I’ll give you a hint: both dresses and two shirts are made from performance fabrics)

 

What do you love to wear in the summer when it gets hot? Tell me below in the comments!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

 

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How Your Weekend Clothes May Be Hurting Your Career

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinIt’s a Sunday afternoon and you are strolling through the grocery store focused on remembering which cereal your 8 year old wants (this week) when all of sudden you turn a corner and spot your boss. You immediately look for a place to hide. It’s not that you don’t want to talk about work (which you don’t) but rather that you don’t want to run into the person who pays you to be a professional, while wearing a ratty t-shirt and sweatpants. It’s a Sunday, and you aren’t at work, but you still don’t want to leave that image in their mind.

Sound familiar?

weekend clothing and your career

As awkward as this situation is, especially when you are recognized despite your avid attempts to hide behind the first product available (great. now your boss also thinks you are incredibly interested in the children’s game on the back of the Fruit Loops box), at least you recognize something very important- It matters what you wear outside work.

It’s not fair, but it is true: you are constantly being observed, and judged.

You don’t want your boss to see you because they (hopefully) have a professional image of you that you’d rather not have shattered. They know it’s the weekend, but that doesn’t keep them from thinking, ‘wow, Leslie sure looked rough the other day.’ Most of us want to look somewhat respectable in front of our employers, and we realize that not doing so could potentially hurt our careers. This especially true if you work in a professional services based field. (Think about it- would you want a lawyer from your firm walking around Walmart in an offensive t-shirt? Probably not.)

What we don’t often realize, though, is that sartorially slacking off could hurt our careers- even if the boss is no where in sight.

Nobody understands better than someone working in a client driven field that customers are everywhere. Whether you are a realtor, sales representative, or entrepreneur, future clients are everywhere that we are. I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve been able to tell about my consulting services while hanging out at the dog park, in line at the grocery store, or even in the gym locker room. It is, after all, the logical thing to talk about after that first oh so typical ‘so, what do you do?’ question. As an image consultant I have to be very particular about how I look most of the time (it’s very difficult to make someone believe you are an image consulting professional while you are wearing gross paint covered workout clothes while taking the dog on a walk. Trust me, I’ve tried.) And, I would argue that if you are in a field that offers professional services, that you should too. All it takes is one pulled together outfit for the conversation to move from “oh, that’s an interesting job” to “oh, how fascinating. I could really use your services with my business”. Your appearance can produce strong psychological effects like that. Embrace it.

Side Note- This also works the other way around: if you’re the boss. Employees who see their supervisor looking rough or inappropriate (think mini dress at a bar) are likely to let those observations affect their opinions of you.

If you aren’t in a professional service job, don’t think I’m going to let you off the hook scotch free. Your appearance matters too. Instead of running into potential clients, everyday you are running into potential employees and employers. No job is safe (sorry) and there’s no guarantee that you will be gainfully employed in six months or searching for something bigger and better. Every time your appearance makes others think something of you that is not in line with your personal brand- you run the risk or hurting your career. The last thing you want is to realize that the person you were chatting it up with at the dog park is actually the perfect person to help you get your dream job a few months down the road (when all they can remember was ‘she didn’t strike me as being very pulled together’).

So, am I encouraging you to wear a suit every time you go to CVS? Of course not. That’s just stupid. What I am saying, however, is to figure out how you want to be perceived (ie: your personal brand) and then follow the 90/10 rule. 90% of the time, look the way you want to be perceived. 10% of the time, life happens. I would lie if I said I’ve never been in the grocery store at 2am in pajamas buying all the Pepto-Bismol I can get my hands on (while googling if it’s safe for the animals too).

Say you want to be perceived as a professional who is organized and good at time management. You can still dress casual while portraying these characteristics. Simply make sure your clothes are ironed before going into (and thus coming out) of your closet and that your garments are clean and fit well.
Here’s a good example of someone (who wants to be seen as a professional) dressing casually:

And here’s a bad example:

Okay, that’s probably a little extreme for a bad example, but you get the point. Avoid sloppy and aim for clothes that actually fit. My secret is to have a go-to outfit ready any time I need to leave the house in a hurry. This is generally a nice pair of jeans (I like J.Crew) and a pressed oxford button down paired with cute flats. If I don’t have an ironed shirt, I have several semi-fitted lightweight sweaters that also work well.

Looking like you care, no matter where you are headed will make a difference. I promise! The more consistent you keep your personal brand (including what you’re wearing!!) the stronger your brand (and as a result, your networks, your career, your sphere of influence) will become.

Happy Dressing,

Leslie

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