Professional Dress for the Fashionably Challenged-part 2: Employee Onboarding

The first article gave you tips on how to dress to get the job. Here is another post giving you tips on how to keep the job and make your way up the company ladder.

Congratulations! Your professional appearance left a good impression and you have landed the job. Now we can look at the employee onboarding phase. This is an excellent time to learn more about the company dress code by observing your peers. You can relax a bit and dress to fit into the atmosphere of the office.

A little common sense goes a long way during this phase. If your position has you climbing ladders in a law library to retrieve reference books, either lengthen the skirt or switch to appropriate slacks. For a casual business look—keep the tailored style, but lose the jacket at the office. You may need a blazer or jacket for special introductions or meetings.
Armed with the company dress code and your mental notes, it’s time to go shopping. Use these five tips to keep you on target.

  • Business attire usually requires collared shirts. Scooped necklines should be within two inches (about three fingers) of the collarbone.
  • Avoid animal prints and loud colors.
  • Fashionable does not mean expensive.
  • Limit jewelry to one or two signature pieces.
  • Avoid tight, form hugging styles.

Ask where co-workers shop if you like their style; however, be realistic. Your personal shape, height and size will dictate some fashion choices. Everyone looks and feels more confident wearing clothing that fits properly. Consider having your garments tailored for a professional appearance.

Danielle is a full-fledged, no apologies, into-the-trenches thrift store warrior. When she isn’t scouting out her next hot find; she blogs for Sears and other brands she uses. She’s found everything from jumpsuits to grass skirts to a wedding dress and gotten the old lady smell out of all of them. Read her fashionably thrifty musings on beltsandbangles.com.

Clueless Style Files-Tangerine Tango or just orange

So here’s another example of me diving into a trend. I’m a big fan of orange and am excited to see the increase in pieces in different orange hues in the stores. I went out a few nights ago and decided to play around with my orange tank top. This is what I came up with.

I paired an orange tank top with an army green cropped jacket, dark skinny jeans and animal print sandals (not shown). I can’t remember where I got all of the pieces since I’ve had them for a while, but I got the jacket from Dots and the tank top wasn’t overly expensive. Actually, I saw some on sale for $3.88 at a Wal-Mart near my house in some great colors. I plan on picking some up over the weekend. I’ve also seen tank tops at Walgreen’s. They’re wife beater types of tanks but they are great casual pieces that can be layered under sweaters and jackets or worn alone when it’s hot. If you’ve done the orange trend, please share your pics. Email me at info [at] cluelessfashionista [dot] com.

Professional Dress for the Fashionably Challenged-guest post by Danielle

I know I often encourage you to be daring in your dress and experiment with trends and that does apply except when you’re going to an interview. Danielle of Belts and Bangles has some great tips for dressing for success in an interview while still looking stylish.

You have finally landed an interview with the firm downtown; you hit it off perfectly with the HR director on the telephone and your spirits are soaring. Then you find yourself standing in the closet surrounded by one fashion disaster after another. If you are one of the many talented up-and-coming professionals that has a great résumé, but fall short when it comes to dressing the part—don’t despair! Not everyone was blessed with an abundance of fashion genes; some of us need a little help from our friends to dress for success.

When I give fashion advice to job seekers, the first thing I point out is that during the interview your clothes should not speak louder than your resume. To accomplish this, think conservative. Darker colors project a more serious tone than spring pastels and solids rule over flashy florals and geeky geometrics. What else do you need to know? Read the tips below to help you feel relaxed and look fantastic for the interview and we will deal with how to dress for employee on boarding later.

The Do’s and Don’ts

DO choose a suit or ensemble in a brown, grey or blue. Wear a solid colored blouse or button-down shirt. White or barely there blue are excellent choices with a suit. Your slacks and jacket should fit properly and be comfortable to avoid fidgeting. If you choose to wear a skirt, select a hemline that falls at mid-knee or just below.

DON’T forget to check for wrinkles, panty lines and loose hemstitches. Heading into an interview with your shirt tail flapping in the breeze will not earn you any fashion points.

DO accessorize wisely. Choose jewelry that is modest, nail polish that is neutral and shoes that have a low-to-moderate heel with closed toes.

DON’T add bold, exotic scarves, chunky jewelry or a crazy new hairstyle. It’s important to let your personality shine over your clothing.

Prepare for the offer before you leave the job interview. Take a mental snapshot of how your interviewer is dressed. Look at employees you see in the halls and reception area as you pass through. Ask about company dress codes. You will probably notice that there are a variety of styles, but there should be a common theme that is predominant. It’s easy to tell if the majority of the staff are “fully suited” or wearing separates. Is everyone wearing slacks? Skirts? Ties? Flats or heels?


Danielle is a full-fledged, no apologies, into-the-trenches thrift store warrior. When she isn’t scouting out her next hot find; she blogs for Sears and other brands she uses. She’s found everything from jumpsuits to grass skirts to a wedding dress and gotten the old lady smell out of all of them. Read her fashionably thrifty musings on beltsandbangles.com.

How do I wear that trend…Tangerine Tango

Every year Pantone, the authority on color, earmarks a color to represent that year. This year they chose tangerine tango.

http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/category.aspx?ca=88

Now as someone who enjoys wearing red, orange and yellow, I was pleased with this color selection. However, I realize that this bold color could be intimidating to those of you that may be a bit color shy. I wanted to give some tips on how you can incorporate the Pantone Color of 2012 into your wardrobe and brighten things up this year. The great thing is that this color is bright enough to be a bold presence in the warmer months but it’s bold enough to take us through the colder months as well.

1. Accessories! You know I am a fan of incorporating color through accessories, especially shoes. You can pick up a pair of pumps that are exactly tangerine or in the same color family like these fabulous coral pumps by Jessica Beijo. Click the picture if you’d like to pick up a pair. They’re $69.95 at DSW.

2. Pants. If you’re more daring about your approach to color, you could give it a try in a pair of orange jeans. These are great because they can be worn by anyone, regardless of your skin’s undertones. One of the biggest obstacles to wearing a rich color like orange is if you have red or blue undertones in your skin. If you have red undertones, orange close to your face can bring out the red and not look the most flattering. If you have blue undertones, the orange could make you look washed out. So if you throw on a great pair of orange jeans, the color is away from your face and you can pair it with a neutral color like gray or off-white (or any variation of this color-eggshell, anyone?).

3. Makeup. Now wait before you scoff at this one! I know that some orange makeup can be very bright and garish. No, I don’t want you to wear crayon orange makeup but in lighter palates, orange is a wonderful spring makeup color. You can go for a soft orange lip gloss or a light orange eye shadow. In fact, I found a couple of videos that show you how to wear orange makeup.

This is one from Bella Sugar that shows how orange makeup can work well for a variety of skin types.

This is a great tutorial that shows you how to do an orange smokey eye. It’s definitely on the more advanced side but she really explained things slowly and did the tutorial with a great closeup on her eyes the entire time. I will be giving this a try and showing you my interpretation of it. I encourage you to do the same and share it with me! I’d love to see how the orange smokey eye turns out for you.

So there you have it. Some great ways to wear the Pantone Color of 2012, Tangerine Orange (or other colors in the orange family). If you dive into this trend, send me the pics! I’d love to see how you incorporate it into your outfits. Go forth in color!

Product Review-Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream

As a BzzAgent, I got an opportunity to try out the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream. I was interested to try it because I’d never heard of B.B. Cream so I wanted to know what it was all about. I did some research in advance and discovered that it is tinting moisturizer that helps to camouflage marks and other discolorations on your face but it isn’t a foundation or concealer.

Well I am a big fan of tinted moisturizer, having learned about them several years ago. I’ve used them regularly since and I just happen to not have any so this was a great time for me to check out another brand.

I got it in the mail and opened the package. The first day I tried it out, I put it on much like I would any other tinted moisturizer I have used in the past. I squeezed about a third of a dime sized amount of it into my hand and rubbed it onto my face and neck.

I like the texture of it and it definitely moisturized my face, however, the color was about two to three shades too light so it made my face look ashy. I rubbed it off some and after an hour or so, the moisturizer soaked in and I didn’t look so ashy. This is a problem that I’ve encountered with other makeup products that aren’t specifically made for women of color. Although it says medium/deep, it’s not truly for darker skinned complexions. It’s more for olive toned skin.

With that in mind, I do like the product and if I apply it sparingly, I really like it. It does smooth out my face and moisturizes it very well. However, I would have to recommend it very carefully. I could only comfortably suggest it to women who are much lighter than myself and I’m considered a light brown-skinned black woman.

I would ask Garnier to look into taking this product and stretching the color spectrum to work for the multiple hues of woman who might use it. I think that if skin care and makeup companies started creating products that could be used by all women, without it having to be a special line for women of color, they would benefit from it.

I plan on finishing my tube but I wouldn’t buy this product because ultimately it’s too light for me but the SPF and the thickness makes it a great moisturizer.

Clueless Style Files-Colorblocking

So I decided that I want to start doing outfit posts, but since everything here is for the purpose of becoming more stylish and experimenting with style, I will share with you guys when I delve into different trends that I feature.

I am a big fan of the colorblocking trend. As someone who was very match oriented growing up, I have been enjoying going against those ideals that everything has to match or coordinate. I had a few meetings today and wanted to go for a more business casual look while trying out the colorblocking trend with a neutral.

I decided to go with my gray slacks, green t-shirt and green open toed pumps. It was a little cool this morning so I topped it off with my pink, animal print scarf from Fraas. If you didn’t see that post, check it out: Product Review-Fraas Animal Print Scarf. But before you check that out, enjoy my take on the colorblocking trend.

If you’ve tried the colorblocking trend, please share pics. I’d love to show the different ways people are incorporating it. I call this my “ease in” approach because I used a neutral but not one most typically paired with this shade of green in this way. I plan on doing a more daring colorblocking outfit once I figure out what that looks like. I’d love any suggestions on more daring colors to pair.

Product Review-Fraas Animal Print Scarf

After having the opportunity to review the fabulous Fraas scarf in October, I was excited at an opportunity to road test one of the new animal print scarves. The wonderful folks at Lipton Publicity sent me the pink one. When I got it, I loved it right away. It’s a subtle animal print with pink tones but not overly so. It’s a great thin scarf for those fickle, warm spring days that turn into cool spring nights. It’s thin enough to go around your neck but wide enough to cover your shoulders if necessary. Plus, it’s a great neutral pink that will jazz up almost any outfit because of the subtle color and not-too-overpowering animal print.

You know how I love a great animal print piece that can provide a pop of pizzazz!

Make sure you check out the video I did with the other Fraas scarf. It applies to this one as well.

How to wear a Fraas Scarf

Visit www.fraas.com to check out their fabulous scarf collection. I’d love to see how you wear your scarves this spring. Send pictures of you in your scarf to info [at] cluelessfashionista [dot] com and I’ll feature you and a link to your Facebook or twitter on a follow-up launch. Double kudos if you send me a picture of you in a Fraas scarf!

How do I wear that trend…pastels

http://www.ladylux.com/style/site/article/nyfw-spring -2012-pastel-colors/

So Easter is coming up and those of you who celebrate may be planning to don your prettiest pastel outfit for Easter Sunday but pastels don’t have to be reserved just for Easter. Pastels were all over the runways for the spring and they are a great way to feel summer-y. The unfortunate thing about pastels is that if not done right, they can easily move from chic to costume-y. I also want to suggest some ways to incorporate the pastel trend that goes beyond just wearing a pastel colored shirt.

1. Shoes! Yes I know I’m always talking about shoes but they are truly a great way to experiment with trends without feeling overwhelmed by it. You don’t even have to get super fancy shoes. You can rock a pair of pastel colored pumps with a pair of dark jeans and a white, black or gray t-shirt and be fly.

2. Accessories, most specifically hair accessories. You can wear pastel hair accessories and look very girlie and cute and on trend. You can do headbands, hair ties or even pastel flowers. I would suggest visiting stores like Target, Wal-Mart and Dots to browse their hair accessory section for a great pastel piece. Wear it like a pop of color and match it with clothes in a similar color group. For example, if you’re wearing orange, go for an orange pastel hair accessory. If you’re wearing red or blue, go for a pastel pink or pastel blue.

3. Pants! One of the hottest trends is colored jeans. You can do pastel as well as bright colors. If you’re more daring and ok with diving into trends, look for a pastel pair of jeans or pants and wear those with either a neutral top (brown, black, tan or gray) or take it a step further and do the colorblocking trend. Check out the last post How do I wear that trend…colorblocking for great tips and use your pastel piece as the base.

These are just a few ways you can do the pastel trend and look great and not at all like you’re going to an Easter program (unless you are of course!). If you try this trend, let me know. Send a picture of yourself rocking the pastel trend to info [at] cluelessfashionista [dot] com and I’ll do a follow-up post featuring your pictures.

How do I wear that trend…colorblocking

One cool trend that was all over the Spring runways is colorblocking. It looks great on anyone because it’s as simple as combining two colors in a very deliberate but stylish way. However, it can easily go wrong so I wanted to reach out to an expert to get some tips for you. I had an opportunity to chat with Amber D., Fashion’s Bandaid, and she gave some great tips on how we can do colorblocking without breaking the bank or looking like we’re wearing a costume.

One of the latest trends this season is color blocking. We’ve seen it everywhere and worn in so many different ways.

Here’s a few simple ways to try this trend and look like a style aficionado!

Start by choosing your color palate and the area you like to play up most. I chose nudes, bolds/neons and pastels; all colors that are very big for Spring/Summer.

1.  Nudes are simple, sweet and sophisticated as well as this Spring’s alternative to white. Take a basic shift dress. It can be the foundation for your look. It’s best to keep your foundation simple so you can go big in another area

2.  Bolds/Neons are fun, funky and scream look at me! If you love and live in black, try navy for Spring. Take your favorite type of top: tank, crew, over-sized, boat neck or even a button down and you have your start. Neons are all the rage right now especially in denim skinnies! Pair your top with a pair of denim skinny jeans (if I am wearing skinnies, I go for an over-sized tee), chino shorts or maxi skirt. Add a ballet flat or sandals and a belt and you have achieved a bright/bold look that will keep eyes on you.

3.  Pastels can be tricky but if done the right way you can give boho chic instead of Easter peep. Peach, mint and sorbet all sound like delightful eats, but they really were the sweetest treats on the runways for the Spring. When wearing pastel colors, never be afraid to play up your pretty, girly, earthy side. Wear a light, airy dress (I like the maxi) or even a skirt. Play with layers (go on and be daring *giggles*). It’s okay to try light layers (lacy tank, light weight tee or crochet vest/cardigan) for this color grouping. Add a few bracelets, a scarf and a pair of your favorite sandals to complete this boho look that will keep you mellow all day.

With any look you may try there’s no right or wrong as long as you wear the fit best for your body and put on the most important piece of your look…your confidence! The rules are simple, color blocking is easy just go for it and have fun.

Just don’t over think it because when you over think it you over do it.

Make sure you follow Amber on twitter Amber_so_Quirky and thank her for these wonderful tips!

Product Review-Dryel

I had the opportunity to try the newest re-release of Dryel and it’s cool new look. I’ve always wanted to try it out but I was hesitant mainly because of the cost and that it requires putting dry clean only clothes in the dryer. Growing up, it was drilled into my head that there are certain clothes that can be put in the dryer but when I received my package of Dryel, I bravely tossed a few pieces in the bag and threw them in the dryer.

They had to “dry” for 30 minutes and when I pulled the bag out and opened it, I was instantly struck by the wonderful scent of my clothes. The Dryel cloth had made them smell so wonderful that I had to smell them all. The scent was evenly distributed among the clothes and they were all in one piece. Nothing was damaged or smaller than when I put it in the special bag. Plus, when I pulled the pieces out, they all felt clean! It was kind of amazing.

So I will definitely be buying more Dryel and incorporating it into my laundry routine. It did a great job of cleaning and deodorizing my clothes. I don’t think it would work as well on clothes that have been through a lot. There are some situations that require good old-fashioned soap and water. But this is a great way to keep those lightly worn pieces all fresh and clean in between major cleanings.

Dryel is doing a really cool contest where they’re inviting people who have used it to share how they use Dryel to stay fresh. People submitted videos talking about how they use Dryel to “Freshen their Swag” and now you can go to the Dryel Facebook page and vote. Check it out here at the Dryel Official Facebook Fan Page.