Actually, I can dance. :) But I digress. :)
I work, therefore I am. Ha, kidding. But, I do work, but it doesn’t define who I am. This blog defines who I am. Ha…kidding again, but it does make me laugh. As do my jokes. Not sure what defines me, but in terms of “work” I am lucky to love what I do and love the people I do it with. And I do love the fact that I can get dressed up for work. Not while working out of the house obviously, but when meeting with clients, hotels, colleagues or going to meetings. This article, from Levo, hits the nail on the head regarding 8 items you must have in your wardrobe. And, since I am nothing if not consistent and love lots and lots of pictures in my blog, I found lots of pictures to use as examples. While this article was Fantastic…it didn’t have nearly enough pictures, so I have righted that wrong!
8 Items you Must have in Your Work Wardrobe
According to The Wall Street Journal, the old-fashioned power suit look for professional women is actually dead. Women can now wear soft colors (even pink!), beading, prints, patterns and have feminine tailoring (peplum is all the rage right now)—all of which were once considered taboo in the workplace for women (let’s say a suit is a given for anyone whose dress code is business professional). We also worked hard to find items that come in a variety of prices.
1. The black blazer
Navy works too. A blazer can take an outfit from a 1 to a 100. It just automatically adds a layer of professionalism whether it be with white pants, jeans, or even shorts. Every woman, no matter where she works, needs one of these (Jennifer Aniston regularly sports one).
2. The pencil skirt
Though we here at Levo tend to focus beyond the pencil skirt, we do recognize that it is an essential item and has been for a very long time. Fashion blogger Sarah Scoop wrote,“Every career-woman must have a pencil skirt in their wardrobe. This classic statement piece is versatile and can transform almost any outfit into business attire. The first color every woman should purchase is black. As you all know, black is virtually the easiest color to wear. It matches with almost anything and gives your silhouette a sleek look. By wearing black on bottom, you open up many opportunities on top.”
3. Black heels
Or as my colleague and office fashionista Kathryn Worsham says, “a great pair of pumps.” I am not going to lie. I think my legs look a lot better in a pair of heels and it does give me a different type of confidence than when I wear flats. I feel like I can stomp down a runway or dance like Beyonce in my heels. There is an immeasurable sense of power that high heels emote.
But in addition to looking great, heels can literally help your career. Career coach Marty Nemko wrote about shoe obsession disorder being a major benefit. He said women buy conversation-starting shoes which can be a great ice breaker for networking, as long as they aren’t too weird. If they cost a lot you can talk about that, and if they didn’t cost a lot you can talk about that. New research suggests that people can correctly judge 90 percent of a stranger’s personality just by looking at their shoes. “Shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers,” according to a research paper titled “Shoes as a Source of First Impressions.” “Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as nonverbal cues with symbolic messages. People tend to pay attention to the shoes they and others wear.”
4. A statement necklace
Now, a statement necklace can work in a variety of ways. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big, blingy, costume-jewelry-type necklace that is actually a statement piece (but that does work if it is tasteful). It could just be a strand of pearls. Of course, a pearl necklace is very expensive. But you can get some really great quality fake pearls. After all, pearls were Margaret Thatcher’s secret weapon.
5. A great bag
The statement bag is an essential power item. Now, it would be nice if we could all afford the Louis Vuitton speedy or a Birkin bag, but that is not the most practical starter career bag. But there are plenty of beautiful bags that cost less than an arm and a leg. You want to go for something big enough that it can carry what you need for work. When I say what you need for work, I mean papers and your computer, or iPad and maybe one pair of shoes—not what you need in case a meteor hits and you have to camp out for a week.
Black leather is always a great way to go, or brown or gray. Black and brown, though, can sustain a lot more dirt. Brands like Coach, J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Kate Spade should be considered.
6. Power flats
So we just talked about how great heels were, but we think a pair of “power flats” can also make a bold statement. The “flat is making a play for power,” wrote Christina Brinkley. Flats can be considered a more modern alternative to heels. They represent the fact that women are constantly busy, constantly on the move, running from the boardroom to daycare, and they cannot afford to be slowed down by a stilleto. “We have these lives that are complex and busy,” Brooke Jaffe, fashion director of women’s accessories at Bloomingdale’s told The WSJ. “We walk all day. And there’s an expectation that you’ll look polished.”
7. A crisp white blouse
Again, a blouse can be great with a suit but it can also stand alone beautifully. It’s clean, sharp and you can pair it with almost anything.
8. One item that makes you feel powerful
As the great Cher Horowitz once said in Clueless, “Lucy! Where’s my white collarless shirt from Fred Segal!?!! It’s my most capable looking outfit!”
We are all going to have different items of clothing that make us feel powerful. For some it may be a hot pink blazer, for others it could be a navy blue suit or a cashmere cardigan. “[Women] have edged out their standing in the world. Today, they don’t have to wear a suit jacket to prove their authority,” Giorgio Armani recently said. Wear what makes you feel powerful.
Song of the Day: Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. I mean, words to live by!
Oh don’t you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me.
I said your holding back,
She said shut up and dance with me!
This woman is my destiny
She said oh oh oh
Shut up and dance with me
Speaking of dressing up, had fabulous birthday lunch celebrating one of my life long best friends, Lora. The restaurant helped start things off right, by sending over a glass of champagne. Best. Lunch. Ever!
Have a Great week!