Month: August 2010

Friday wrap up

An ode to beige:

Skirt, Teenflo; blouse, Tommy Hilfiger; cardigan,
Banana Republic; shoes, Calvin Klein. 

There is a reason why I love neutrals. They look so darn classy. Sure, some might say this is an old-fashioned look, but the nice thing about being 30 is that one can pull it off without looking “old lady-ish” or like someone playing dress up with her mother’s clothes. It may be my print-loving bias here, but I fell for this blouse at first sight. It’s all hydrangeas! I love hydrangeas! It’s a little bit retro, and yet modern at the same time. 
Of course, I had to finish it all off with the perfect top coat:

 Essie “Jazz”

Yes/No

So … what do we think about “ombré hair”?
Photo: Access Hollywood
I don’t know. I don’t mind the whole “showing roots” look; I think Sarah Jessica Parker, in particular, pulls it off really well. Certainly, back when I was dyeing my hair (strawberry) blonde, I didn’t visit my hair stylist every 6 weeks religiously, with the result that my roots were frequently a few shades more auburn than the rest of my hair. People are too busy for constant root touch-ups, Clairol commercial lady!
But this looks like another kettle of fish entirely. [You can see it better here.] This is a deliberate choice to have hair that looks like it was dipped in hair colour only half-way. It’s … interesting? I can’t decide if it’s a stupid fad, or kind of awesome in a rebellious I’m-too-cool-for-school sort of way. Or both. See, I’m hopelessly conflicted.
Your turn. What do you think of Drew’s ‘do? Are you canceling your next appointment with the colourist, or moving it up a week, just to be on the safe side?

The fashion huddle

A reader recently asked for my thoughts on job interview attire. In her particular case, the job for which she is about to interview is a professional one. Therefore, the starting point was the basic suit; the question: how to pick it, accessorize it and wear it.
Let me start by saying that, in my opinion, a job interview is not the place to bust out your trendiest or most fashion-forward clothes – unless you’re pursuing a career in the fashion industry. Classic is the way to go. While a first instinct might be to go for the (safe) black suit, I also think that dark grey is a great alternative – sober enough for any interview, but not as predictable. Having said that, my first serious “interview suit” was a beautiful olive colour … and no one questioned my employability; as long as you stick with neutrals (brown, olive, taupe, navy), you should be fine.
Some other thoughts on picking a suit: a solid colour or unobtrusive pin-stripe is interview-appropriate, as well as being generally flattering; I prefer a two-button style jacket, although I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to button your jacket for an interview; the skirt/pants question comes down to personal preference; and, of course, fit, fit, fit. In terms of fit, it’s important to make sure that the suit jacket fits in the shoulders/arms. Anything that constricts arm movements is too tight; by the same token, stay away from suits whose shoulders overhang your own. And unless your name is Joan Crawford – no shoulder pads!
Turning to the other components of an interview outfit, this is where a little bit of personal style can be brought into the mix. Normally, I’m all about expressing it through accessories, but this is a case where jewelry, bags and shoes should be fairly discreet. So the statement-making piece should be the top/blouse – though it’s probably best if that statement is whispered, not shouted. A delicate print or subtle detail (like a not-overwhelming ruffle or pussy bow) is an understated way to add zing to an interview outfit. Personally, I’m not fanatical on the issue of whether “to tuck in or not to tuck in” (one’s top, that is) but I would say that if your top is a collared shirt, it should definitely be tucked in; with a camisole, there is more latitude for personal preference. That said, if you do tuck in, a belt is a must. 

As for everything else:

– Simple gold or silver jewelry, depending on preference, as long as it doesn’t veer into Mr. T territory.

– Simple rules of thumb for shoes: black pumps for black or grey suits, beige/cream for olive, taupe or navy suits, brown for brown suits. Particular styles are less important than comfort; having said that, it’s probably better to go with heels rather than flats – at least a kitten heel. Unless you really hate heels, a pair of 2 inch black patent leather pumps is a wardrobe staple, so it’s worth investing in a good pair. I love my Stuart Weitzmans, but I realize that they are not in everyone’s budget; for affordable, good quality work footwear, I’ve come to really appreciate Nine West.

– The bag should be in good condition (nothing peeling, ripped, etc.) and should accommodate all the myriad things you might need for the interview. I like structured totes because the contents of your bag are less likely to get squashed, and you won’t have to dig around too much for things; totes are especially great if you have to carry papers with you. A solid colour, without too many bells and whistles on the bag, looks professional. You don’t necessarily have to match your bag to your shoes, but in that case, both bag and shoes should match colours in your clothes.

Please leave your questions in the comments or send to a1f1e@hotmail.com.