Monthly Archives: September 2012
My obsession with handbags began about a year ago. It all started quite innocently enough. I stumbled upon a golden opportunity to trade my current job in for a better one. I was confident. I was ready. I was a about to ask someone to turn over the reins to a multi million dollar business to me and not even bat an eye. Then I looked down at my second-rate handbag and thought this could be a problem. The person you are interviewing with makes their first judgement about you before you even open your mouth, and its based solely on your outfit. This casual reflection had me wondering, what does my handbag say in an interview?
Handbags come in many brands, sizes, and colors and all of your handbag choices are a window into the inner you. First, you have to choose a size. If the bag is too large then the answer maybe that you are disorganized. If you need to leave the house with everything but the kitchen sink, there may be an issue. On the other hand, a small tidy handbag is supposed to say you have it all together. In my experience though, it usually means I just left it all at home. The amount of pockets a given purse has also tells a little bit about your personality. I am a little obsessive compulsive which means that I need every pocket imaginable. I need everything to have a place and everything to be in its place or I can’t function during the day. I do have a friend who is quite a free-spirit though, and her claim is that all those pockets make her nervous. The method of organization my friend prefers is to dump everything into her bag with no pockets and call it a day. To each their own I guess.
Next, it’s on to color. There are the classic choices of black and brown. Those colors are safe and versatile. These are great choices for an everyday bag. Black and brown can be a little boring however. I mean think about it, how often have you been walking along and stopped to admire someone’s brown handbag? I thought not. If you want to show a little pizzazz pick an unexpected color. My all-time favorite handbag is the tangerine Brahmin shoulder bag I carried this spring. It was loud and it was different and I loved it. So, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Throw caution to the wind and abandon all of those time held fashion beliefs like your shoes must match your purse. Go for the gusto and pick the color that speaks to you. I promise, you won’t regret it.
Finally, there is the question of brand. Which one do you choose? Some brands cover their bags with logos to make sure there is no doubt where that bag came from. Since there is no doubt where the bag came from, there is also no doubt what the owner paid for it. That statement brings an entirely different level of analysis into the mix. Then the handbag becomes a status symbol. It becomes about the fact that you could afford to spend that much money on a want versus a need. When people reach that point in their lives, you see a change in their personality. The purchase becomes the rush and each day a new chance to display their new toy.
So you may all be wondering by now about the outcome of said handbag adventure. I brought a simple black Brahmin handbag to the interview and walked away with the job. So, I guess what my handbag said about me was that I was trustworthy and capable. So, let’s have some fun. What I would like to know now is what type of handbag do you own and what do you think it says about you?
As if managing office politics is not enough now if we want to be considered quote unquote promoteable we also have to manage our office style. One of the trickiest aspects of that style to manage is Casual Friday. This is a day where we get to dress down for comfort but must still portray a stylish facade. Depending on the rules of your office Casual Friday typically means you are given a green light to don your jeans or khakis. There are still a few simple rules to follow to ensure that you do not cross the dreaded fashion line. When choosing jeans, go for a dark wash they are casual enough for Casual Friday but still professional enough to be seen in in an office setting. Choose jeans that have not tears or distress marks save those for when you kick it up with your girls. The office is no place for worn jeans. If you choose khakis for your Casual Friday look the key to pulling those off with style is for them to be pressed and crisp. In order to make sure that you are not too far to the casual side choose a top with a collar. A crisp dress shirt with a flat shoe makes a great Casual Friday combination. You can also choose a fitted blazer in a casual fabric as a creative alternative to the fitted dress shirt.
Casual Friday is a gift, so use it wisely. Play by the rules and rock it all the way to your next promotion.
A sure-fire way to gain entrance into the top-notch style club is to place your wardrobe dollars in the right category. By far the biggest investment that needs to be made in any wardrobe is in tops. These are the items that people remember the most, therefore it is important to have a wide variety of options.
A must have in every wardrobe is a go to dress shirt. It is important to find one that has a flawless fit for your body type. When selecting the dress shirt that will be the basis of your work wardrobe there are several factors to consider. First of all ensure that you choose the proper size in terms of small, medium, large, and extra-large. If the shirt is too tight then it can impact the overall impression you convey in an office setting and actually hold you back from promotion. If the shirt is too big then it actually looks sloppy and can give off the impression that you do not care. When trying on a dress shirt first look at the front where the buttons button. You should not have to struggle to button the buttons. Turn to the side in the mirror, if your button panel does not lay flat then you have on the wrong size. If the shirt is puckering, then the size is too small. If it has too much slack and wrinkles, the size is too big. Next, look at the sleeve length. Make sure that the edge of the sleeve brushes the wrist bone. If you find a shirt that fits through the bust but where the sleeves are too long, that is an easy fix. You actually have two options. You can turn the sleeve up and button from the inside which creates a french cuff. If that’s not a look you care to sport, then your local seamstress can adjust the buttons and sleeve length for minimal costs. Once you have identified the dress shirt that fits the best the time has come to think about color. Off course everyone needs a basic black and a crisp white, but what other colors are important? This would be the perfect opportunity to incorporate whatever the season’s hot color is. This season, that color is mustard. By paring a tailored dress shirt with jeans and boots for fall you exude classic style. You could also pair that with a black suit for the office and show your fashionable side to your peers.
Next, make sure your wardrobe contains at least on wrap-around top. These tops are universally flattering and provide an immediate point of interest to any outfit. Another essential piece is a great long-sleeved cotton tee. Pair a cotton tee with jeans and a great scarf for a casual day with the kids or an all day shopping trip with the girls. These are just a few options to get your fall wardrobe started off with a bang. Feel free to give a shout out to your favorite fall top.
Choosing the right accessories can make or break an outfit. The same way that you would not serve cake without icing we should not head out the door without the proper accessories. There are certain must have items that every wardrobe needs. We all need the right mix of belts jewelry and scarves. These items will take your outfit from drab to fab.
First and foremost an ample supply of jewelry in the right mix of metals is a necessity. It is important to have jewelry in gold, silver, black and brown. This basic mix of colors will match almost any outfit in your closet. Next, choose a few statement pieces in the hot color of the season. This will turn an otherwise bland outfit into this season’s showstopper. The vibrant green necklace and bracelet combination featured below draws compliments every time that I wear it. Variety is key when choosing accessories. This is the place to have fun and really let your personality shine. The investment is smaller, so if your choice only has an end of season expiration date, no harm no foul. If you are a bargain hunter you’re in luck. A great time to pick up accessories is at the end of the season, stores will be liquidating inventory to make room for the next season and you can really stock up. I once found an end of season sale where all the pieces were only five dollars. I hit the mother-load and left with an entire bag of jewelry for less than a hundred dollars.
The next trick to accessory shopping is to purchase belts in the right mix of size and color. When choosing belts the first thing to think about is color. Every wardrobe needs a belt in black, one in brown,and one in leopard. To get the most bang for your buck look for a belt with a reversible buckle. The belt I get the most wear out of is black on one side and has a leopard print on the other side. Next, think about size. Skinny belts are great to use when choosing outfits that contain layering. A skinny belt can add a pop of color as well as accent your waistline. This years hottest trend in the belt world is metallic. My must have picks in this category are from New York and Company. New York and Company has an entire line of skinny metallic belts for as low as $19.00.
The final item on your accessory shopping list is a collection of scarves. Adding style to your outfit with scarves is as simple as tying a bow. The easiest scarf to wear if you are a beginner is an infinity scarf. It comes already tied and all you need to do is slide it over your head. The next option is to choose a loose scarf looped around your neck tied with a single knot. When choosing scarves make sure you choose a mixture of solids and prints so that you have an option for any top.
Now, my favorite part. Here is a list of my must have accessories for fall. White House Black Market has amazing jewelry finds. There is a silver statement necklace for $68.00 that is to die for. My next big find there was silver crinkle scarf for $48.00. Looking for a little pop of color? H and M has an orange necklace, bracelet, and earring combination that screams fall. Finally, Ralph Lauren has reversible belts in black, brown, and chocolate for $58.00. These are just a few of the many options out there that make your outfit memorable. Feel free to give a shout out to your favorite fall accessories.
My fashion forward blog is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this piece. Find all the pieces mentioned in this post on the pinterest board titled my fashion forward blog.