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Monthly Archives: September 2014

fall fashion trends 2015


By | Trends | No Comments

Whether you’re in the northern or southern hemisphere, fashion designers always have something exciting for you each season. Everything old is made new again by clever reinterpretations and exciting fabric advances.   From style mavens and sartorial risk takers to the ever day gal, there’s something for everyone to get inspired by and to experiment with in the coming season’s array of textures, prints, colors, and silhouettes.

Rules are constantly being broken or bent in this industry. No longer are pastels and florals exclusive for spring. Gone are the days of sneakers being the errand day shoe. Even Birkenstocks are making a storied comeback. As we lay out the trends for you for each season, take it all in and let the visual beauty wash all over you. Mix the fall with the spring, or the spring with the fall. Let your inner fashion icon voice lead you to the right trend for the right season or the right occasion.

Pastel Parade

The soft and delicate hues of powder blue, blush pink, and light lavender of fall 2014-15 fashion trends used to be reserved just for the arrival for spring. But this year the Fall 2014 Fashion Week runways were filled with delectable pastel confections from designers who successfully introduced these sherbet shades into our fall color repertoire. Pastel colored coats are especially in demand. This girly color palette seems to be gaining more ground, and expanding its hold in the industry as different silhouettes, like sweaters and outerwear come out in pastel incarnations. This trend is a truly welcome one, giving our eyes respite from the typical dark and moody color story that accompanies the shift from spring to fall.

fall 2014/15 trends_ Proud in Pastels

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 Mad for Mod

Block heeled knee-high boots akin to those infamous go-go boots of the 60′s went down the runway one after the other. Models in micro mini skirts, and models clad in shift dresses worn with tights signaled the second coming of mod fashion. Gucci can be credited as the harbinger of this 60′s fashion redux. From the footwear down to the Twiggy-inspired lashes, 60′s vintage fashion is the look of the moment. When it comes to the fall 2014-15 fashion trends it’s a mod, mod world out there, and you best be getting yourself acquainted with this historic decade in fashion. You can count on droves of the world’s most fashionable women getting with this 60′s trend since it is very wearable. Trapeze dresses, Mary Janes, pastels, and baby doll dresses are some items that’ll help your wardrobe get updated with this trend.

fall 2014/15 trends_Mod Squad reborn

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Sportswear Supreme

The ubiquitous athletic trend and proclivity for sportswear show no signs of stopping or slowing down this fall. Sporty silhouettes, details, and fabrications continue to dominate the sartorial scene with tailored joggers, high fashion sweatshirts and sneakers, and the newly minted chic status of the parka and anorak, are all at the forefront of this trend. Joggers have been particularly enjoying a new-found popularity among fashion lovers as both a comfy and chic item that can add nonchalance to even the most formal and conservative of closet items. Wearing joggers is the quickest and surest way to achieve that elusive off-duty chic look. Sneakers also continue its reign as the footwear of choice this season. From dresses to blazers, sneakers are being spotted adding some street appeal to any look.

fall 2014/15 trends_Lux Sportswear

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The Sweater the Better

It goes without saying that fall 2014-15 fashion trends equals knits. This season however, knits have taken on a decidedly edgier stance with oversized silhouettes, mock and/or turtlenecks, as well as streamlined knits taking center stage. Cozy cable knits and Fair Isle sweaters have exhausted their style potential, and now designers have set their sights on a more fashion forward and a little bit avant-garde take on the fall knit sweater turning it into an invaluable statement piece for the season. Whether you sport the 90′s inspired mock turtleneck, the hot commodity that is the blanket knit coat, or the Euro chic over-sized turtleneck, this season’s knits are your instant ticket to looking like a street style renegade.

fall 2014/15 trends_ SwaetersSource:   Image 1,   Image 2,   Image 3,   Image 4,   Image 5.

Tomboy Cool  

Menswear-inspired footwear always lends an unmistakable air of downtown sensibility and forward thinking style sense to any look it is paired with. Oxfords, specifically, are slated to be one of the must-haves for this fall. It is a quite versatile shoe silhouette allowing it to be worn with different types of clothes, and is appropriate whether you find yourself at work, school, date night, or even somewhere more formal. The gravitas and seriousness of this shoe is a great contrast to dressier pieces like fit and flare skirts, and looks equally fashionable when you play up its menswear inspiration via an ultra tailored ensemble.

fall 2014/15 trends_ Tomboy Cool

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Tartan Army

This historical check print from the Scottish Highlands is a classic that has been made more contemporary for fall. Perfect to layer with your favorite coats or to pair with opaque tights, tartan is a print that isn’t difficult to integrate into existing pieces in your closet. Try it with distressed denim and ankle boots for a cool downtown look, or with a black leather skirt and pointed toe pumps for a different take on a girls’ night out look. Whether you’re using tartan as the focal point of your outfit or joining it in with stripes or graphics for print-on-print action, tartan will easily translate into chic everyday ensembles, and look equal parts sophisticated and trendy.

 fall 2014/15 trends_Tartan Source:   Image 1,   Image 2,   Image 3,   Image 5,   Image 6



spring fashion trends 2015


By | Trends | 2 Comments

Whether you’re in the northern or southern hemisphere, fashion designers always have something exciting for you each season. Everything old is made new again with this year’s spring 2014/15 trends through clever style reinterpretations and exciting fabric advances.   From style mavens and sartorial risk takers to the ever day gal, there’s something for everyone to get inspired by and to experiment with in the coming season’s array of textures, prints, colors, and silhouettes.

Rules are constantly being broken or bent in this industry. No longer are pastels and florals exclusive for spring. Gone are the days of sneakers being the errand day shoe. Even Birkenstocks are making a storied comeback. As we lay out the trends for you for each season, take it all in and let the visual beauty wash all over you. Mix the fall with the spring, or the spring with the fall. Let your inner fashion icon voice lead you to the right trend for the right season or the right occasion.

The Inbetweeners

Culottes can be succinctly and accurately described as neither shorts nor pants. This wonderful hybrid of wide leg trousers and capri pants offer the most elusive and hard-to-find quality in fashion trends—the perfect mix of comfort and style. These wide legged trousers that end at the knee swing like skirts but give the ease of movement of pants; that’s pretty much the best of both worlds. Available in more tailored fabrications in exciting prints and even in materials like leather; culottes are not a solid part of a chic woman’s fashion lexicon. Make it part of yours too by investing in this piece and pairing it with simpler items in order to let the beautiful volume of the culottes stand out.

Wear-ability Score:  7/10.  

  • Age appropriate for women from 16 to at least 60. 
  • Add high heels if you wish to appear taller and/or slimmer.

Spring Trend 2014_15_Culottes

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Feminine Tailoring

The shirtdress is this year’s comeback kid for spring. The menswear tailoring of the shirtdress and its inherent preppy vibe is given an update this season with details like contrast color collars, ladylike ruffles, and some embellishment even. Although the shirtdress has undergone chic reinventions, its undeniable ease of comfort makes it a no-brainer for those times when a day to night ensemble is required. The breeziness and flowing silhouette of the bottom of this dress is balanced by the impeccably crisp tailoring at the top. The versatility of the shirtdress is what makes it such a great piece to invest in; it can take you from the office to drinks with the girls in no time. Wear it with sensible pumps and a satchel at work, then with espadrille wedges and a canvas tote for the weekend.

Wear-ability Score:  10/10. 

  • Perfect for women of all ages and weights.  
  • For ladies around 50 years of age, your best styles are understated classics in shape.  
  • Add high heels if you wish to appear taller and/or slimmer.  This is more important if the style is A-line.

Spring Trend 2014_15_Shirtdresses

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Sandal Du Jour

Love them or hate them, Birkenstocks are here to stay. This year’s breakout fashion trend, these ultra comfortable yet undeniably chic everyday flats are the answer to any woman’s prayers. The typically reviled 90s fashion has-been has indeed found a new calling, and it is to give fashion bloggers and editors a new footwear obsession. Spotted on the feet of sartorial experts and fashionistas of note, Birkenstocks’ stock has gone way up. It just gives an outfit a casual and rugged sophistication that no other pair of flats can rival at the moment. Wear it with boyfriend denim, short skirts or your staple striped dress, believe us when we say that Birkenstocks go with pretty much your entire spring/summer wardrobe.

Wear-ability Score:  6/10. 

  • While comfortable and practical Birenstocks are also (in my opinion) plain ugly, and add little to any outfit or overall appearance.  
  • Wear only with casual attire and don’t mistakenly think they fit into ‘business casual’
  • To see another bloggers feature on how to wear them click here.

Spring Trend 2014_15_Birkenstocks

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Optical White

Come spring and summer white always becomes, well, a white-hot trend. This time around, however, the trend is taken up a notch higher with all-white outfits taking on a more graphic look and a more sporty twist. Sharp angles and crisp lines dominate the white trend this season, and choosing to accent your head-to-toe blanc with athletic essentials only serves to prove your style cred even more. A sleek and classic white sneaker or a pair of dark incognito glasses is the perfect complement to your updated summer white look.

Wear-ability Score:  9/10. 

  • As a dress white is best for women under 70.  As a separate it can be worn by anyone. 
  • In most cases white garments are a one wear then wash item.
  • White is the colour of summer, it’s fresh, crisp and very appealing but only remains so if it is carefully washed.  How to wash white.  
  • Avoid teaming with white shoes, bags or accessories; instead break up the look with a punchy colour, black or nude shoe.

Spring Trend 2014_15_White

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Cut and Cropped

Prepare your midriffs for battle since the crop top is here to stay. Don’t be intimidated by this trend, it is actually more wearable than one might think. The key here is fit and styling. Always find a crop top that suits your bust line and complements your waist. If you’re of a fuller figure, it’s best to balance out your full hips by pairing your crop top with the full skirt. If you’re more of a waifish figure, you can opt for tapered trousers to pair with your crop top. Don’t forget that you can dress up your crop top too by simply wearing an appropriate topper over it like a blazer or a bomber jacket.

Wear-ability Score:  5/10. 

  • Requires a washboard abdomen if being worn with waist or lower garments.  
  • Higher waistband and less skimpy crop tops are more forgiving.  
  • Alternatively, add a garment under the crop top. How to Wear Crop Tops.

Spring Trend 2014_15_Crop Tops

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How to wear a crop top


My Cup of Tea

Tea-length skirts (lengths from just under the knee to just above the ankle) are spring’s skirt length of the season. Demure, and prim and proper, tea length dresses and skirts have been modernized with micro pleating, gilded materials, and bolder prints and colors. This length is versatile and timeless and not at all a bad idea to consider investing in this spring. It can certainly go from work to play, and from day to night without a hitch. This spring tea length skirts and dresses, especially ones with fuller silhouettes, also give off a very dramatic look that one might need to get out of a style rut. 

Wear-ability Score:  9/10. 

  • Age appropriate for women up to at least 60. 
  • Add high heels if you wish to appear taller and/or slimmer.
  • Opt for subtle to moderately wide A lines  if you wish to appear taller and/or slimmer. 
  • Select style that end just under the knee if you feel a little on the short side.
  • Avoid (or rehem) hems that end at the fullest part of your half – you’ll look best when the length ends at a point where you calf slopes in or out.
  • If the skirt is a bold pattern or colour, balanced it with a less bold top. 
  • If the  shirt is very full, keep the top fitted.

Spring Trend 2014_15_Tea Length

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glam up your jeans


By | How To..., Wardrobe Savvy | 8 Comments

Look in any closet and you’ll sure to find at least one pair of jeans. From their history as work wear for goal miners history, jeans have evolved into a multi-billion dollar fashion enterprise and a legitimate and ubiquitous fashion movement. The durability and timelessness of jeans has been proven time and time again. However, denim die-hards know that jeans can go far beyond casual wear. With my 12 ways to glam up your jeans you’ll find all it takes is a few simple styling moves to upgrade your jeans from casual, daytime garb into something far more glamorous and exciting.

#1: Sparkle and Shine

Sequins give more than just a touch of glitz to your jeans; they add a huge dose of it. The simple addition of shimmer and gleam via a sequined blazer or even a full on sequined top can immediately up style even the most casual pair of jeans. Careful not to overdo the glitter, and let your sequined number be front and center. Keep the rest of your look simple, meaning avoid any chunky jewelry or overly ostentatious footwear.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #1

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#2: Height is Might

You know what they say, the higher the heel, the closer to style perfection. Okay, so that was a bit of a paraphrase but you get the gist. There is nothing like a sky-high pair of heels to instantly sexify and glam up any type of denim look. Whether it’s classic stilettos or this season’s hottest shoe trend, high heels are always up to the job of making your look snap, crackle, and pop.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #2Sources:  Image 1,   Image 2,   Image 3

#3: Leopard Lounge

Nothing excites quite like leopard print when it comes to how to glam-up blue jeans.  It’s a modern classic that has the power to radically change the vibe of whatever you’re wearing. The natural allure of leopard print is so impactful that just by simply adding a leopard print garment or significant accessory with your jeans, your look will be elevated from girl-next-door to sharp downtown chick in 5 seconds flat.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #3Source:  Image1,   Image 2,   Image 3

#4: Cozy Luxury

Lush fabrics and contemporary design are what made the luxury sweater a must-have this season. This trend has gained such a strong following in the industry due to its tomboy chic meets athletic inspiration. The addition of opulent materials and futuristic aesthetics has further elevated this already hot trend. Opt for a relaxed fit soft sweater or a boxy neoprene sweater, instead of your usual casual T-shirt, for a denim look that is up-to-the-minute with the latest and freshest street style. Switching up your tee for a luxe sweater also gives your denims a lift from the ordinary into the realm of progressive fashion.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #4

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#5: Structural Chic

When dressing up a pair of blue jeans, consider the structure of the pieces it will be combined with. A structured, crisply tailored jacket will make a world of a difference in making your blue jeans look more polished and formal. Slouchy cardigans or kimonos simply won’t do as its silhouette is too freewheeling; a boxy tweed jacket or one with strong shoulders is the way to go when improving a casual denim look.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans  #5

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#6: Make a Statement

A statement necklace that loudly proclaims your personality is one of the fastest ways you can add a hint of glamour to your jeans. Investing in a memorable and unique piece of bling that expresses your individual style vividly is a fashion asset worth spending major bucks on. Statement jewelry doesn’t just work wonders with glamorizing simple denim looks; it will have the same effect on the other more basic pieces in your wardrobe.

Another way to make a statement is with a burst of color; nothing beats it at creating head-turning pizzazz.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #6Source:   Image 1,   Image 2,   Image 3 

#7: Scarf Savvy

Scarves are an underutilized fashion accessory. Fashion veterans know the power of the scarf and they employ that when styling their denim looks. A colorfully printed vintage-inspired scarf easily takes your denim look from errand day uniform to jet setting worthy threads. There is something very European chic about a scarf tied around the neck, and it is the effortless introduction of a spiffy scarf to the outfit that lets people know of your advanced style smarts.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #7Source:  Image 1,   Image 2,   Image 3.

#8: Faux Fur is Forever

Faux fur is a no-brainer styling option when it comes to glamming up a pair of jeans. Fur is a material that has been long associated with pomp and circumstance, and with high fashion. A faux fur vest or a faux fur coat changes your denim look on the spot, and transforms it into an ensemble worthy of the best-dressed list.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #8Source:   Image 1,   Image 2,   Image 3

#9: Textured Topper

Texture, whether it is in the form of an exotic print, sensuous lace, or a boxy crop top, is an offbeat way to insert a bit fashion magic into your jeans. Colors are not the only way to dress up a denim look, texture is just as important as well. Texture exudes a more opulent and tactile feel to your getup, giving your denim a sensory appeal and rich feeling.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #9Source:   Image 1,   Image 2,   Image 3.

#10: Blaze the Trail

Blazers are a menswear staple that does an incredible job of creating flattering proportions and giving any women’s wear denim look a sense of refinement. Wear either an over-sized blazer or a fitted one to make basic blue jeans look a tad smarter and more pulled together. Select a bright colored blazer if you’re feeling more adventurous, or you can select a blazer done in a neutral palette but with an unconventional shape.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #10Source:   Image 1,   Image 2,   Image 3.

#11: Coated in Style

Coats are a godsend come fall when it comes to gussying up denim. Even the most casual of tees can look formal and glamorous when a luscious camel coat is layered on top of it. A classic trench coat is recommended for style rookies wanting to try this fashion tip out. If you’re a risk taker or if you consider yourself an advanced student of styling, you can try your hand at layering multiple coats or you can try rocking a pea coat in a saturated hue.

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #11Source:   Image 1,   Image 2,   Image 3.

#12: Walk Tall

Leave your ballet flats at home and rock your denim fearlessly in boots. Basic black leather knee-highs are always a safe and fashionable option. But if you’re wanting or needing some style refresh, choose a quilted leather boot or even a colored one. 

How to Glam-up Blue Jeans #12Source:   Image 1


Want more on how to glam-up blue jeans?  Click here

appearance important or not


By | Personal Style, Psychology, Work Style | 9 Comments

Every day each of us unconsciously decide who and what we bring into our lives; from products we buy to the individuals we chose to be our friends, or do business with. We make rapid gut decisions based on the visual clues we observe, which we then associate with known stereotypes and assume are a reflection of the inner qualities we believe them to reflect. Based on our decisions we either engage or ignore. 

In theory we know that there is a great deal more to a person than what meets the eye, but like a website, unless we can quickly gain someone’s attention by providing a visual experience that is similar to what they are looking for, or at the very least find engaging, we will be quickly ignored and passed over. Through the power of the visual media and a fast moving often unsafe world this is how we have become conditioned and it’s not going to change anytime soon. If we can’t attract attention by having a pleasing appearance then we will not be granted any additional time so they can get to know us better.

Apart from the effect our appearance has on others, we too are affected.  At least several times a day we see our reflection, and every time we do we are affected by what we see.  If we are pleased we tend to walk taller, smile more often, act more confidently and be more friendly.  When we dislike what we see we tend to shrink both into ourselves and away from others.

Is Your Appearance Really That Important?

So, the answer to the question, is appearance really that important? is an absolute YES.  Appearance is the make or break factor that opens doors, minds and opportunities.

But is it all that matters? Absolutely not, there’s a lot more to cultivating a great image than our appearance BUT, appearance is a vital part in achieving whatever success you are seeking as it is the one thing that most often opens the door.  


From the Playground to the Boardroom 

Look in any workplace or examine any social group and you’ll find that some stand apart as the leaders. They are the ones the others look to as the main voice; when they speak they are listened to and when they act everyone generally follows.

But what is it that set them apart?  

It’s certainly not just a pleasing or impressive appearance, we’ve all met well-dressed pains in the …..!  It’s a combination of several areas of image all working congruently together. 

The Circle of Success. 

Some years ago I developed ‘The Circle of Success; as an image management concept that would assist my clients to understand and work on various aspects of their image that needed improvement. This concept works for any person, living any lifestyle, who wishes to gain success in any endeavor.   

As you’ll see inner image is central and of most importance to you ability to manage the areas in the outer ring.  The areas in the outer ring are all affected by each other and each needs to be reasonably managed to ensure a excellent long term image.  

Total Image Management

Inner Image: the heart of the matter

This is the sum and substance of who you are, it is the real ‘you’ that others can’t see and it is the bedrock on which every act of your life is played out. It comprises of qualities such as your: self esteem, confidence, honesty, ethics, integrity, motivation and ability. Which have been formed as a result of your gender, experiences, opportunities, cultural and social background, education, spiritual foundation, values, goals and personality.  These elements combine to determine your outlook, attitudes, motivation and actions.  They determine what and how you think, and how you’ll behave and react in every situation.  They form your reality and govern what you want and expect out of life, and they set the limitations from which you live and behave.

The health and quality of inner image is central to a person’s ultimate success.  Anyone can be groomed to walk into a room and make a smashing initial impression, but it is the substance behind the performance that will ultimately sustain the impression. Any component of inner image that is lacking or in need of attention i.e. poor self esteem, low confidence, a damaging attitude, or a debilitating experience has the power to diminish or override any positives in the other four image areas and should be attended to as your first step.

Action Point: Could there be an inner image area holding you back?  If there is seek help to overcome it; it may be difficult at first to do, but once overcome it will improve your future.

Assumed Image: meeting expectations

This is what others know and/or expect of a person and it encompasses appearance, behavior and perceived ability. It’s knowing how to turn up to an event or meeting and as soon as those present see you they are put at ease.   It’s important that we meet the assumed expectations of those we socialize or work with and once a person is known, their assumed image becomes their reputation.

Reputation often precedes a person, either smoothing the way or impeding their path with avalanches of misconceived ideas and prejudices. Reputation is one of the most valuable commodities a person owns and it needs to be carefully created, maintained and zealously protected.  Think about those in your close circle of friends; there is likely to be one you know can’t be trusted to keep a secret, one who always turns up late, one who always has a better story than everyone else, one who is always there when you are in need and one you know can be always be relied on.  They have gained their reputation over time and it can be very hard (though not impossible) to change.  In short, your reputation has the power to open doors or keep them sealed.  

Action Point: Take the time to think about your reputation.  Could you be the one who’s always late or can’t be relied on?  It only takes a moment to make the decision to change and if you keep to the change you will change how you are thought of.

Visual Image: you are what you wear

The saying goes, ‘Seeing is Believing’. Therefore this area is most powerful when meeting someone for the first time. Research has shown that visual presentation (dress, grooming, facial expressions and posture) accounts for more than half of the impression made on others. When a person dresses and acts in the manner expected of a successful person, it will usually be assumed that they possess the talent, personality and characteristics that accompany the image. If they present a poor first impression, they may find themselves struggling to reclaim lost ground.  

When meeting any person or group for the first time it’s a smart move to dress in manner that will give you the greatest chance of being recognized as someone who possesses qualities that will fit-in and be an assets if included.

Action Point: Take a little time to think about how you visually present yourself.  PretaStyler is the perfect program if you need some help discovering what clothes work best for your figure. To learn about what clothing, make-up or hair colors suit you best visit an image consultant.    

Experienced Image: do unto others

This is the behavioral aspect of a person consisting of courtesy, respect, communication and people skills along with body language. If you can impress others with your interpersonal skills you’ll have a high chance of initiating positive and lasting relationships. It is always wise to strive to leave those you meet with a positive experience of you.  This includes: turning up on time, having a friendly, respectful and inclusive personality, a willingness to participate for the good of the group as well as delivering on what you say you’ll do, and being flexible and open to the ideas of all. 

Action Point: An image consultant can also assist you with your experience image.  A great book on the subject is Put Your Best Foot Forward by Jo-Ellan Dimitrius  (Author), Mark Mazzarella 

Proven Image: congruent and consistent

This is the final image area and is comprised of the tangible results of all the other areas as proven over time. As an example, you may have hired someone to speak to your group because you heard that they were entertaining, informative and an excellent speaker (Assumed Image/Reputation), on the night they looked great (Visual image) and behaved fine but did not provide the expected experience (Experienced image).  That in turn damaged their reputation as you spoke to others about your disappointment (Proven Image). 

To have a strong image you need to consistently live up to the expectation of others and the promises you have made.

Action Point: Think about your total image – do you live up to what people expect from you or do you too often disappoint. Everyday is a new day and a new opportunity to start afresh.  It may take some time for your image to change but if your consistent and persistent it will change.  As the saying goes. ‘it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen‘.

I hope now you can answer the question, is appearance really that important? And can see how anyone can create an image that will impress yourself and those around you if you employ an image management strategy.

dress code fashion

WHAT TO WEAR FOR ANY OCCASION – how to understand dress codes

By | How To..., What to Wear | One Comment

Have you ever turned up for an event only to discover you were inappropriately dressed?  It’s embarrassing and instantly puts you at a visual and emotional disadvantage. 

Most occasions whether social or professional have an expected code of dress; some are written while others are implied. A dress code ensures the event lives up to the formality desired by the host and allows all attendees to be on a somewhat equal visual footing.  In addition, adhering to a dress code is a form of etiquette that shows respect to the host and assists everyone feels at ease with each other. 

Some stated dress codes i.e. formal and smart casual can be easily researched while working out what to wear to an occasion where the dress code has not been stated requires a little sleuth work and consideration.  

No matter what the dress code it can be applied with without losing sight of your own personal style. Whether it be a wedding, funeral, dinner party, gala event, Sunday brunch, public presentation, job interview, disciplinary review, or even a court appearance, choosing the right look for each is important in order to promote yourself in the best possible light, and to allow others to feel comfortable in our presence.  

Next time you’re faced with the ‘What do I wear to that’ quandary, ask yourself the following:

What is the occasion?

Is it a social, serious or sad occasion? Is it a formal or informal affair?

The occasion, will in most cases will determine the type of dress that will be expected of you. Any occasion associated with business requires a more conservative, buttoned-up manner of dressing. A business dinner and an intimate dinner for two are completely different occasions and should be treated as such. While for the latter it might be desirable to wear something a little revealing, it will be entirely inappropriate and is certain to be misconstrued in a business setting. In a worst case scenario it may be viewed as trying to gain the wrong kind of attention or to distract through sexual means.

Where and when will it be held?shutterstock_1810817601

The location and time will also have a bearing on the clothes you wear. If you are going to a restaurant renowned for its haute cuisine and high level of service, your dress will be expected to be in keeping with the image of the establishment. Local cafes and less expensive restaurants do not require the same level of formality.

The time will also give you a clue as to both the level of dress and the need to respond to the weather conditions like putting on a cardigan or wrap to keep out late night or early morning chill. Evening dining also tends to call for more dressy attire than most daytime dining.

Who will be there?

The entire group attending has to be considered. What is the economic background of those who will attend? What profession or type of work are they engaged in? What is the general age and gender of the group, and what relationship (if any) do they have to each other? Will there be anyone present who you are already acquainted with? If you will be trying to impress people, are they likely to be allies, neutral onlookers/participants, or will they be possible competitors? And if you dress or act in a particular way, are they likely to become confused, annoyed or amused? The more that you know about any group the better equipped you will be to dress and act in exactly the right manner.

Why am I going and what do I want to achieve?

Do you want/need to meet someone that you know will be attending? Will the encounter be used toward building a business relationship or personal one? Do you want to impress those present with your social savvy, knowledge, personality or position, or are you going just to been seen as having attended? The reason behind the intended meeting/gathering and the reason why you are attending will together dictate the type and way in which you will select the clothes for the occasion.

How will I reach this goal?

Your clothes send silent signals to everyone you meet all the time. Hence, if you are there to market yourself you will need to determine the target of your influence and dress in a way that will impress them. Would you have to wear the latest fashion, high quality clothes and accessories, laid back informal clothes, medium to inexpensive clothes, suits, dresses or separates? Often it’s helpful to dress in a manner similar to those whom you are trying to impress or meet. This tactic will remove one possible barrier of ‘difference,’ and can visually invite rapport. Ultimately for every situation one word can be used to sum up everything you do and wear, and that word is ‘Appropriate.’ Dress and present yourself in an appropriate manner and doors will opened to you and opportunities will be made available to you. Dress shabbily and inappropriate and you run the risk of being avoided, ostracized, or even ignored entirely.

Seek Advice

When in doubt, consult with the host or hostess of the event. If you are still confused on the dress code, seek out other attendees and ask what they are wearing so you can gauge your manner of dressing against theirs. 

Each Moring

A Job InterviewInterview

First impressions count therefore your aim is to look capable, credible, confident, and in-sync with the organization’s image. Always dress in a suit even if the job may later afford you the luxury of casual wear.

  • A tailored classic-cut matching skirt or pant suit in a neutral color is your best bet for serious professions such as law and finance. Mismatched suits are fine for many other interviews.
  • A contrasting colored top or blouse in a good quality fabric.
  • Good quality, neutral or blended hosiery in 10-20 denier. Carry a spare pair for unexpected runs.
  • Closed toe, medium heeled pump – well polished and in good repair.
  • Understated medium size classic style earrings and only one other on garment, non-essential accessory. For example, a scarf or brooch.
  • A classic handbag, tote or briefcase.
  • Current, light, flattering make-up.
  • Well-styled clean hair in a style that sits above the shoulders.
  • A smile to highlight your confidence and likeability.




Giving A PresentationPresentation

All eyes will be on you so the aim will be to dress in such a way as to exude confidence, command attention, and generate inspiration.

  • Wear color to be visually as well as verbally interesting.
  • Create contrast either between your top/blouse and jacket or your jacket and a significant accessory e.g., a scarf. A medium to light colored jacket or suit worn with a dark top or scarf has an exciting visual impact.
  • Cover your upper arms to raise the level of professionalism and formality.
  • Skirt or pants suits are often better than dresses as they allow for a microphone to be attached to the waistband.
  • If you will be on a stage or podium never wear a skirt shorter than just above the knee as the audience may be able to see up your skirt.
  • Quality shoes with a medium to medium-high heel.
  • Apply your make-up applied slightly heavier than normal if you are likely to be lit by a spotlight.





  A Dinner Party

Dinner Party

The level of dress depends on the style of invitation; word of mouth invitations indicate a relaxed level dress while those issued by written invitation expect
dressy attire. The more formal or expensive the stationery the more formal the dress expected. Business related dinners call for more formality of dress than those held with close or intimate friends. Curb any tendency to expose a lot of skin.

  • The classic little black dress worn with dressy accessories.
  • A colourful fashionably long or short dress.
  • A pair of grey or black pants with a beaded top or twin set.
  • Dressy jewellery.
  • Strappy and/or high heel shoes that are patent, fabric or beaded.
  • Evening make-up.
  • Small dressy purse.
  • Bare legs (if they look good) or sheer high quality hosiery.






A Funeral

At funerals you are there to show Funeralyour respect to the departed and share your condolences with the family. Modesty and propriety is the guiding rule.

  • Clothes in subdued colors or black.
  • Non-revealing classic garments in conservative lengths.
  • Waterproof make-up.
  • Understated accessories.
  • Classic shoes, polished and in good repair. Do not wear your high heel or fancy shoes if the funeral is to be held at the grave-site as you may find yourself stepping in dirt or mud.
  • A handkerchief
  • Dark glasses if you wish to hide your eyes. However, remove them when inside.