Pofessionality
Professionalism question? Please, ask me.

I'm a personal brand expert. Grow your strengths. Be aware of your limitations. Do what makes you happy. Images created on Polyvore.
Spring: It’s gray and green at work
Yesterday it was 85 degrees in Burlington, Vermont. Right now: snowflakes. Sigh. Spring in Vermont. It’s gray and it’s green. Gray skies are anchored by green daffodil shoots. Green grass peeps out from under the last melting snows. Not surprisingly, green and gray couple well.
Spring greens have yellow undertones, like a celadon, avocado, and asparagus green compared to blue undertones like forest and emerald. Cool greens pair well with dark grays. Yellow greens complement soft or dove grays. 
Are you a red head with freckles or maybe you have low contrast coloring (your hair and skin are similar shades)? You might look amazing in a yellow green paired with a soft gray.
Also, if you have a vibrant personality, bright eyes and lively hair: try on a vibrant green, like the bright green Moncler collarless jacket in this set. A dynamic personality can sometimes wear a color that his or her contrast level and skin undertone shouldn’t support. 
As always, at work you want people to recognize you for your intelligence and expertise, not the color you’re wearing. Nonetheless, a vibrant yellow-green screams spring. And I need me some spring right now! You?

Spring: It’s gray and green at work

Yesterday it was 85 degrees in Burlington, Vermont. Right now: snowflakes. Sigh. Spring in Vermont. It’s gray and it’s green. Gray skies are anchored by green daffodil shoots. Green grass peeps out from under the last melting snows. Not surprisingly, green and gray couple well.

Spring greens have yellow undertones, like a celadon, avocado, and asparagus green compared to blue undertones like forest and emerald. Cool greens pair well with dark grays. Yellow greens complement soft or dove grays

Are you a red head with freckles or maybe you have low contrast coloring (your hair and skin are similar shades)? You might look amazing in a yellow green paired with a soft gray.

Also, if you have a vibrant personality, bright eyes and lively hair: try on a vibrant green, like the bright green Moncler collarless jacket in this set. A dynamic personality can sometimes wear a color that his or her contrast level and skin undertone shouldn’t support. 

As always, at work you want people to recognize you for your intelligence and expertise, not the color you’re wearing. Nonetheless, a vibrant yellow-green screams spring. And I need me some spring right now! You?

21 hours ago
1 note
Nothing like reblogging yourself and yet I am. Watching Mad Men tonight? 
Joan at Work
Mad Men premieres on AMC for it’s seventh season on Sunday, April 13th and Joan Harris continues to be a beloved character on the series. And while she doesn’t have as much screen time as Peggy, she is obviously a strong woman with an active presence at Sterling Cooper (Draper) Price. (Joan landed the Avon account, dammit!). Joan’s curves and coloring will long be remembered after the final 7 episodes run in spring 2015. (In case you haven’t read, the final season is being broken down into two “mini seasons.” Oh, Hollywood.)
Joan’s iconic style is one that many of us wish we could replicate. The trick to dressing like Joan at work is that you want to project femininity without throwing your amazing hotness in co-workers’ faces.
A bit of Professionality advice:
If you’re working mad curves, make sure you cover the cleavage and don’t go too short on the skirt.
Consider a fitted blazer over your body-conscious-but-apropos dress.
Consider a kitten heel or moderate-height heel.
Joan’s coloring allows her to carry off orange-red, persimmon and coral, which might not work for your coloring and contrast. In that case, mimic the cut and style but not the color.

Nothing like reblogging yourself and yet I am. Watching Mad Men tonight? 

Joan at Work

Mad Men premieres on AMC for it’s seventh season on Sunday, April 13th and Joan Harris continues to be a beloved character on the series. And while she doesn’t have as much screen time as Peggy, she is obviously a strong woman with an active presence at Sterling Cooper (Draper) Price. (Joan landed the Avon account, dammit!). Joan’s curves and coloring will long be remembered after the final 7 episodes run in spring 2015. (In case you haven’t read, the final season is being broken down into two “mini seasons.” Oh, Hollywood.)

Joan’s iconic style is one that many of us wish we could replicate. The trick to dressing like Joan at work is that you want to project femininity without throwing your amazing hotness in co-workers’ faces.

A bit of Professionality advice:

  • If you’re working mad curves, make sure you cover the cleavage and don’t go too short on the skirt.
  • Consider a fitted blazer over your body-conscious-but-apropos dress.
  • Consider a kitten heel or moderate-height heel.
  • Joan’s coloring allows her to carry off orange-red, persimmon and coral, which might not work for your coloring and contrast. In that case, mimic the cut and style but not the color.

(Source: professionality)

2 days ago
3 notes
Professionality celebrates! 
There are 14 year olds with 10,000 followers (salute!) here on tumblr. And yet I couldn’t be more excited to have 600 Professionality tumblr followers. 
Thanks to those of you who ask professionalism, personal brand, career, work dress and business etiquette questions. Thanks to those of you who heart posts. And thanks to those of you who just scroll quickly by my professional dress sets for men and women, articles about job satisfaction, and general career advice. Thanks for not booting me off your dashboard. 
Keep the questions coming. I’m here for you. And for me.

Professionality celebrates! 

There are 14 year olds with 10,000 followers (salute!) here on tumblr. And yet I couldn’t be more excited to have 600 Professionality tumblr followers. 

Thanks to those of you who ask professionalism, personal brand, career, work dress and business etiquette questions. Thanks to those of you who heart posts. And thanks to those of you who just scroll quickly by my professional dress sets for men and women, articles about job satisfaction, and general career advice. Thanks for not booting me off your dashboard. 

Keep the questions coming. I’m here for you. And for me.

1 week ago
0 notes
"Dressing well is a form of good manners." - Tom Ford

"Dressing well is a form of good manners." - Tom Ford

(Source: stylerain, via lovekisshugyouandme)

1 week ago
104,202 notes
"We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change." - Sheryl Sandberg
This bit of wisdom is worth repeating.

"We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change." - Sheryl Sandberg

This bit of wisdom is worth repeating.

1 week ago
1 note

Ooooh, just 5 more followers…

I am honored that I have 595 followers on my Tumblr blog. Thank you for following Professionality. But, as they say, 595 is never enough: just 5 more followers, then I’ll be happy. No, really.

1 week ago
1 note
If Eleanor Roosevelt - first lady, politician, writer, outspoken woman - were alive today, she would no doubt also labeled as an individual with high emotional intelligence. Self-aware, aware of others, great at managing herself and managing others, outstanding ability to express herself while listening to others: she was leader who handled herself with her head and others with her heart.
If you live in the Boston area, are available on Saturday, April 12, and would like to increase your ability to lead with head and heart, please consider a full day of emotional intelligence training. I’ll be there with members of the New England Chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International hosting Jackie Ramirez of Genos International. You can get the information on my website: professionalityconsulting.com.

If Eleanor Roosevelt - first lady, politician, writer, outspoken woman - were alive today, she would no doubt also labeled as an individual with high emotional intelligence. Self-aware, aware of others, great at managing herself and managing others, outstanding ability to express herself while listening to others: she was leader who handled herself with her head and others with her heart.

If you live in the Boston area, are available on Saturday, April 12, and would like to increase your ability to lead with head and heart, please consider a full day of emotional intelligence training. I’ll be there with members of the New England Chapter of the Association of Image Consultants International hosting Jackie Ramirez of Genos International. You can get the information on my website: professionalityconsulting.com.

2 weeks ago
2 notes
Pink at Work
In the link I shared yesterday on women lawyers and professional dress, one of the judge sources is quoted as saying that women should never wear pink. And it got me thinking. I advocate for women to dress strong and represent themselves professionally in the workplace. But does that preclude wearing pink? Really? Pink has only been associated with femininity within very recent history. Pink can work at work, but you might want to avoid (depending on your personal brand) certain pink and feminine looks (as always, it’s a free world - you choose):
Pink Lady Suits - You know what I’m talking about. What might work for church or a wedding may not convey the brand you want to convey in the workplace.
Overall-soft-pink-girl. Think Jane Fond in 9 to 5. 
Head-to-toe floral pink. If you can fight stereotypes, do it. But if you want to make the battle easier for yourself, opt not to look like a young girl - look like a strong woman.
Thoughts? You let me know.

Pink at Work

In the link I shared yesterday on women lawyers and professional dress, one of the judge sources is quoted as saying that women should never wear pink. And it got me thinking. I advocate for women to dress strong and represent themselves professionally in the workplace. But does that preclude wearing pink? Really? Pink has only been associated with femininity within very recent history. Pink can work at work, but you might want to avoid (depending on your personal brand) certain pink and feminine looks (as always, it’s a free world - you choose):

  • Pink Lady Suits - You know what I’m talking about. What might work for church or a wedding may not convey the brand you want to convey in the workplace.
  • Overall-soft-pink-girl. Think Jane Fond in 9 to 5. 
  • Head-to-toe floral pink. If you can fight stereotypes, do it. But if you want to make the battle easier for yourself, opt not to look like a young girl - look like a strong woman.

Thoughts? You let me know.

2 weeks ago
1 note
Blood Moon: Orange, raspberry, black and gold at work.

Blood Moon: Orange, raspberry, black and gold at work.

1 day ago
2 notes

Work, social media, angst, and time to go read a book

My beloved Professionality tumblr blog is wack. My lovely theme - gone. So if you are a human who visits my site, my apologies. All will be well. In time.

It’s funny that this happened today. I was stewing over work-related issues and not feeling much joy when something happened that reminded me that work is not everything. It’s important. It matters. But it’s not the be all and end all of who I am. Or who you are.

And so, my blog will be repaired. My work life will be high, low and everywhere in between. And I should just go and read a book.

6 days ago
1 note
Tribal Prints at Work
One of the most visual trends this spring is tribal patterns for clothing and accessories. Like many a trend, this one can be added to your work wardrobe to add a little excitement and freshness. Keep the following in mind:
All patterns, like colors, have different names. “Tribal” or “ethnic” labels for these dynamic patterns might be offensive to some (the fashion industry does seem to lump all of these type of prints under the generic “tribal” moniker). This blog post on refinery29 - from 2 years ago - links all the patterns to theirs names - Ikat, Ganado, etc. - and their histories. Very interesting. 
If you’re petite, all-over and large patterns might consume you. The old “The dress was wearing her instead of her wearing the dress.” Opt for small prints or choose a garment that has the pattern placed in judicious locations.
If you you have a more significant figure, don’t be afraid to wear a larger pattern.
If you have a classic fashion personality (just a bit more refined and reserved), opt for a small-patterned shirt with a jacket over top.
Another fun option would be to dress in solids but accessorize with a shoe in a fun tribal pattern.
The great news about these lively prints is that they keep coming back into the fashion focus. After this season, put your “Tapa” print back in your closet and it will probably reappear again in 2 - 5 years. 

Tribal Prints at Work

One of the most visual trends this spring is tribal patterns for clothing and accessories. Like many a trend, this one can be added to your work wardrobe to add a little excitement and freshness. Keep the following in mind:

  • All patterns, like colors, have different names. “Tribal” or “ethnic” labels for these dynamic patterns might be offensive to some (the fashion industry does seem to lump all of these type of prints under the generic “tribal” moniker). This blog post on refinery29 - from 2 years ago - links all the patterns to theirs names - Ikat, Ganado, etc. - and their histories. Very interesting. 
  • If you’re petite, all-over and large patterns might consume you. The old “The dress was wearing her instead of her wearing the dress.” Opt for small prints or choose a garment that has the pattern placed in judicious locations.
  • If you you have a more significant figure, don’t be afraid to wear a larger pattern.
  • If you have a classic fashion personality (just a bit more refined and reserved), opt for a small-patterned shirt with a jacket over top.
  • Another fun option would be to dress in solids but accessorize with a shoe in a fun tribal pattern.

The great news about these lively prints is that they keep coming back into the fashion focus. After this season, put your “Tapa” print back in your closet and it will probably reappear again in 2 - 5 years. 

1 week ago
1 note
Smart Graduation Looks
Q. I’m graduating from college at the end of this month in Vermont. I want to look put-together. What should I wear? PS I’m curvy.
A. Congratulations! I hope that you are so excited and very proud of yourself. And I’m glad you’re putting thought into how you present yourself at graduation. I know lots of kids who wear t-shirts and shorts under their robes. While that has a certain cool and casual appeal, there are some flaws in their style: 1) Graduation is a right of passage - a recognition of the hard work done over two or four or five years; dressing well shows pride in yourself and your peers; 2) It makes parents and relatives so happy to see you shine; and 3) These pictures will not go away in your lifetime - they will reappear on Facebook (or whatever the equivalent will be) in 50 years.
Consider the following for looking and feeling amazing at your grad:
Ditch the heels and consider wedges or flats. You will be standing and marching up isles for a good portion of the day and you want to not grimace in pain or think that you can’t wait to get back home to take off your shoes.
Robes are generally made of synthetic materials that don’t breath so I can understand people who go the shorts-and-tshirt route - but there are other options, like short-sleeved dresses. 
Consider going more conservative than trendy. Like I said before, these pictures can come back and bite you in the butt (so sayeth Professionality). Wear a dark color all over (cigarette pants or tuxedo pants might be cute if pants work for you) or a classic sheath dress (put on a belt to accentuate your waist if you have a full hour-glass figure).
For a curvy woman, a second layer can often complete and complement the look - like a fitted blazer. If the blazer is too warm or doesn’t fit right under the robe, have mom hold it until after the ceremony (put it on before all the family pictures). And here’s more advice on how to professionally dress a curvy figure.
Ditch the sunnies! I think this is great advice from Lauren Conrad. Once again, these pictures last forever. When you’re shaking hands with the Dean of your school, you want to be smiling and making eye contact with her and the camera.
Don’t forget to turn off your phone - or at least mute it so it doesn’t pop, ping or ring during the ceremony. 
Again, congratulations. Go do amazing things in the world!
 

Smart Graduation Looks

Q. I’m graduating from college at the end of this month in Vermont. I want to look put-together. What should I wear? PS I’m curvy.

A. Congratulations! I hope that you are so excited and very proud of yourself. And I’m glad you’re putting thought into how you present yourself at graduation. I know lots of kids who wear t-shirts and shorts under their robes. While that has a certain cool and casual appeal, there are some flaws in their style: 1) Graduation is a right of passage - a recognition of the hard work done over two or four or five years; dressing well shows pride in yourself and your peers; 2) It makes parents and relatives so happy to see you shine; and 3) These pictures will not go away in your lifetime - they will reappear on Facebook (or whatever the equivalent will be) in 50 years.

Consider the following for looking and feeling amazing at your grad:

  • Ditch the heels and consider wedges or flats. You will be standing and marching up isles for a good portion of the day and you want to not grimace in pain or think that you can’t wait to get back home to take off your shoes.
  • Robes are generally made of synthetic materials that don’t breath so I can understand people who go the shorts-and-tshirt route - but there are other options, like short-sleeved dresses. 
  • Consider going more conservative than trendy. Like I said before, these pictures can come back and bite you in the butt (so sayeth Professionality). Wear a dark color all over (cigarette pants or tuxedo pants might be cute if pants work for you) or a classic sheath dress (put on a belt to accentuate your waist if you have a full hour-glass figure).
  • For a curvy woman, a second layer can often complete and complement the look - like a fitted blazer. If the blazer is too warm or doesn’t fit right under the robe, have mom hold it until after the ceremony (put it on before all the family pictures). And here’s more advice on how to professionally dress a curvy figure.
  • Ditch the sunnies! I think this is great advice from Lauren Conrad. Once again, these pictures last forever. When you’re shaking hands with the Dean of your school, you want to be smiling and making eye contact with her and the camera.

Don’t forget to turn off your phone - or at least mute it so it doesn’t pop, ping or ring during the ceremony. 

Again, congratulations. Go do amazing things in the world!

 

1 week ago
4 notes
Joan at Work
Mad Men premieres on AMC for it’s seventh season on Sunday, April 13th and Joan Harris continues to be a beloved character on the series. And while she doesn’t have as much screen time as Peggy, she is obviously a strong woman with an active presence at Sterling Cooper (Draper) Price. (Joan landed the Avon account, dammit!). Joan’s curves and coloring will long be remembered after the final 7 episodes run in spring 2015. (In case you haven’t read, the final season is being broken down into two “mini seasons.” Oh, Hollywood.)
Joan’s iconic style is one that many of us wish we could replicate. The trick to dressing like Joan at work is that you want to project femininity without throwing your amazing hotness in co-workers’ faces.
A bit of Professionality advice:
If you’re working mad curves, make sure you cover the cleavage and don’t go too short on the skirt.
Consider a fitted blazer over your body-conscious-but-apropos dress.
Consider a kitten heel or moderate-height heel.
Joan’s coloring allows her to carry off orange-red, persimmon and coral, which might not work for your coloring and contrast. In that case, mimic the cut and style but not the color.

Joan at Work

Mad Men premieres on AMC for it’s seventh season on Sunday, April 13th and Joan Harris continues to be a beloved character on the series. And while she doesn’t have as much screen time as Peggy, she is obviously a strong woman with an active presence at Sterling Cooper (Draper) Price. (Joan landed the Avon account, dammit!). Joan’s curves and coloring will long be remembered after the final 7 episodes run in spring 2015. (In case you haven’t read, the final season is being broken down into two “mini seasons.” Oh, Hollywood.)

Joan’s iconic style is one that many of us wish we could replicate. The trick to dressing like Joan at work is that you want to project femininity without throwing your amazing hotness in co-workers’ faces.

A bit of Professionality advice:

  • If you’re working mad curves, make sure you cover the cleavage and don’t go too short on the skirt.
  • Consider a fitted blazer over your body-conscious-but-apropos dress.
  • Consider a kitten heel or moderate-height heel.
  • Joan’s coloring allows her to carry off orange-red, persimmon and coral, which might not work for your coloring and contrast. In that case, mimic the cut and style but not the color.
1 week ago
3 notes
Man Monday: Polka Dot Ties
The fashion gods have decided that polka dots are on trend. That’s fine with me: polka dots and stripes are about the only patterns I can personally tolerate. While you’re never going to wear a suit with a pronounced dotted pattern (I am assuming, here), you can easily incorporate a great tie or pocket square - or even socks - with polka dots. Here are a few tips for wearing these club ties at work:
Micro-dotted ties read as neutral. Go ahead and pair with a striped shirt. Or a varied-patterned pocket square in the same color family.
Medium-sized polka dots are classic.
Large polka dots are more dramatic and trendy. Wear with caution! Multi-colored dots can make the tie read as “clown.” Usually not a goal we’re looking to meet.
Here’s some good information on ties - including polka dots ones - from the GQ site.

Man Monday: Polka Dot Ties

The fashion gods have decided that polka dots are on trend. That’s fine with me: polka dots and stripes are about the only patterns I can personally tolerate. While you’re never going to wear a suit with a pronounced dotted pattern (I am assuming, here), you can easily incorporate a great tie or pocket square - or even socks - with polka dots. Here are a few tips for wearing these club ties at work:

  • Micro-dotted ties read as neutral. Go ahead and pair with a striped shirt. Or a varied-patterned pocket square in the same color family.
  • Medium-sized polka dots are classic.
  • Large polka dots are more dramatic and trendy. Wear with caution! Multi-colored dots can make the tie read as “clown.” Usually not a goal we’re looking to meet.

Here’s some good information on ties - including polka dots ones - from the GQ site.

2 weeks ago
1 note
Spring Gray at Work
Here in Vermont, there are 6 months of winter, 4 months of summery-like weather, leaving only one month each for true fall and spring. And spring, my friends, is gray. In cold-weather country, we are hesitant to pull out anything that hints of light, bright or floral until darn close to Memorial Day. Not because of any rule but because our choices tend to reflect the landscape. (Sorry, feeling just a wee bleak.)
The great news about gray: it’s a neutral that can be used in many ways. Here are some tips for wearing gray to work:
Gray connotes responsibility, stability, conservative. If your personal band has anything to do with dynamic, vibrant, dramatic, you might want to consider enlivening the gray with bursts of color - scarves, jewelry, blazers - if you’re a man reading this, incorporate bright ties and pocket squares. Back to women: Try just gray on the bottom and an amazing blouse in a hue that works for you or a pattern such as leopard.
If you have a warm skin tone (yellow/golden/peachy), light grays can work great. Pair a dove-gray dress with an orange blazer or scarf.
If you have a cool skin tone (pink/violet), charcoal and blue-gray will compliment you skin tone. Pair a dark gray sweater with chunky blue earrings and necklace.
Remember, you can wear any color in the world you want in any way you want: You choose! This information is just an FYI.
My buddy Imogen Lamport of InsideOut Style Blog did a post last year on how to match colors with shades of gray. I think you’ll find it useful.
The prediction is for 4 inches of snow tomorrow. Give me true spring, please! But until then, I’ll stay gray with sporadic bursts of hope and color.

Spring Gray at Work

Here in Vermont, there are 6 months of winter, 4 months of summery-like weather, leaving only one month each for true fall and spring. And spring, my friends, is gray. In cold-weather country, we are hesitant to pull out anything that hints of light, bright or floral until darn close to Memorial Day. Not because of any rule but because our choices tend to reflect the landscape. (Sorry, feeling just a wee bleak.)

The great news about gray: it’s a neutral that can be used in many ways. Here are some tips for wearing gray to work:

  • Gray connotes responsibility, stability, conservative. If your personal band has anything to do with dynamic, vibrant, dramatic, you might want to consider enlivening the gray with bursts of color - scarves, jewelry, blazers - if you’re a man reading this, incorporate bright ties and pocket squares. Back to women: Try just gray on the bottom and an amazing blouse in a hue that works for you or a pattern such as leopard.
  • If you have a warm skin tone (yellow/golden/peachy), light grays can work great. Pair a dove-gray dress with an orange blazer or scarf.
  • If you have a cool skin tone (pink/violet), charcoal and blue-gray will compliment you skin tone. Pair a dark gray sweater with chunky blue earrings and necklace.
  • Remember, you can wear any color in the world you want in any way you want: You choose! This information is just an FYI.

My buddy Imogen Lamport of InsideOut Style Blog did a post last year on how to match colors with shades of gray. I think you’ll find it useful.

The prediction is for 4 inches of snow tomorrow. Give me true spring, please! But until then, I’ll stay gray with sporadic bursts of hope and color.

2 weeks ago
2 notes