Here’s How Your Clothing Affects Your Success

Whether you like it or not, your clothing communicates — and it can have a serious effect on your ability to achieve success.

“Let’s be clear: In the big picture of ultimate reality, what you wear neither defines who you are as a person nor determines your value as a human being,” says Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., and author of “Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results.” “However, in the temporal realm of mere mortals, fair or not, people judge us by the way we look and that includes the way we dress.” Especially in the workplace, clothing significantly influences how others perceive you and how they respond toward you, she says.

Research shows that your appearance strongly influences other people’s perception of your financial success, authority, trustworthiness, intelligence, and suitability for hire or promotion.

And, because perception is often reality, what you wear not only communicates who you are in the minds of others but also influences your level of career advancement.

Research has also found that when you combine your appearance with communication skills, not only is others’ perception of you affected, but their behavior toward you is also influenced. “Clothing plus communication skills determine whether or not others will comply with your request, trust you with information, give you access to decision makers, pay you a certain salary or fee for contracted business, hire you, or purchase your products and services,” she says.

Here are seven tips to ensure your clothing has a positive impact on your success:

Don’t show too much skin. That means no short skirts, strapless tops, or shoes that barely cover your feet.

Never wear dirty clothes. This seems obvious — but plenty of people think they can get away with wearing that dirty shirt just one more time before bringing it to the dry cleaners. News flash: You can’t.

Don’t wear wrinkled clothing. Heard of an iron? Use it. You’ll look neat and way more put together.

Wear clothes that fit you well. “Tailoring is a simple way to make clothes way more flattering,” writes BI’s retail editor Ashley Lutz.

dress, employee, woman, smiling

Don’t overdo it on the makeup or jewelry.Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr

She says it’ll give you a polished look, and those around you will perceive you differently. So, stay away from clothing that is too tight or too baggy.

Always follow the dress code (or dress one step above). Don’t understand dress codes? Read about them here and here.

Wear appropriate shoes and accessories. Don’t wear jewelry that is too flashy or obnoxious — and always wear comfortable shoes that are appropriate for work. Also, if you wear makeup, don’t overdo it!

Don’t wear shorts. In some workplaces, it’s perfectly acceptable for women and men to wear shorts. But, if you really want to portray yourself as a professional, steer clear.

“To achieve career advancement, avoid an unprofessional image that may enslave your career to others’ misperceptions,” Price says. “Instead, choose clothing that accurately reflects your credibility and ensures you ‘sell for what you’re worth.’ Make sure your ‘exterior’ earns you a ‘silent recommendation,'” she concludes.

Style Without Heels

Most fashion bloggers, street style celebrities, movie stars, and models are photographed wearing heels of three inches and higher. That’s fine, and they look fabulous wearing their heels. But you can look every bit as fab in flats.

As recently as five years ago, a dressy look without heels was considered a complete compromise, not the ideal way to go, and to some fashion professionals — a faux pas. Heels magically elevate your style.

They make you look taller

They increase the vertical integrity of an outfit

They create a professional and dressier look

They elongate the leg line, which is traditionally flattering

They accentuate calf muscles, which looks alluring

They improve posture

YES. Heeled footwear can do all these wonderful things. But heels can also be fussy, overly dressy, slow you down, make you feel too tall, look wrong in an outfit, and above all, feel uncomfortable.

Fortunately, fashion has finally come around to flat footwear and gone are the days when heels were the only way to amp up your style. Comfortable footwear has been making a trendy statement for several seasons, and thankfully there’s no stopping the momentum. Flat footwear is on trend, stylish and modern.

Those who are tall, relatively long in the leg, and/or lead a casual lifestyle probably find it easier to have a style sans heels. That said, if you are neither tall nor long in the leg, and lead a dressier lifestyle, don’t let that deter you from wearing a less-than-one-inch heel, and here’s why:

DRESSY flats do exist. You can absolutely create a professional appearance in upscale flats when the rest of the outfit is dressy and polished.

You can manipulate outfit proportions so that your legs look longer in flats by sporting bottoms at a flattering length, showcasing the waist with a tucked or semi-tucked top, and wearing a column of color.

Wearing flats that are a low contrast to your skin tone elongate the leg line.

Pointy toe boxes elongate the leg line.

Career wear dresses and skirts can look great with dressy flats when the hemlines are slightly shorter.

You can’t increase your height or accentuate your calf muscles in flats, but you shouldn’t feel that you have to. Make a statement and ROCK YOUR FLATS if they make you and your feet happy. That’s empowering, and will effortlessly improve your posture.

I’m at the stage where I’m in one-inch flats or very low one and half inch heels most of the time and making it part of my signature style. I don’t like footwear that’s lower than an inch because they feel unsupportive and too close to the ground. Higher than one and a half inches usually hurts the balls of my feet and makes my arches ache (although I do make the exception for the occasional pair of “sitting shoes”). I’m a dressy person, so dressy flats are becoming my thing. Here are some dressier outfits with flats that I found inspiring.

Some Reasons to Love Your Dresses

Shorts and Your Style

In this post, by shorts, I mean lengths that have inseams of five inches and shorter.

In the Summertime casual shorts are extremely popular in my neck of the woods. Men, women, teens, and children all wear short shorts in Seattle. Most of my clients in Seattle wear shorts, but to varying degrees. Some wear them all Summer long with tees, cotton blouses, knitted tops, open-weave pullovers, sneakers, sandals, or flip-flops. They wear shorts to do errands, shop, go out to dinner, camp, garden, walk the dogs, and for all sorts of casual settings that involve children. Some wear shorts at home to lounge and work in the garden but that’s it. Some haul them out on a hot day over the weekend. Others will wear them on the beach, resort, camping, hiking, golfing and theme park vacations and leave it at that.

Although I regularly shop for shorts with clients, I am in the minority and don’t wear them myself. I wore them a lot until my mid-twenties, but not since then. Here are the reasons:

It’s seldom hot enough to do so since I live in Seattle and run cold. (Although our weather doesn’t seem to stop anyone else.)

When it IS hot enough, I’d much rather wear a casual shirt or sack dress that’s just above the knee with flats. Casual dresses simply suit my style and sartorial preferences better than shorts. I LOVE wearing trousers but don’t enjoy wearing shorts.

I prefer the thigh coverage of a Summer dress, which makes me feel a little dressier and more elegant than when I wear shorts.

I like the breezy yet covered feeling on my legs when I wear a roomy frock in hot weather.

I have two pairs of denim cutoffs (old BF jeans), that are just above the knee so longer than typical shorts. I wear them when we take doggies swimming, and very occasionally on a walk with Sam.

I don’t go on the types of vacations or do the types of sports that require shorts and don’t do gardening or go camping.

My Summer loungewear is soft, airy, covered and floppy. I grew up in a tropical climate and never feel overly warm in Seattle.

Over to you. Do shorts work for your style. When and how frequently do you wear them?

The Difference Between Shirts and Blouses

I regularly refer to shirts and blouses on YLF assuming that the differences are commonly known. But the two are often mixed up or used interchangeably, which is problematic because they are very different. It doesn’t help that retailers are sloppy in the way they categorize and describe their products.

Being deliberate and careful about describing wardrobe items correctly is a habit I learned as a retail buyer. So when I say “shirt” – I don’t mean blouse or T-shirt!

Here are the differences with some examples.

SHIRTS

A shirt is a button-through or button-down silhouette with a collar, just like a classic men’s shirt (which makes it easy to remember). Sleeves and hems can be any length. Fits are tailored, fluid or oversized. Fabrics are woven. The integrity of the shirt is for the most part crisp, a little stiff, dressy and Tomboy. That said, some cotton, silk and plaid shirts are soft and casual. And details like flounces and ruffles make a shirt far less masculine.

Shirts are easier to fit on a straighter body type with a smaller bust and regular width shoulder line. They also work well on a longer neck. A curvy body type with a larger bust is harder to fit into a shirt, unless it’s very fluid or oversized and more of a tunic. Broad shoulders can be hard to fit into shirts too. Gaping at the bust is a common challenge with shirts.

BLOUSES

A blouse doesn’t button through in front like a shirt. It seldom has a shirt collar, and is generally a lot softer and more drapey. That said, blouses can be made of stiffer fabrics. Sleeves and hems can be any length. Fabrics are woven. Fits are tailored, fluid or oversized. Blouses come in just about any silhouette, creating a larger assortment than what we typically see in shirts.

Blouses are more forgiving than shirts, and easier to fit on a range of body types because they are soft and drapey. In my experience with dressing clients, blouses look best on those who can fill them out on the shoulders and in the bust. They are also forgiving of muffin top. Blouses are amazing on curvy body types, and look a lot less Tomboy than shirts.

A shirt or blouse made of knitted fabric is a knitted top, and I will absolutely split hairs about that.

I find shirts very easy to fit because I’m a slam dunk for the body type guideline. For that reason, simple shirts used to be a wardrobe essential that I wore very regularly. But over the years, my sartorial preferences have moved away from shirts and on to blouses because I’m craving a soft, pretty and romantic vibe in my outfits. Unfortunately, I’m harder to fit into blouses because I battle to fill them out. I have to restrain myself from purchasing a shirt instead of a blouse because that’s not what I want on this leg of my style journey (unless the shirt is flouncy or ruffled.)

Some Laundry Tips To You

I enjoy taking care of laundry because it’s satisfying to keep clothing looking pristine and new for a long time. I believe that the more meticulous you are about taking care of your wardrobe items, the better they look, fit and last. Here are five quick laundry tips.

  1. SHOUT WIPES

These moist towelettes are a great way to remove a stain “on-the-go” when you travel or are out and about. But they’re equally fab to have at home to remove small stains from items so that they don’t need to go through an entire laundry cycle in the machine. I find them especially useful for tops that get a little grubby around the collar but are otherwise fine to wear a second or third time. A quick swipe with a Shout Wipe and Bob’s your uncle. No need to pop the item in the machine, which is better for the garment. Over-washing garments wear them out.

  1. OxiClean

I’ve found that OxiClean removes stubborn stains more effectively than any other detergent. It’s especially effective on white wardrobe items, and sufficiently gentle on darks. It doesn’t remove the colour of the garment while scrubbing the stain.

  1. ATSKO SPORT WASH

I’m new to the product but suggesting it based on an interesting thread in the forum. Apparently, Atsko Sports Wash is effective at eliminating unsavoury odours from garments (especially from thrift and vintage garments.)

  1. BLOCK KNITWEAR BACK INTO SHAPE

Knitwear made of natural fibres tends to lose its original shape after any type of laundering be it a wash by hand, a cycle in the machine, or a dry cleaner. Blocking knitwear back into the right shape and fit is achievable and effective with a steam iron. Simply press the garment back into the correct length and width with steam. If you’re a stickler for a fit like I am, it’s worth the extra time and effort. Note: a steamer does not block a garment effectively. You need a steam iron and ironing board for the best results.

  1. AIR-DRY WHAT YOU CAN

We have a tumble dryer, but do NOT use it for wardrobe items other than some underwear, some of my camisoles, some workout wear, socks and sleepwear. The rest of our clothing is hung out to air-dry in an empty closet or goes to the cleaners. That’s because I believe that dryers ruin the shape of your clothes, shrink the fit, discolour clothing, and wear out the fibres. The heat breaks down the elastic fibres in stretch fabrics, which makes the item bag out after a short wear. Do not tumble dry your clothes.

Over to you. Have you got any laundry tips to share?

7 Hot Wedding Trends for Fall

Jewel-toned color palettes, wild-looking bouquets, and the new naked cake are taking over the wedding scene this season.

Fall Wedding Color Trends

A moody range of plum and burgundy are leading the way in wedding color schemes. Pastel and neutral accents are still the most popular complementary colors, but those preppy spring hues have a veil of frost over them. Blue is mistier, blush is more iced over and crisp white is replaced with ivory to create a deeper Victorian palette. The dark hues are reminiscent of the naturally changing surroundings, while the weathered pastels add just a touch of romance.

Finishing Touches: Accent your color palette with a metallic. Reflective metallics have brightening qualities that add multidimensional depth to any color palette. The hottest hue this season? Copper.

Humble tiers and topper-less cakes have officially arrived for the season. Rather than adorning cakes with fondant designs or sugar flowers, couples are opting for a clean, textured look, dressed up with small bunches of blooms or greenery. There’s even a new version of the naked cake that’s taking over the scene: translucent cakes. Instead of totally bare tiers, translucent cakes have a thin veil of frosting with just a bit of the cake showing through. Dress it up with flavorful drizzles of caramel or ganache. As for the size of the wedding cake, it’s shrinking—couples still hold stock in the classic notion of cutting the cake, but they’re supplementing it with fun, unique treat alternatives come dessert time.

Finishing Touches: Opting for a smaller cake means you’re going to need a second-string dessert to serve your guests. The hot pick right now is a tried-and-true seasonal favorite—pie!

Fall Wedding Stationery Trends

Fall weddings are about embracing the whimsy in the air, and what better way to do that than with an invitation suite of breezy calligraphy and motifs of graceful garlands. When it comes to day-of stationery, ditch the individual pieces of paper for big personalized signage. Blackboards as cute welcome signs by the venue entrance mirrors with calligraphed cocktail offerings for the happy hour and even a big escort board presentation all score points in the décor department.

Finishing Touches: Give your signage some romantic border treatments with eucalyptus or lemon leaf garlands, and accent with a few vines of florals (think: clematis or wisteria).

Fall Wedding Fashion Trends

With dropping temperatures come longer sleeves and cozy layers. Two-piece separates are the bridal fashion trend not to be missed. Cashmere sweaters are meeting their perfect match with luxe, full-length skirts for a totally personalized look.

Freshly picked, wild-looking bouquets are still reigning in the land of florals. The hottest stem? Wine-colored dahlias. For tabletops, arrangements are looking more green and leafy—think succulents, eucalyptus, wheat greens, acacia, and bay leaf branches. Additionally, rather than blooms, pops of color are provided by berries like Brazilian pepper berries, hypericum berry sprays or raspberries.

Finishing Touches: Small vines of ivy elongate the shape of traditionally arranged bouquets, giving them a whimsical appeal, while unexpected add-ins, like thistle and small leafy twigs, capture the spirit of the outdoors.

 

 

Fall Forecast: 4 Trends to Shop Now

Regardless of what the Gregorian calendar says, for many of us fashion folk, it’s September that feels like the start of a new year. Perhaps it’s because the magazines stretch their bindings on their biggest issues, or that, on the runways, we get a glimpse of what is to come. Or it may be the persistent association with back-to-school prep that lingers long after the last bell.

Whatever the reason, autumn puts one in mind of fresh beginnings. We can hardly be blamed, then, for wanting to jump-start the seasonal update now, even as we wait for temperatures to cool. Luckily, the stores have plenty of fresh offerings that play into fall’s biggest trends.

Statement Velvet

Velvet is to fall what florals are to spring. The cozy material is always a mainstay of the season. This year, though, the volume has been turned way up. Not only is it more omnipresent than ever, but instead of the usual navy, black and burgundy, it’s showing up in loud hues like hot pink and mustard gold.

The Hottest Hue

There are those of us who love to wear red and those who swear they can’t. This season may convert some of the naysayers. All over the runways, at Oscar de la Renta, Dolce & Gabbana and, most notably, Givenchy, which showed a completely crimson lineup, the potent color comes in many iterations — hipster-approved ensembles, sophisticated separates — that will appeal to all sorts.

A Different Kind of Suit

It’s always nice when a trend comes along that’s as comfortable and practical as it is cool. The tracksuit, seen on the runways at Marc Jacobs, Chloé, and Yeezy, is one such gem. Updated in a variety of fabrics and slightly tweaked silhouettes, the tricked-out suits invite a certain swagger.

Laced Up

It’s a little odd that, at a time when feminism is arguably thriving more than ever, the corset, that hallmark of the patriarchal oppression, should be enjoying a moment of popularity. Of course, the 2017 versions are a good deal less restrictive — and pair perfectly well with a finely honed sense of social justice.

how to make your handbag match your clothes

Most  of the women love the bag, but how to make your bag match your cllothes is a big problem.

As with clothes, your bag can also accentuate your best features and help draw attention away from the parts of your body you don’t particularly like. It’s all about choosing the right length and shape of a bag to complement your outfits and silhouette. For example, if you have:

 

A Pear-Shaped Body – Since this body type is wider on the hips, any hip-length bag will only make your hips look larger. To turn eyes on your slimmer middle, opt for waist-length bags instead.

 

A Big Bust – Again, the game is all about proportions and keeping them balanced. Busty ladies should avoid any types of bags that draw attention to their cleavage, such as saddle bags.

 

A Curvaceous Physique – Long, slim bags are ideal for you, especially if you are short as they will make you appear slimmer and taller! For tall women with curves, low-hanging bags are gorgeous options.

A Petite Figure – Anything with long hanging straps or fringes is a big no-no. So satchels are out of the question.

 

A Tall and Thin Silhouette – Rounded, oversized bags are your best pick. Stay away from long, slim bags no matter what. And, to add a fab factor, go sleeveless or roll up your sleeves. The bag’s size will contrast your toned and slim arms beautifully.

 

Some extra pounds – Plus-sized ladies look amazing with medium sized bags.

 

  1. How Far you Can Go

As previously mentioned, everything has to do with balance, from choosing the right window treatments for your windows to selecting the best bag to match your outfits. Too much matching is not flattering in most instances. In our case, the secret is in getting the bag-outfit matching right so that you don’t look monochrome and boring (when it comes to style, of course).

 

So, try a textured or printed bag when you wear a monochrome garment. The same applies to when wearing color-blocked outfits. Patterned bags will help catch the eye!

 

For multi-colored outfits, better play with neutrals and single-color bags, such as beige or classic black. Leather also complements colored outfits, too. And, if you want a more playful and flirty note to your style, tie a slim scarf in the colors of the outfit you are wearing to your bag.

 

Finally, for printed outfits, the safest way is to choose a monochromatic bag. Just pick a color from t he print of your outfit and highlight it with the bag you wear. For genuine fashionistas, though, there is nothing more eye-pleasing and stylish than matching a printed dress with a printed bag. However, since marrying those two is not easy and requires high fashion sense, better stick with a monochromatic bag if you are now initiating into the world of fashion!

 

You may want to match your shoes with your bag. Opinions vary, though. A few decades ago, that was a prevailing concept. Today, however, things have changed, although we do see many chic women follow that unwritten rule. So, it’s really up to you to choose to pair your shoes with your bag or not. If you want a piece of advice here, better keep either the shoes or bag neutral and amp up the other. It will add to a more glamorous look and make you look more elegant and stylish.

 

Important Note: When trying to match your bag with your outfit, pay attention to the hardware (if any), such as metallic details. They should match, too. For example, you can’t shoes with silver buckles or bronze and sport a bag with golden hardware or copper studs respectively. Or wear a gold or rose gold necklace with a bag that has silver metallic shoulder straps.

Match your Handbag with your Clothes: Get it Right EACH & EVERY TIME!

Style divas worth their fame such as Angelina Jolie, Sofia Vergara, Rihanna, and Miranda Kerr are always big news every time they are seen in public, not only for their outfits but also for the handbags they have selected to carry with them. No wonder glossies and style blogs dedicate so much space to the A-lists’ stylistic choices, especially their outfit-handbag pairings!

Although a lot has been said and written the last few years about whether we should match our bags with our shoes, there is nothing stopping us from letting bags and clothes work together to create that oh-so-special look. No matter what some people say, the finishing touch to up our style quotient to a higher level comes from a quality handbag. Here is how to pick the right bag to match your outfit, each and every time!

Consider:

  1. The Occasion

Whether you are going shopping, formal, dressy, office, informal or casual, you need a different bag to go with the occasion. As a rule of thumb, small bags add a more sophisticated look while large bags give a more laid-back aura. This is why we usually wear larger bags with casuals and clutches when we wear formal clothes. So, if you decide to wear a casual bag with formal outfits or a stiff bag with casuals, you will get a fine from the fashion police! Here are some essential bags you should definitely have in your armory! And now, let’s look at what bag you can carry according to the occasion.

Shopping – An over-sized duffel or hobo bag that goes beautifully with sneakers, shorts, and t-shirts.

With summer dress and sandals – A sling bag will look adorable with your look. Wear it over your shoulder and you are good to go (we want to go simple in this case).

With skinny jeans and blazer or tunic – A tote bag or even a hobo will help give the elegance you are seeking without being too formal.

Office attire – Roomy tote bags are perfect if you wear a tailored trouser suit. You can also get the same business look with a satchel or structured boxy bag. In general, office bags need to have large compartments for all your stuff, including your notebook or laptop. That noted, satchel bags also look great with high-waist trousers or skirts worn with cardigan combos or cotton or soft linen gauzy tops.

Power dressing – Briefcase bags or top-handle tote bags will help you exude sophistication and will easily give you the lean and mean boardroom presence you want. Under no circumstances, though, should you try slouchy bags, duffels or hobos as they are poor options for the kind of style you want to achieve.

Cocktail dress/long gown – Clutches and miniature bags are ideal for formal and dressy events. You can also pair them with your favorite LBD. If you are wearing a sheath dress, metallic or sequined envelope clutches are an excellent option. For the cases when your dress comes with heavy detailing or embellishments. Then a plain clutch is a wiser choice.

 

Matching The Colors Of Summer

Short skirts, cold beer, and tasty barbecued food are only a few of the elements that make summer enjoyable for most of us. The warmer temperatures and longer days seem to put a smile on everyone’s face, which is pretty much contagious. Yet there’s one aspect of the sunny season that puzzles me every year: Why do men generally have such a hard time choosing seasonal colors that go well together?

a palette of options

Could it be the effects of heat exhaustion? Or, maybe it’s simply because men don’t care about the way they dress. Nonetheless, whatever the reason may be, read up and find out which colors are in this summer, and which ones should be matched with one another.

First, let’s find out which shades can help spruce up your wardrobe this summer.

Neutral colors

Neutral colors can be combined with nearly every shade and color. Here are some of the nicest neutral colors available this summer:

Softly tinted pales

Softly tinted pales or pastels will provide you with a gentle, subtle look. They can also easily be combined with most neutrals and darks. Look for these softly tinted pales this summer:

Mid-tone series

Combine mid-tone colors with whites for a crisp look, or with taupe-based neutrals for a softer, more comfortable look. Choose from these mid-tone colors:

Deep brights

“Deep brights” are generally seen on women, but this summer all colors are “in” for men. Try one of these deep bright colors:

Offbeat colors

Offbeat colors are drawn from vegetables and minerals. They can provide a rustic or sophisticated look, depending on how you wear them. Here are some of the nicer offbeat colors to choose from this summer:

Darks

Darks are generally more popular during colder seasons, however, when combined with neutrals like cement, blued gray, putty, or khaki, they can make a major impact for summer. Try out these dark colors:

Wild colors

Colors, colors and more colors. This summer’s all about wearing distinctive hues, so you might want to show off tops in colors such as ivory, lavender, lilac, lemon yellow, mint green, light blue, and grayish or coral pink. Then again, wild colors might not suit everyone’s taste and style, so make sure you feel comfortable wearing them before buying them.

Now how do you match these colors?

Hope you can have a better choice.