Archive | May 2013

When Work is Beyond 5 O’Clock: Part 2

Going to events after work in the name of business involves more thought when it comes to dressing the part.  Now if the invitation has the word “casual” in it here are some of the variations and their interpretation.  Bottom line you will want to make sure that your clothing is clean, pressed, coordinated and accessorized.  If jeans are in the picture go with those that are tailored with a dark wash.  Further, when it comes to events that are for your work sexy attire or fashion extremes are not appropriate.

  • Dressy Casual: Usually means a sport coat and trousers for men and tailored separates for women.
  • Resort Casual: Includes Hawaiian or leisure shirts worn out and trousers, or a sport coat and trousers for men, and breezy tops and pants or day dresses for women.
  • Smart Casual: Usually means a sport coat for men and tailored separates for women.

The most important tip to remember regarding any event is to put your best foot forward with a clothing ensemble that is in good condition, coordinated and accessorized for impact.  Here are some additional tips for dressing for work when it’s after five and beyond:

  • When the event is black tie, men will need to rent a tux or wear a dark (black or navy) suit and tie.  Some creativity is permitted in the cummerbund and tie if your corporate culture is less restrictive.  However, with the tux black hosiery and black shoes are a must.
  • For black tie events, women might look to wearing a short, three quarter or long dress or gown in silk, chiffon, crepe, taffeta, or organza (keep the velvet for the cooler months of October through January).  This is a truly dressed up event so look your best and accessorize with appropriate shoes such as strapped evening sandals in metallic and ultra sheer hosiery.  Include dramatic jewelry and a clutch.    Showing up in a lounge suit is not an option.  Although tempting avoid showing off too much cleavage and too much thigh.
  • If attending a professional conference or trade show, the attire you wear for work would be appropriate for this event. This is where you network and/or meet potential clients or employers. If making a presentation consider wearing a jacket to distinguish yourself.   If the conference is in San Diego, Maui or St. Thomas, Hawaiian shirts are in order for most of the time there; however, bring a blazer and dress shirts for conference banquets. If you’re in the advertising industry or similar creative fields wearing a shirt out with a jacket and good slacks are fine for a banquet.  For women consider slacks and a fitted shirt or mid calf skirts and tops.  Consider a simple dress with a shawl or try a matching tunic top and bottom with interesting jewelry for evening banquets.
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If Work is Beyond 5 O’Clock: Part 1

 

Sometimes “work” crosses over into after five with events involving clients, employees or potential customers.  So what should you wear when representing your company doing charity work as many corporations now do? Anytime that the event involves your company whether for charity work, a convention or conference, a special event or the employee party, your appearance is just as important.  Not only are you driving home the company’s image but yours as well.

            Many people feel that the company party or picnic is a time to reveal themselves.  Not quite.  Yes, it’s a time to relax and mingle with co-workers but it’s not a time to get plastered and tell a few things to your boss!  So when it comes to dress it’s not the time to wear your own thing rather, wear what you wear to work but with some casual aspects if it’s a picnic or the office party.  So if jeans are appropriate wear your good jeans and stay away from the designer versions that are holy, torn and bleached.   For women, no cleavage, spandex tank dresses and thigh high skirts or slits.  For both sexes avoid wearing all your jewelry (including body piercings) that you normally wear with your friends. 

So when it comes to after five let’s first cover the definition of terms often found in invitations and the attired that they are requesting.  Often under the formal category there are lots of different codes with different requirements.  If you have to attend lots of black tie affairs consider investing in a black tux or a dark suit for men and a either an evening suit or cocktail dress for women.  A great place for cocktail dresses at all price points is www.edressme.com.

·         White Tie: Men a white dinner jacket, black pants, shirt and tie or tails; for women it’s a long evening gown in perhaps chiffon, organza, or taffeta.

·         Black Tie: Men, black tux, shirt and tie and cummerbund.  Women, long gowns or cocktail dresses.

o   Creative Black Tie: Perhaps a black tux, black shirt and NO tie for men; long or short evening gowns or cocktail dresses for women.

o   Formal: Men, it’s a tux with no tie; Women, long gown or short cocktail dress

o   Business Formal: Black tux, no tie for men and tailored dressy evening suits for women

o   Daytime Evening Formal: Usually this means a dark suit for men and a cocktail dress or dark suit or evening separates for women

o   Semiformal: Usually an event after 6pm; for men, wear a dark suit or blazer and a cocktail dress, evening separates for women 

  • When the event is black tie, men will need to rent a tux or wear a dark (black or navy) suit and tie.  Some creativity is permitted in the cummerbund and tie if your corporate culture is less restrictive.  However, with the tux black hosiery and black shoes are a must. 
  •  For black tie events, women might look to wearing a short, three quarter or long dress or gown in silk, chiffon, crepe, taffeta, or organza (keep the velvet for the cooler months of October through January).  This is a truly dressed up event so look your best and accessorize with appropriate shoes such as strapped evening sandals in metallic and ultra sheer hosiery.  Include dramatic jewelry and a clutch.    Showing up in a lounge suit is not an option.  Although tempting avoid showing off too much cleavage and too much thigh.

What to Wear if you’re Small or Large

No matter your size, accentuate the positive and minimize the negative.  Strategically dress to truly impress!

Petite Figure

            Do Wear:

·         One-tone or one-color suit in cool colors

·         Delicate high heeled shoes

·         Slim-line skirts

·         Vertical patterns in pinstripes

·         Vertical seaming

·         Slim-line slacks

·         Three Button Suits

Don’t Wear:

·         Bulky, complicated clothing

·         Cluttered necklines

·         Skirt too long or too short

·         Ankle strap shoes

·         Thick-soled or heavy shoes

·         Plaids

·         Tweeds

·         Double-breasted jackets

Large Figure

            Do Wear:

·         Clothing that fits well

·         Well-tailored dark suits

·         Cloths that accent the face i.e. printed shirts, scarves around the neck

·         Solid colors

·         Smooth fabrics

·         Pin or chalk-striped suits

·         Tops and shirts outside the skirt or trousers

·         Narrow belt pushed down a bit further than normal

·         Blouson tops

·         Light-colored shirts with belts lighter than the pants

Don’t wear:

·         Skintight or very loose garments

·         Bold patterns

·         Front-pleated trousers

·         Pleated or dirndl skirts

·         Large plaids

·         Bulky sweaters

·         Unstructured jackets

·         Colors that change at the waist

·         Wide Belts