Monday, June 7, 2010

Great Summer Outfits...

Glamour Magazine and Yahoo are presenting 20 'cute summer work outfits.' This is a great idea, and about half of the outfits really are good for summer in the office. HOWEVER, the problem lies in the other half...

Only wear short skirts, low cut tops, snug or sexy outfits if you don't actually want either a promotion, or to be taken seriously. Many studies show that women whose work clothes say "sexy" more than they say "consumate professional" are less likely to be promoted or to earn as much as their more sedately dressed counterparts.
Rumpled clothes, or a top and skirt that are too casual, or don't really go together, are fine for a day out with the kids, but not good choices for the office. One of the most important things to consider is the fit of your clothes.  Most people cannot just walk into a store, even a high-end one, and wear something straight off the rack with no alterations.  Worse, while men expect to have their suits altered, this concept is not a part of women's shopping expectations.  Add to that the fact that the vast majority of women do not even know what constitutes a proper fit.....  Lots of bad looks that could have been gorgeous, if only the garments had fit!
Consider colors carefully.  Remember that whole thing some years ago about 'finding your season' and wearing those colors.  While the concept may be a trifle déclassé these days, it is still pretty good advice.  Not every color works for every person.  Bland neutrals tend to wash most people out, and downplays your good features.  Look for colors that really enhance your looks.  Solid black is too harsh, aging, and funereal for most people. (frum women, take note! and remember you have a halachic obligation to look attractive to your spouse, and not to cause a chilul Hashem because everyone is commenting on how frumpy you look!)

I have seen a lot of fashion Don'ts already this summer, and some very bland things, but very little that is fabulous or even worthy of comment.  Boost your look, and let the compliments flow.
If you need some advice putting together cute outfits that actually work for YOU, please ask about our wardrobe consultation services.  Or just come by for an explanation of what works and what doesn't from the Glamour magazine picks.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Still hot at 40....

For all women who worry or even just wonder about the common idea that women get less attractive as they get older, and men are attracted to the hotter, younger, girls....

Overheard in the supermarket line, 2 guys in their late 20s, frat boy types, discussing Jennifer Anniston..

"Man, she must have a great publicist, she's always on the cover of, like, every magazine." I know, every week!" "But it's ok, 'cause she's so hot!" "She's a total fox. But she's like, old, by now, she must be what, 40?" "Yeah, but you know, I think she's way hotter now than she was when she was first on that show, what was it, Seinfield?" "Friends. Yeah, she's way more of a babe now. Plus you can tell she really knows herself and what she wants, she's got more confidence." "Yeah, chicks like that are so hot."

The vocabulary may be a trifle redundant, but at least the conversation was surprisingly deep, for guys we always assume to be so shallow.

So while you may be 'old' by 40, at least you're still hot as long as you have self-confidence and poise!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Career/Office Attire

I recently spoke at a job-training seminar about appropriate clothing to wear in the workplace. To summarize for those of you not lucky enough to attend :> (Tips apply for people working in offices or going on interviews anywhere.) ....

Men are easy - good quality, well-fitting dark suits (black, navy, or grey, or tiny pin-striped versions of those colors), crisp, clean, pressed shirts (white or colors) with all buttons present, matching, and fastened, and a silk tie in complementary colors. If you aren't sure what well-fitting means, ask a tailor or... a sales clerk in a posh men's store (even if that isn't where you bought your suit).
Silk ties are a must. Polyester or rayon is NOT a substitute!
Remember, it is worth investing in a good-quality dark suit an tie. Sure it's more expensive than the cheap stuff, but it looks better, lasts longer, and can be worn on interviews, at work, to weddings or funerals, on dates, and really for just about anything.  So save up if you have to, but invest in that good suit.  With some careful selection, you can pick a suit that will be relatively impervious to fashion trends and will look good year after year.

Next up, women's wear!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stop the Body Talk!

As I wrote recently, worrying about your figure may be something we are socially conditioned to do, but a terrible trap to fall in to. The important thing is being HEALTHY, not being "thin". Here is another article that agrees, but gives you some easy ways to start getting there. What are you going to do to change the toxic environment of self-hating and start loving your healthy body?;_ylt=Ah63t7GPD7EMgeh1TaGG7gtrbqU5

Don't look at others - models, celebrities, etc, because admiring how great they look is just begging your subconscious to compare them to you and find fault with you.  Remember that models and others whose bodies are held up as "the ideal" have 3 things you don't: 1) Time - Maintaining that look is a full-time job for them.  You have other things to do with your life and time - a different job, hobbies, a family. 2) Genetics - Only 2-5% of American women have the genetics that would allow for that kind of figure.  3) An unhealthy body and/or image.  The entertainment industry is NOTORIOUS for tearing women's self-esteem down constantly.  Every aspiring model is taught that the most important trait to have to succeed is a thick skin.  They aren't allowed to eat, they must maintain a very unhealthy body fat percentage which can make them infertile and susceptible to a wide variety of diseases.  People with such low body fat percentages also tend to die younger, and have a large amount of physical breakdown (joint and spine deterioration especially).

Talk to your doctor to find out what a healthy body fat percentage is for you, what YOUR ideal should look like - not some ridiculously unachievable goal that magazine covers urge you to covet.

Dress to feel fabulous.  If you go around in sweats all the time, it says you've given up, you hate your body, and you don't care who knows it.  No matter what your size, shape, and weight, you can dress well and look gorgeous.  Come in for a complementary consultation and let's find the most beautiful you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why women worry about their looks - and what they SHOULD worry about:

Women are socially conditioned from childhood to be concerned with their physical appearance. In addition to the much-publicized effects of being surrounded by relatively uniform, and very unrealistic, images of "beauty" in magazine, ads, movies, etc, women get praised or criticized by others for our looks. Comments like "You look so hot!" "Wow, your hair is gorgeous!" "You're looking so slim, have you lost weight?" feed into this as much as "Have you put on weight? You shouldn't eat that cookie, dear. Men don't like fat girls." and other negative comments do. This barrage of (often well-meaning) comments often comes from parents, partners, and friends, and therefore carries more emotional weight. Since people, and especially women, are biologically programmed to fit in, to want to be admired/appreciated/liked/loved, to please others, we are very vulnerable to all these messages. This audio soundtrack, combined with the constant visual reinforcement, and the emotional issues, make for some very heavy subconscious weapons pounding us with the ideas that there is one definition of beauty, that cellulite is disgustingly unsightly, that any tiny imperfections to face or form should be fixed immediately (and obsessed over in the meantime).

Once you are aware of where the pressure comes from, and all the components it has (including lessons from childhood about how your looks matter), it is easier to recognize it, and to try consciously to distance yourself from it. For better or worse, we are all judged - male and female - on initial impressions and appearance. But there is a difference in presenting a nice appearance - groomed, neatly and attractively dressed (which is fully and easily in your control) - and obsessing about those dimples on your thighs, the slope of your nose, whether your eyes are evenly spaced or the shape of your breasts (all of which you have very little control over).

When someone compliments you on your appearance, it is still a compliment and you don't need to slap them for it, but instead of feeling pressured to always look impossibly plastic-ly pretty, realize the compliment is saying, "I appreciate the respect you show for your self and others when you make an effort to be put-together."

Don't obsess over what you can't control, keep your focus on what is important - a healthy body and mind - and what you can do to achieve or maintain that.