“Summer time and the living is easy” so the song goes . . . Why is it that the minute temperatures rise, corporate and business women in South Africa dress more casual? Maybe the thought that the holidays are nearer makes us more relaxed in appearance. Work doesn’t stop in the summer months – why should your professional image?
We’ve scoured the shops and magazines to bring you a list of the top essential Summer wardrobe items. If you are confused by the latest trends, read ahead to make your choices easier.
Workplace Warts (no, no’s)
Shoe string, strappy tops, dresses
Mutton dressed up as lamb
Ultra short skirts/shorts
Ultra low cut tops
Leggings, gym wear
“Tired” looking clothes
Sports wear such as tracksuits
Dark underwear under light clothes
Bra straps showing
Revealing, clingy garments
Bare midriff, belly rings
Very large, distracting prints
Flat, thong-type sandals
Big, bulky platform shoes
Skin tight, faded denims
10 rings and bracelets per hand
Sandals worn with un-pedicured toes
No make up
Chipped, neon bright nailpolish
Sizzling summer styles
Every season you should re-invent your look and keep current with the hottest trends. However, at all times, remember the words of Coco Chanel: “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous”
Cap sleeve shirts with ruffles HOT TIP – the ruffles already add an amount of busyness to the outfit so don’t opt for a bold print or bright colour. If you have a large bust-the volume over the bust will make it appear bigger.
Bold bright Colours – turquoise, red, fuschia, purple and citrus colours. Brighten your wardrobe but don’t frighten your colleagues. HOT TIP – use these colours to accent with a blouse, scarf, accessories rather than an entire suit. Make sure you don’t wear high contrast at work (eg two bright colours together) it will make your colleagues run for their sunglasses!
Uber wide leg, high – waisted trousers HOT TIP – Avoid at all costs unless you are very tall, slim and have a long upper body. The width of the hem of your pants should always balance the length-as well as your vertical and horizontal proportions.
Soft neutrals- lavenders, dusty pinks, beiges and flesh tones HOT TIP – make sure you have a colour consultation before you invest in these season’s colours-these muted shades can look very menopausal on most women.
Floral prints – mixed bouquets of flower prints for dresses and shirts. HOT TIP – make sure the print does not overpower you and it is in harmony with your bone structure eg petite = small print, average = medium print, larger = medium print. The larger the print – the bigger you will look.
Going dotty – Polka dots are back. HOT TIP – invest in this ageless classic print, you will get great value for wear.
Swishy skirt, high and cinched at the waist and knee length. HOT TIP – wear with a cropped jacket or fitted top. Remember if you war volume on top with volume at the bottom –you will look LARGE from head to toe.
Cropped, fitted, sleeveless jacket – HOT TIP – looks best on someone with a more defined waistline and toned arms.
Safari garments- shirt dresses, tailored shorts and trouser suits in neutrals from beige, stone, to taupe.
Waistcoats are used as a replacement for jackets HOT TIP – this garment adds freshness, fun to your wardrobe whilst still making you look professional-search for one in the classic pinstripe.
Ancient Greece – draped dresses, tunics in flowing fabrics. HOT TIP – the more flowing the style and the fabric –the less credibility you will appear to have at work-seen as a bit too “airy-fairy”. Most suitable for evening wear.
The oversized clutch bag. Hot Tip – if you invest in one special bag this summer, make it a clutch: it’s the new season’s star buy, however don’t spend too much on it.
Wedges, gladiator sandals and peep-toes lead the way HOT TIP – gladiator shoes can be too “busy” for the workplace. Wear them if you have narrower feet. If your feet are wide it will make them appear wider.
Circular, oversized sunglasses a – la Paris Hilton: HOT TIP -don’t purchase these if you have a round face – they will emphasise the fullness of your face.
Want to know more about what suits you?
- Learn the colours, fabrics, styles which make you look your best
- De – clutter and update your wardrobe appropriately.
If the Workplace Warts are familiar in your office, it may be time for your company to establish a clear image guidelines. We can assist your organization in:
Evaluating your company’s current dress situation vs the ideal one
Determining the appropriate level of dress suited to your industry/environment
Defining the minimum dress standards
Compiling and writing an illustrated policy with clear guidelines
Conducting educational and entertaining image workshops for the staff
Defining what is professional, appropriate and comfortable is our area of specialty and expertise.
For more information about our image workshops and personalized consultations, contact Professional Impressions. Tel: (011) 467 5126
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