Posts Tagged: style

Warm Weather Business Casual

AP Warm Weather

If it were just warm out that would be one thing, but so often we spend our days in offices where the air conditioning is set anywhere from “approaching pleasant” to “meat locker” so layering is a must. I find a lightweight silk shirt picks up where a jacket leaves off. I picked up these olive chinos recently, and don’t know how I’ve lived so long without them. For those who work in a business casual-BUT-NO-JEANS!! environment, they are a wonderful alternative.

Shirt: Equipment // Tank: Eileen Fisher (also available in Plus) // Pants: J.Crew // Earrings: Argento Vivo, similar // Watch: Michael Kors // Bag: Balenciaga // Shoes: Sam Edelman

 

AP Warm Weather 3

I can’t believe how heavy handbags have become over the last few years. One thing about the classic Balenciagas…they are very lightweight.

AP Warm Weather 2

If your workplace doesn’t allow sandals or open-toed shoes, d’orsay styles or open back ankle strap styles like these keep feet cooler than a closed pump, but usually won’t raise an eyebrow from the Dress Code Police.

How do you deal with dressing for the office during warm seasons?

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Already Pretty contributor Une Femme is fifty-seven, married to the same wonderful monsieur since 1995, the mother of a special-needs teenager and two hooligan dogs, a full-time administrative professional, a coffee-holic, Paris-obsessed, native Californian, and a petite and curvy femme d’un certain age. She believes that personal style is an essential form of self-expression, and started her blog, une femme d’un certain âge, in 2007 hoping to start a conversation about style for women over 50.

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This Week I Love …

aimee-mann

… Aimee Mann.

I consider myself a lapsed musician. I sang from age five with my family, did countless choirs and musical theater productions throughout school, was music director of my college a-cappella group, and fronted several bands. It’s been a long time since I wrote a new song or sang for a crowd, but I’ve done both. For ages. And Aimee Mann has been one of my musical heros since I first heard “Whatever” back in middle school. The clincher for me? There’s a lyric on that album that goes, “And she’s got the river down which I sold her.” Grammatically correct songwriting is my kryptonite. Helps, too, that Mann writes great hooks and amazing story songs, has a uniquely earnest and plaintive voice, and consistently releases albums that are beautifully produced, engaging to hear, and gobs of fun to sing along to.

She was also hilarious on Portlandia. And Buffy. And in The Big Lebowski. My guess is she’s a very clever, fun, ridiculously smart person.

I never gave much thought to Mann’s style until I saw her in concert when she toured for “Lost in Space.” During that time, she mostly dressed like this:

AIMEE_MANN_TIES_VESTS

one | two | three

I loved her take on menswear chic, and I certainly admired her choice to be extremely covered-up in an era that focuses on cleavage and exposure and super-sexy-see-through outfits. Like most people, Mann’s style has shifted quite a bit over time but she’s always struck me as someone who is comfortable in her own skin and makes style choices based on her own preferences. Sure, her looks follow the trends to some extent, but she always looks a little edgy and rebellious, a little tough, and definitely more laid-back than uptight.

aimee mann style

one (album cover, 1993) | two (2012) | three (2006) | four (2014) | five (album cover, 2000)

I love a little mindless dance pop as much as the next person, but when I want to think and feel I’m more likely to reach for an Aimee Mann album. She explores everything from May-December romances, to the links between charisma and narcissism, to the paralysis of depression, to our fascination with bad boys and bad choices. I admire her so much for writing insightful, funny love songs and perhaps even more for writing incisive, emotional, unusual songs about how complicated and trying it can be to be a human. She’s a gifted musician and lyricist, a woman who seems to dress primarily for her own self-expression and pleasure, and I sincerely hope I can cook her a spaghetti dinner someday.

Anyone else an Aimee Mann fan? From Til Tuesday times, or more recent? Have you heard her new collaboration with Ted Leo?

Top image source

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Dressing Tips for TV Appearances and Presentations

screenshot_wanchor

I’m a ham. Happy to admit it. I landed my first lead role in a play at the ripe old age of 10 and have been performing on stage ever since. I may have shifted from drama to music and now to television appearances and lectures, but it’s all performance-related and even after all these years I still get a little jittery every time I walk on stage.

So I know from personal experience how important it is to nail my look before the audience begins to applaud or the camera turns my way. I want to be totally focused on my message and avoid fidgeting and fussing with my outfit at all costs. And, of course, I want to look my best. Here are some guidelines I use so I always look my best before an audience.

For a television appearance

Some TV spots will be filmed on location or outside, others in a studio, so it can be difficult to generalize … but allow me to generalize anyway.

Do a touch more makeup than usual, but just a touch: Lights and cameras can be harsh on many complexions, but we are also living in an HD world, friends, so no need to apply with a trowel. I recommend using something to even out your complexion – be it foundation, BB/CC cream, or tinted moisturizer – as well as undereye concealer and powder to lighten and brighten. If you wear these daily, apply as usual and don’t add extra layers or a bunch of bronzer – better to look a little washed-out than overly made-up, in my opinion. Blush will prevent you from looking ill, so do include it. Sweep on a tiny bit more than usual, but make sure it’s well blended and not too streaky or obvious. Shadow, eyeliner, and mascara will make your eyes pop, but sticking to neutrals and smoky colors is wise since bright eye makeup can be distracting. Definitely add lip color but avoid super bright and super dark shades like firey reds and deep purples. Instead try pinks, berries, and dusty corals or anything that is just a bit brighter or darker than your natural lip color.

Clean lines read best: Anything with lots of ruffles, embellishment, or volume will likely look a bit messy. Blazers are better than cardigans, ponte is better than fluid jersey. Structured garments with clean lines will make you appear professional and pulled-together. (Also do your best to be wrinkle-free, but understand that you’ll be moving around and some creases are totally natural.)

Jewel tones are always a good idea: This palette works for virtually all skin tones from pale to dark brown and reads beautifully on camera. Jewel tones are rich without being bright and add color without being overbearing. And you can do multiple jewel tones in a single outfit! Find the shade that works best for your complexion, and wear it next to your face, ideally in a solid. If you want to add a neutral to the mix, go for gray.

Avoid small, regular patterns: Although issues with moiré are more common in still photography, tiny, regularly patterned clothing can be a little dizzying on-screen, especially in black and white. I generally prefer solids for television, but if you opt for a pattern, try for a medium-sized one and ideally one with blurred edges, a watercolor feel, or an abstract design. This creates a more natural overall look.

Black and white sparingly: Neither is particularly flattering for most complexions, and both can cause odd contrast issues with certain equipment. Black can work in a skirt or pant, but try for jewel tones and grays instead if you can.

Minimal accessories: Long, dangly earrings and clattering bangles can be very distracting, as can oversized scarves, wild hosiery, and piles of necklaces. Make one accessory your focal point and keep others to a minimum. Feel free to do a scarf or statement necklace, but pair with studs and a simple watch or bracelet. The fewer shiny objects and moving parts, the better.

For a large group presentation or seminar

Guidelines are mostly the same if you’re presenting to a live audience instead of speaking on-camera, but a few important differences to note:

Pattern in small doses: If you’re pacing back and forth on a large stage in front of dozens of people, an outfit that is mainly solids will be less distracting than one with gobs of prints. Patterned shoes or a scarf will work beautifully, as will a patterned blouse peeking out from a suit jacket. But now is not the time to show off your print-mixing prowess.

Bolder accessories can work: Don’t go overboard, but you can be a bit more adventurous than you would be on-camera, especially if your audience is both large and physically distanced from you. Statement necklaces are great and you can venture into cuff bracelets and larger earrings if you’re so inclined. Careful, though, that you don’t overdo the sparkly: If your accessories glint in the stage lights as you move, that can be irritating.

Be comfortable: You’re gonna be the main attraction for quite a while, so don’t wear a stiff, confining blazer or a dress that makes you self-conscious about your butt. Pick clothes and accessories that feel good. Anything that pulls, pinches, or subdivides won’t be flattering or comfortable, and anything fussy will just distract you.

For a small group presentation

With a smaller audience, more tweaks can be made, including:

Regular makeup: For TV and large groups, kick it up. If it’s just you and 6 colleagues in a conference room, regular makeup is fine.

Wear your favorite colors and patterns: Much looser guidelines with small groups, so feel free to be a bit more creative. However bear in mind that structure and clean lines will always help you look authoritative and that wearing a color that works with your complexion is always wise.

Do your nails: With a smaller audience, your hands will be visible as you gesture. Don’t feel like you need to get a professional manicure, but make sure your nails are neat and tidy. Either freshly polished or polish-free, clean, and trimmed.

Test your outfit noise level: Necklaces, bracelets, and earrings can all jingle. Some shoes squeak. Walk around the room once and make sure you aren’t making any distracting noises with your wearables.

For any professional appearance

Assemble and try on your outfit the night before: Dressing for a media appearance or presentation takes some serious planning and forethought so don’t leave it till the morning of. Pull the pieces together and try them on, down to shoes and accessories. Photograph the outfit if you’re not sure and get a second opinion. That way, once you’re on stage or on screen you can focus 100% on your performance and forget all about what you’re wearing.

Wear comfortable shoes: Doesn’t matter if you think you’ll be standing stock still the entire time. Foot discomfort can be incredibly distracting, so pick a pair you know will keep your toes happy.

My weekly TV spots require me to wear something related to the topic at hand, so I can’t always follow my own guidelines. For instance, in the screenshot above I’m in mint green because we were talking pastels. But you’ll notice I did simple but interesting accessories, clean lines, nothing jingly, and gray as my neutral. My makeup is simple but flattering, I opted for solids instead of patterns, and stuck with structured but comfortable clothing.

Presentations and media appearances are great for your resume and can be incredibly fun and exhilarating, but figuring out what to wear can feel stressful. Hopefully these guidelines will be helpful as you plan for future TV spots and seminars. And, of course, I’d love to hear additional tips from you presentation pros! What would you add? How do you dress for television, large group, and small group appearances?

This post first appeared on Corporette.

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