Woman of Note: Amelia Earhart

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." 

Today is Amelia Earhart Day. The woman knew what was difficult, made the decision to act, and was tenacious about it. AND she did what she loved. What a woman.

You can follow the Amelia Earhart Foundation here.

Throwback Thursday Post: This ran last year but the advice never gets old.

Level 1 & Level 2 Professional Dress Advice

Women have SO MANY options when it comes to choosing what to wear to work. Honestly, it’s overwhelming. First of all, we need to understand what fit, color, style and proportions work for us. And as you know, I always say that you have to know your personal brand so that you can choose your professional look to match your internal values and strengths. And even if you feel on top of all of that, there are new styles and colors and patterns that come out every season. Ahhh!!! 

Here’s some simple Professionality advice for understanding how to invest money when building a work wardrobe and when buying new pieces each season (assuming that we can):

  • Put each potential purchase through the Level 1/Level 2 filter.
  • Level 1 items should be the best quality you can afford, classic cuts that work for you, fits that work for you, and that meet your personal brand needs. Generally, you should consider solid colors and classic pieces.
  • Level 2 items branch into seasonal and trend. If a trend/pattern/color works for you, great! You may not want to spend as much money on these pieces if you have a limited budget. But these are the pieces that liven up those black pencil skirts and classic jackets.
  • In the set above, you can see that I recommend you invest in a great black jacket. And then when you have more cash in the door, consider buying a jacket with a peplum, or that’s in a color that you like, or a striped pattern. Don’t invest $300 in a striped jacket that you’ll only wear one season. (All this advice is assuming you have a limited clothing budget as so many of us do.)

I hope this Level 1/Level 2 filter helps. Thoughts?

Man Monday: Vests

File this post under the category of “Try it, you may like it.” Consider wearing a vest to work. I was just reading through this The Dark Knot blog post on vests - some good advice making a vest work at work and beyond. 

Here are three tips for wearing a vest at work:

  • If you’re concerned that you’ll look to “fancy” in a vest, pair it with dark jeans (if your workplace allows denim) and roll up your sleeves.
  • Always wear long-sleeved dress shirts (with or without button-down collars).
  • For a formal look, buy a three-piece suit (to ensure the vest matches).
  • For a less formal look, try a plaid vest with your suit this fall. (Because I’m an Outlander fan, I’m assuming everything Scottish (i.e. plaid) is going to be big verra verra soon.)

Good inspiration for a Monday morning from Miss Jane Goodall: Every individual matters and can make a difference. (Yah, you too.)

(via deedixon)

Woman of Note: Elaine Stritch (Style and Determination Personified)

I came late to Elaine Stritch. What I mean is that I was a heathen before but now I am enlightened. Where was I for all those years? What the heck was I doing that I didn’t know about this brash, hard-working, scene-stealing, powerhouse of a woman? If it wasn’t for 30 Rock and her recurring role as Jack Donaghy’s outrageous mother, I would have continued to live in ignorance. (I watched all of 30 Rock while running on my treadmill in the mornings.) And now, today, I read via the New York Times that Ms. Stritch has passed away at 89.

What so impressed - no, impresses - me about Ms. Stritch is not her talent or even longevity (although both were impressive): it was her pedal to the metal attitude about life (she told it like she saw it); her determination to get what she wanted (Do a one-woman show at 86? Why not?); her willingness to put herself out there even when she felt vulnerable (she aptly quotes Bette Davis in her documentary Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (now on Netflix): “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”) Elaine Stritch was no sissy.

And talk about a personal brand: The woman didn’t wear pants. She preferred dark hose and oversized white shirts, sometimes with a black tie and vest. She might add short shorts. When out and about, she would add a hat and Iris Apfel (another woman of note) glasses. The woman had endless bird legs and attitude, so she could damn well carry this off. She had a dramatic fashion style, to say the least.

Ms. Stritch was semi-retired in Michigan near family. She was frail and feisty and still ready for her next act. One of her last statements in a Vulture.com article? “If I get a call tomorrow morning and they say, ‘What about this play?’ I’m going to say, ‘When?’ And I won’t be the least bit frightened.” You. Go. Girl.

annelis45 asked:

Hi Annelis45! 1) Consider a dress. Have you watched any Ted Talks lately? Just about every high-level female presenter wears a sheath dress - fitted but not tight. I would look for one that fits your upper body nicely and then flares slightly at the knees (are you tall? short?). What’s your coloring? Wear a color and a black jacket that has tailoring or detail that contours it to your body. http://ow.ly/zheG1  2) What about wide-leg black pants (consider getting them fitted to your waist) and a long black jacket with a vibrant shirt? Dawn aka Professionality

I wrote a post last week on full-hourglass figures and have every intention of doing single posts on each body type. (Yup, I know: every body is unique. I’m making generalizations here). But I’m soooo lazy. Just back from a relaxing vacation followed by a hard re-entry (let’s just say two of our family cars are in the auto body shop - everyone’s okay!). So you’re getting four full-figure types in one post.

The overarching points I want to make for dressing all body types - full or average or slender - at work are: 1) Acknowledge your body for what it is - an awesome vessel that carries YOU around; 2) We ALL love parts of our bodies and dislike others; 3) Some people LIKE the parts other people think they shouldn’t (and that’s great); 4) You’ve heard it before: dress for the body you have and work toward the body you want; 5) Show or emphasize your slender bits: clavicle, wrists, waist, legs; and 6) A second layer can be very flattering.

Body Type: Oval

Points of Interest: Hips are probably larger than bust; appear heavier above the waist; tummy may protrude; sloping shoulders; bum and thighs may appear slim in proportion to torso.

Professionality Recommended Dos:

  • Darker internal silhouette (like above)
  • Long vertical lines going past waist (long jacket or duster)
  • Shoulder pads can work for you
  • Single breasted coats and jackets may be most flattering

Body Type: Triangle

Points of Interest: Difference between bust and hips is perhaps 2” or more; waist is indented; hips are round and curvy; wider thighs; upper body is slender in proportion to lower body.

Professionality Recommended Dos:

  • Wear darker bottoms and lighter or patterned tops
  • Fit pants to the widest part of the body and take in the waist (it’ll be worth it - don’t be defined by the size on the label - I feel your pain)
  • Wear jackets that pass the widest area
  • Consider skirts with fluid hemlines that move away from the body

Body Type: Inverted Triangle

Points of Interest: Shoulders are noticeably wider than the hips; hips and thighs are slender; waist can be indented, straight or wide.

Professionality Recommended Dos:

  • Wear lighter or brighter or patterned bottoms and darker tops
  • Balance lower body with boot cut or wide leg pants
  • Wear v-neck or scoop-necked shirts (not necklines with horizontal lines

Body Type: Rectangle

Points of Interest: Difference between bust, hips and waist is not greatly defined; hips can be high and square; arms and legs can be slim in proportion to body.

  • Wear fluid construction (like sweater above)
  • Give waist a shape with ruching, wrap-styles and constructed jackets
  • A pencil skirt with some stretch that reaches the knee - with a longer jacket or sweater - can give the illusion of an hour-glass figure

As always, wear what represents your personal brand and what makes you happy. Life’s too short to focus too much on “rules.”

Simple message here: For an elegant appearance at work or anywhere, showcase just one significant piece.

How to be put together AND laid back at work. Nice look from The Tie Guy.

(via thetieguy)

5 Types of Decision Makers Infographic

Ever wondered why you’re ineffective when trying to persuade your boss? Well, maybe she’s a Thinker and you communicate in a passionate and charismatic way, which just won’t sway her. Ovation Communication is running a persuasive speech series focused on understanding the five types of decision makers - Thinkers, Charismatics, Skeptics, Controllers and Followers. 

Tips for the Dramatic Curvy Woman at Work

Any body type can look professional and amazing. Many women who gain weight feel like they just want to cover up. I think many of us can either relate or sympathize with this feeling. I’m here with the good news: Go ahead and stand out! If you have a dramatic or creative personality type and fashion sense, here are a few tips to meet the need to be seen (dramatic types are often the ones who love leopard print) AND feel like you look amazing.

  • Wear tailored skirts (or at least skirts with seaming that flatters) and jacket that are fitted to your shape. If you are a full hour-glass, pencil skirts can be amazing: it will emphasize your waist and flow over your curves. Consider shortening it so it hits your knees or just above to show some leg (lengthens you - a midi skirt may make you look a bit more dumpy - ugh). Egypt Sherrod of HGTV’s Property Virgins is a woman knows how to wear a pencil skirt.
  • Palazzo or wide-leg pants can look great - especially if you wear a more fitted top (like the black body suit, above) with a long or short-leaved over shirt or light sweater. Left open, the sweater can create a vertical line that is slimming. (Remember, if you don’t care about this stuff…stop reading now. ;>) Or if you still like your waist (and if you’re a full hour-glass, you still have one), belt the sweater like in this picture.
  • You can have drama below. What I mean is, dark colors tend to divert the eye, but if you love leopard, zebra or bold florals, go ahead and get a skirt in one of those patterns. If you wear a light sweater that flows over your curves or a longer tailored jacket, people can appreciate the pattern and you don’t have to wonder if they’re really staring at your hips and tummy (and maybe you don’t even care!).
  • If you’re dramatic on the bottom balance it with neutral on the top or vice versa.
  • Consider a wide belt - it will draw attention to your waist. If you’re an hourglass, your waist will still be smaller than your other bits.
  • Don’t show too much skin: When you’re working dramatic patterns and curves, keep it classy and minimize cleavage. For example, the keyhole peek-a-book in the bodysuit of the lady above is too much for work. 
  • If you love leopard but just aren’t comfortable working it at work, opt for a leopard print shoe or purse. 

Same Burberry white pencil skirt 3 ways

Do you all know Alton Brown? He’s the Food Network celebrity chef and the host of Good Eats (the show’s no longer in production but it ran for 249 episodes; you can watch it online). His take on cooking is that he combines art and science, and that no kitchen tool should just have one purpose. (Here are his five must-have tools for any kitchen.) Alton and I are one: I agree with his cooking philosophy. I agree the whenever possible an item can have more than one use. To carry this idea forward with clothes - most pants, skirts and dresses can be used in multiple ways: for work; for evening; for weekend. If you are on a budget (and most of us are) or just don’t believe in heavy consumption when it comes to purchasing clothes, investing in multiple purpose pieces makes sense.

Take this Burberry white pencil skirt. Sure, you’e going to pay $435 for it - but you can wear it 3 plus seasons over and over again: It’s a multipurpose tool. Wear it to work with a blazer and bright heels and it’s business elegant; wear it out for dinner with a crop top (or other dressy top if you can’t even consider a cropped-cut blouse - I understand), white heels and a clutch for a sophisticated look; dress it down for the weekend with sandals, a t-shirt and a sweater. Don’t limit yourself to wearing an item just one way whenever possible.

Let me know if you have an item in your closet that you love but only know how to use one way. I’ll see if I can come up with some ideas for you. 

Happy Fourth of July from Professionality! This seems a fair occasion to let Professionality followers know that I appreciate them. Thank you to those who ask questions, comment and, in general, enjoy the personal brand, professional development and work success content I love to share. Not everyone who follows my blog is US-based, so please accept this Independence Day greeting as one of celebration.