Peplum top and pencil skirt accessorized a la carte
I attended a very significant graduation today, which I could go on and on about; however, the point of this post is more superficially focused on what I wore: a black peplum top and a black pencil skirt.
I’ve actually worn this same duo to work and out to dinner. For me, the elegant casual monochromatic pairing is a great base for a la carte accessorizing. Switch up the shoes, jewelry and scarves, sweaters and jackets to match the event. I love occasion-specific dresses, etc. as much as the next girl, but when you’re looking to save money, have to pack lightly or just like a certain look, choosing pieces that you can accessorize in multiple ways seems a good thing.
What do you think?
Study: Cheerful Women Seen as Less Willing to Lead
Oh yeesh. I just read a tweet that lead me to a Jezebel post that lead me to a New York Daily News article that lead me to a press release on a study on research at Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM). One of the findings of the study is that “women are perceived as being more willing to lead if they show that they are proud of their personal performance.” Good. Yes. I like this. We all need to take more pride in what we do and stand behind our work.
Don’t smile though! Another finding is that If a woman gives a “cheerful impression,” she is judged to have less willingness and/or ability to lead than men displaying the same demeanor.
One of the researchers, Professor Isabell Welpe of TUM’s Chair for Strategy and Organization, states:
“There is still the belief that men in leadership positions show more assertiveness towards their staff. The surprising thing is that some female stereotypes are more reinforced in the minds of women themselves — for example their tendency to accept a dominant leadership style in men.”
Interesting. So if you are a woman with a welcoming and open communication style, your male - and female - colleagues might be less likely to see you as a dominant leader.
Here’s what I say - be you. Be your personal brand - whether you’re a man or a woman. There are steps you can take, skills and tricks you can learn to make you feel and appear more dominant, more of a traditional “alpha dog” leader. And depending on who you are, where you work, and what outcomes you want, I might advise you to incorporate some into “you.” But…you should never be in a position or striving for a position where you will be “forced” into actions that are contrary to your way of being.
If you’re sunny man or woman, be welcoming, smiling and kind without being “Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays” annoying. Other than that, yeesh. Here are a few non-verbal communication few tips to appear more dominant. Try them out. If you like them, take them. They’re free.
But, please, if you’re happy, engaged and caring, keep smiling. Women will continue to affect change in the workplace. It’s been a long slog, but, like the quote says, “Whoever said it couldn’t be done shouldn’t interrupt the woman doing it.” Even if she’s smiling.
I like this Karen Millen Blue Fractured Flower Print Dress. It’s elegant and ladylike but with personality. I paired it here with blacks and Tiffany blues. But you could pop on a pair of orange peep toes and peach-toned bag for a more dynamic look.
Synchronicity: Memorial Day, white at work, and 50 dresses under $50
I won’t bore you with the details, but I just had one of those moments where three thoughts came together to coalesce into one outcome. I truly wish the three thoughts that merged into a powerful triumvirate were “A cure for cancer,” “How to establish world peace,” and “You can afford day care, child care and a fabulous wardrobe!” Alas, no.
And so here I offer you the following:
It’s Memorial Day Weekend. My dad fought in WWII and I have a sincere and heartfelt appreciation for all individuals who serve in the armed forces. Thank you. But on a more superficial side, Memorial Day indicates the old-fashioned standard: You can now wear white! Because I worked for The Emily Post Institute for seven years, and I just have common sense, I know that adage only goes so far. If you live where it’s hot, white makes sense any month of the year. If you look fabulous in off white, you should wear off-white wools and layers in the bitter cold. And if you don’t care, do whatever the heck you want. Common sense rules. And I just saw that Lucky has 50 white dresses $50 and under posted.
All in all, it seems a good time to:
“I wish that I could have 100 kids so I could have 100 friends and no one could say no to being my friend.” - Michael Scott, The Office
Professionality’s Fathers Day Gift Ideas
I consider myself an expert on fathers. I have a father. And I’ve been married to father of my children for many years (I won’t bore you with the exact number of years). If that doesn’t make me an expert, I don’t know what does. Well, I guess most of us are experts. With that in mind, here are a handful of ideas for the pops in your lives.
And if you don’t get your act together to get him a gift or a card, call him on Sunday. And if you can’t call him, just send him a text and say, “I love and appreciate you. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.” Or whatever works for you.
Pregnant at Work!
Doesn’t that sound like it should be the title of some reality TV show?
I was at a dear friend’s baby shower yesterday - and she looked amazing. And I remembered when I was pregnant. Honestly, I had only a couple of work outfits that I actually felt good about. I wore a stretchy black pencil skirt 2 or 3 times a week with several different tops (and one had a bow - shudder! - on the butt - nooooooo!). I wore a pair of very comfortable black pants. And again with the different tops. And I wore flats all the time.
Here are 5 tips for making it through the long days of work when you’re pregnant:
And if 5 pieces of advice aren’t enough for you, here are some slides highlighting the book, Bump it Up, which has 35 rules.
Professionals with strong personal brands interview #3: Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn is a leadership and personal brand expert. Her company is Illustra Consulting and, full disclosure, she is a mentor, friend and colleague of mine. If you’re interested in learning more about professional growth, watch this short clip. Sarah talks about things like “Zig-Zagging” to the top, always doing the “deep dive” to learn more and give me, and being your authentic self - because no one can copy that.
Why not a custom shirt?
Some of us can walk into a store, and everything just fits. Others of us? Not so much. We need to work hard to find the perfect cut and style for our body type, personality and personal brand. If this is you, consider a custom shirt. You can have the tailor create the right collar spread, cuffs, fit and stitching. And it’s not as expensive as you might think (depending on where you go). One of my image colleagues is the proprietor of Henry A. Davidsen in Philadelphia. Their custom shirts start at $135. Well, you spend a lot more than that over the course of a weekend, I bet. Start by investing in one quality shirt and see if it rocks your world.
Five reasons to invest in a custom shirt:
Here are a few tips on men’s dress shirts.
Professionality’s Collection of Men’s Professional Dress
I finally did it. I gathered all of my menswear looks into one collection at Polyvore. Over the past two years, I’ve done about 50 different business formal, elegant casual and business casual looks, and featured lots of “how to” tips.
And I just counted that I’ve done 482 SETS total over the past two years - looks and tips for men and women. Could somebody do the math and tell me how many sets per week I average?
Excuse me, it’s Memorial Day Weekend and I’m off to get a life.