Last weekend at a roundtable over lunch, five smart, single, powerful, working women were discussing the truisms of style, or lack thereof, women, and corporate culture in the workplace. One fact that still remains, some women just don’t have a clue on what to wear. Seeking help, finding television, they touted the show “What Not to Wear” featuring Stacy London and Clinton Kelly ambushing unsuspecting “fashion victims” nominated by friends and family as a start. But according to these women, the outfits were deemed inappropriate and as department heads, they had to be the one to do the calling out, subjecting the victims to the nearest Zara for a shopping spree.
They uniformly wished an alarm would sound off the minute said victim entered the premises with a loud ring, so they didn’t have top play fashion police, something I can totally appreciate. I then offered a suggestion. “Why don’t you, in the words of Diana Vreeland…leave the snarky remarks and the whispering office politics to yourself, and consider hiring a style consultant to come in and give a talk on what not wear instead of watching it on a tv series that is ending its run after 10 years”? Suddenly, the alarm went off, a cue to leave the dirty work to the masters. But before they spent their well-earned bank accounts on some good solid advice, I chimed in with a few resourceful tips.
Tip #1. Start with an investment piece.
I realize that summer is short and the season for wearing white only in July and August in our near future. Come September, you can always throw on black booties and a leather jacket over your shoulder. I endorse these timeless investment pieces, white t-shirts, ripped jeans, and blazers as basics that every woman should own. Don’t have them? Buy them.
Tip #2. Know Your Body. Most everybody can wear the little white dress, they are not only reserved for those in the under 5’2″ club. And if you just can’t manage it, wear the maxi dress as a great alternative. You can try your luck with different silhouettes, but start with the grass-roots. They are easy, no-fuss, fling on and walk out the door pieces.
Tip #3. Add accessories. Be bold and take a dip into an orange fedora. Just for summer. Or a stack of your favorite bracelets. Add as a pop to those summer whites.
Tip #4. Be Yourself. Take stock of who you are and communicating that non-verbally to the rest of the world. That’s an incredibly empowering formula. Just watch those short shorts. You don’t want those glass doors shutting on you for the final time.
Photos: Lydia Hudgens