Archive for September, 2009

Defining Your Personal Style: Dress Codes

Oh, the bane of all creative fashion loving individuals: dress codes. For those of us working at home/for ourselves, or in a particularly creative field, this isn’t a problem at all. For those who’ve been given the dreaded “business casual” to work with, it can be awful. When I worked in a business casual environment, I usually ended up throwing on a nice shirt with black pants and whatever pair of nice shoes that was closest. I felt stifled by the dress code and thus didn’t even make an attempt to express myself through my outfits, which got old fast. Nobody wants to feel like that! To help out with this dilemma, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions for ways to retain your personal style, while fitting in to dress code.

Side note: The last time I worked in a business casual setting, the dress code was pants, capris if at or under the knee, skirts if at or under the knee, collared shirts and no sneakers or open-toed shoes allowed. So these are the parameters I’m working with for the examples. But the methods and ideas I’ll throw out can be easily applied to school uniforms or other dress codes, as well. Obviously, they won’t work in situations like a server, where black pants/white shirt is the uniform - but even then, you can express yourself with accessories as long as they aren’t too loud.

  • Details, details, details. When shopping for your work wardrobe, look for items that fit dress code but have whimsical (or edgy, or bold - whatever your style!) little details. Case in point: the bow on this skirt’s waistband. Details combined with a few accessories can bring an outfit from drab to fab. (Did I just say that? Oh, yes, I did.) Other details to look for: ruffles, pops of color, pleating, an unexpected print.
  • Accessories. Nothing groundbreaking, I’ll give you that, but that’s because it works. This outfit isn’t very inspiring color wise, with a gray/silver and black scheme, but the accessories give it an almost neo-Victorian feel. There’s the running rose theme, the amazing ankle boots, and the ruffle detailing on the skirt. A good choice of accessories and an interesting choice in shoes will take your outfit a long way. Don’t forget hair accessories, which are often overlooked!
  • Color. It would be tough to get away with wearing a neon ensemble in most business-casual workplaces, but a colorful top and accessories will go a long way to making you feel better about what you’re wearing, and as a bonus liven up your workplace a bit! A nice medium pink is a safe bet, with accents here in the ring and hair bow as well. Note the accessories - belts are another oft-overlooked area, and the statement necklace here adds a nice touch.
  • Another tip to remember: plan your outfit the night before! I know, I know, you don’t want to, when you get home you just want to kick back and watch Project Runway without having to think about work at all. Unfortunately though, your most stylish moments will not be when you’ve already hit the snooze button twice and are trying to get dressed and eat cereal at the same time. An ounce of prevention and all that jazz.

Do you have to work around a dress code or uniform? How do you express your personal style while staying within it?

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Links a la Mode

lam0903

Style Within Means

Edited by Debutante Clothing

As the summer winds down and I start planning my Fall wardrobe, I’m overwhelmed by thoughts of how to create a wardrobe on a budget. This week, we have a ton of posts on how to find great style within a budget. Fashion Pulse Daily gives us the top denim looks under $50 and The Recessionista is reporting Anna Wintour is heading to Macy’s for Fashion Night Out. Enjoy!

Links à la Mode : Sepetember 3rd

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Tattoo Etiquette: A Public Service Announcement

Yup, those are two of mine.

Yup, those are two of mine.

Thankfully, this post wasn’t spurred by comments towards me - not recent ones, anyways. I got my fair share living in small-town Missouri, but tattooed people are much more common in Austin and less likely to be regarded as circus freaks. No, these comments were read on the bastion of rudeness: the Internet. Sigh. And really, the following applies to anything from funky colored hair to piercings, and a multitude of others. But the comments I’ve seen were about tattoos, and about tattoos this post shall be!

My dearest readers, I’m sure that you would never commit any of the following offenses. At least, I hope not. Obviously, being on this blog means that you have exquisite taste and you are, in fact, probably a very cultured individual. (Riiiight? *wink wink nudge nudge*) Joking aside, I seriously doubt this is necessary for regular readers, but I’ve been seeing a lot of rudeness on the subject of tattoos lately and feel like some education is called for.

Non tattooed individuals:

  • It is not, under any circumstances, okay to grab, poke, pinch, prod, slap, grope, or otherwise touch a tattooed person without their express permission. Having public art available to view on their body does not make any of these okay, and if you do so, be prepared for any consequences that may come your way - whether that’s a verbal lashing or a physical one. And oddly enough, tattooed skin feels just like regular skin. I promise. Sometimes it’s a little raised, and that’s it.
  • Asking polite questions is a-okay. Some tattooed folk find this tiresome, I personally don’t mind it at all. I love talking about my tattoos! Examples of questions that are okay to ask: “Where did you get that done?” “How long did it take?” “Did it hurt?” Although, in fairness, that might warrant a sarcastic answer. Yes, tattoos hurt. Generally they’re not agonizingly painful.
  • Questions that are iffy but might be all right if you know the person you’re speaking to: “How much did that cost?” “What does it mean?” Some people get tattoos simply because they find them beautiful. Some people get them because they have some deep meaning to them - and often times, that meaning is something very personal that they don’t want to share with anyone else. If someone politely declines to share the meaning of the tattoo with you, please do not get offended. If you think the meaning of their tattoo is stupid, it’s not polite to say so.

Statements that are never, ever okay:

  • “That looks cute now, but it’s going to look terrible when you’re 80.” And if you do say this out loud, in public, please do not be surprised when you get a snarky response of “Duh. Everything looks terrible when you’re eighty.”
  • “You’ll never get a husband like that!”
  • “Only bikers, sailors, and trashy people get tattoos, you know.” Variations include: “What are you, a biker? Hurr hurr hurr.”
  • “How do you expect to find a job?” (Note: this is something that should definitely be thought about before getting highly visible tattoos. But to say this to a stranger is extremely insulting.)
  • “Why would you do that to yourself? You’re such a pretty girl!”

That last one, in particular, makes me want to projectile vomit every time I hear it. There’s this disturbing trend in our society to treat womens’ bodies as public property. They are, in fact, emphatically not. Let’s deconstruct that comment: what this person is saying is “Hey. Because you’re pretty, I think you shouldn’t do anything to your body that will ruin that, in my or others’ eyes. Nevermind the fact that it’s your body!”. F’n creepy much?

As usual, the old standby of “if you can’t say anything nice, keep your mouth shut” will do you well here. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize the above statements are, in fact, rude, and instead think they’re paying the receiver some sort of twisted compliment. After all, everyone loves to hear things like: “If my daughter came home with hair like that, I’d beat her with a belt!”. (no shit - 100% true story. not tattoos, but you know, still applicable here.)

I had an addenendum about etiquette when going to get a tattoo, but it became so long I’m going to do a separate post. And like I said - I don’t really think any of this should be groundbreaking. I’m not saying everyone has to love tattoos, I’m just saying - treat your fellow human beings with respect. And really, isn’t that something we should do anyways?

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Fabulous Fluevogs for Fall

Over the past few weeks, Fluevog has been posting their new shoes for fall on the website, and they’ve outdone themselves yet again!

Fluevog Kona

Fluevog Kona

They debuted all kinds of gorgeous boots…the Fluevog Kona, above, is a deliciously wearable mid-calf boot, with saucy back laces and heel detailing. They also come in a gorgeous wine shade.

Fluevog Libby Smith

Fluevog Libby Smith

The Libby Smith boots have spat-style detailing with contrasing faux-buttons, and also come in all black with red buttons, and a very steampunk olive/gray version with blue buttons. Also new in the Bellevue family is the Mattie Silks boot, a knee high boot with buckle detailing.

Fluevog Silverlake

Fluevog Silverlake

And then there’s the Silverlake. Oh my. I don’t even need to explain this, do I? Let’s all just drool at our screens in unison for a few minutes.

Right. Onward then.

Fluevog Mitte

Fluevog Mitte

The heels on these lovelies are a whopping (for me, anyways!) five and a half inches. However, there’s a 1.5″ platform up front which should even things out a bit - I’d love to try these on, to see how they fit if nothing else.

Fluevog Sumatra

Fluevog Sumatra

The Sumatras not only have a dashing two-tone look, they make me think of a 50’s glamour gal gone rogue. Very Bettie Page. I love the miniature laces, the pointed toe, the textured leather…insert dreamy sigh here.

Pearl Hart

Pearl Hart

Pearl Hart offers another great addition to the Bellevue family, with a twist on the classic mary jane shape. And it also comes in wine with black accents, or olive with gray accents.

Fluevog Vibe

Fluevog Vibe

And the newest addition to the Body Parts family, the Vibe. I think I would have to see these in person (in shoeson?) to reach a final verdict on them; I would either absolutely love them or absolutely not. I do have to agree with Jaka that a version with a black heel would be fab! The Body Parts pump has that color scheme available, so maybe there’s hope?

I love so many of them, it’s hard to pick which one or two pairs I might buy! Lots of olive and burgundy/wine, which are great autumn shades (although they don’t fit into my wardrobe palette particuarly well).

What do you think of the new ‘Vogs?

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