As a young professional...

Hello Darlings,

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their continued support. I know that I've been inconsistent with my posting and that's quite annoying. However, I must admit that I've been struggling with a writers block (so any suggestions would be much appreciated) as well as I am trying to finish my essay and study for the final which are coming up this week. My sincerest apologies! But for now onto a post that I had a lot of fun writing up....

Being young is a journey itself! However being young, out of school and ready to look for a job is a journey and a half. My point is, being young is full of thrilling adventures and among them is one called becoming a young professional.

Since, I’ve received a number of fantastic e-mails in regards to this topic; I decided to create a post! I am in the same boat, so it took me some time to research the topic and conclude that BORING is NOT  the  solution!

For many people, a new career is a beginning of an image-based identity crisis. Dressing well is a must in order to make your mark in this world and stand out from the rest of the crowd. In my mind, fashion is a business, but style is an opportunity to be yourself. Expressing yourself and looking great while doing it requires the WANT factor! As David Granger said in his brilliant essay on “How to Dress Well:”

“It’s hard to be successful if you’re lumped in, if you’re one of the many. You can get along, for sure. Bureaucrats can get along. But dressing—style—is about standing out; it’s about making a subtle statement, and that statement is simple: “I’m different.” You can’t be so outlandish that the statement is read as either “I’m better” or “I’m an asshole”. There’s a fine line….we are simply talking about: the Extra 10 percent.”

That extra ten percent of effort and thought is what counts and distinguishes you!

For the Darling Ladies….

When it comes to fashion advice, I always turn to Nina Garcia. In my eyes, she understands style. Anyone can buy fashion but not everyone can poses style. Therefore, she does a wonderful job breaking down the basics of what style is and how to develop it.

Here are a few pieces of advice that I’ve gathered from her books and apply to my “professional look” whenever the occasion arises:

You will have to be a little more conservative, but in most cases you don’t have to wear a suit anymore.

It’s about mixing and matching.

  • Choose a conservative base and then put on a piece of personal jewelry, something that says you are alive and not a robot in a suit.
  • Try a statement belt or coloured shoes which will help personalize the look

Consider where you work:

  • A pencil skirt with a button-down shirt and nice heels will take you almost anywhere.
  • If it’s a fashion magazine or an art studio, you can throw in a trendier top.
  • At a law firm or a finance office, you’ll have to toe the line a bit more.

♥  A Must- Have List:

A Little Black Dress

  • This one is self explanatory. It is an item that will take you from office to a night out.

A classic men’s white shirt

  • It can be worn with anything and everything.
  • Make sure that it is crisp and not too baggy.
  • You want it to look effortless but neat.

A Pair of Trousers

  • A great fitted pair just adds that cool and effortless appeal to an otherwise conservative look.
  • A black or neutral pair will work with anything.

A Pencil Skirt

  • Very femme fetale.
  • A powerful and sophisticated piece.
  • It shows off legs without showing them at all.

Cashmere cardigan

  • It is luxurious and practical.
  • It is perfect over anything but also incredibly sexy when worn alone.
  • It is a transition piece that will take you from any time of the day to any season.

A Trench Coat

  • It is the most perfect coat for a career woman.
  • It is sexy, classic and mysterious.

A Man’s Classic Watch

  • Women’s watches change with trends, but a classic men’s watch is timeless.
  • It makes a powerful statement and breaks the rules

A classic high-heel pump

  • A shoe that you can rely on.
  • Every girl should have a shoe that she can rely on, but that does not mean that owning bold and impractical shoes is a no no! Have fun in this department!

A great Bag

  • It is another piece that you can have fun with and let your personality shine through.
For the Darling Gentlemen…

I am not anywhere close to knowing anything about men’s style and the fashion rules. However, after reading “The Handbook of Style :A Man’s Guide to Looking Good” by Esquire, I came to realize that men’s fashion is as complicated if not even more so than women’s.  So, for any man that is willing to take the time for himself or for his significant other, I strongly recommend reading this book. It is fantastic, direct, and incredibly useful. I wish there was one for women:P Here are some of my favorite suggestions from the book:

" Suppose you’re a man with proper day job and reasonably active after-office-hours life. How many closets do you need? Fewer than you think. A concise wardrobe that extends seamlessly from dressy to casual, in which each piece coordinated successfully with most of the others, will serve you better over the long run than an enormous collection of trendy, mismatched one-offs."

White Oxford Button-Down Shirt:

  • Can be worn with a tie and suit or with a pair of jeans, or underneath a sweater.

A Lightweight Cashmere V-neck Sweater:

  • Can be worn every month save for August.
  • Goes with jeans or underneath a suit jacket.

Sunglasses:

  • Obvious for their functionality, but also necessary for an accessory that adds the all-important final touch.

A  Dark Pair of Jeans:

  • Make sure that they are crisp and able to be worn with a T-shirt, button down, or the jacket from your suit.

White, Gray, and Black T-shirts:

  • Sleep in them, wear them to the gym, or use them underneath a shirt or sweater.

Black Lace-Ups

  • Will work with any color suit and still look at home at the foot of your jeans.

Three-Button Navy Suit

  • Navy is the most versatile color for a man’s suit.
  • Wear it with a shirt and a tie, or wear just the jacket with jeans and a button-down.

Medium-Width Tie:

  • A medium width, in neutral color and pattern, has the most versatility.

A perfect suit is all you need for work, weddings, funerals, parties, and everything in between. Since the time it was introduced in the 17th century, the modern suit has been about two things: power and sex. How to buy a business suit:

  • The basic one is navy and it should be the first purchase.
  • Spend wisely. The right $1, 2oo suit, fitted by a tailor, is better than $80 off the rack.
  • Chose carefully, the three basic suits—one navy, one gray, and a pattern—can constitute an entire wardrobe. A dozen shirts and ties, in a different colors and fabrics, turn them into a limitless backdrop.

I hope that this post of ideas on professional style has been in some way helpful; personally I have learned a lot from the research. I always suggest that when in doubt, research is necessary :P  It was my pleasure creating this post and if you have other requests or suggestions, please do not hesitate to send them my way. I am always open to new ideas and suggestions, to please send them my way. Either my e-mailing me, commenting, or sending me an anonymous comment!

P.S. I will be back with a Sunday brunch formal outfit...

Wishing Everyone a Lovely Monday!!!

With Love...

Marta


Literary Sources: "The Handbook of Style" by Esquire; " The Little Black Book of Style" and " The One Hundred" by Nina Garcia;"Have you lost your fashion mojo" by Shawna Cohen from Flare magazine May 2010 issue

Visual Sources: Jack & Jil; The Sartorialist; Just Jared;Mode Feber;The Fashion Spot

Summer Dreaming...

Chanel's Little Black Dress