Monday, March 1, 2010

Dressing for Success in a Down Economy

Perhaps the most important upgrade is the suit. While you may not receive frowns in a 10-year-old suit, you will most likely get compliments when you upgrade to a modern style. Today's contemporary suits, such as the two-button, side-vented silhouettes by Adrian Jules, are less boxy than what was offered in the past with less excess fabric to make you look slimmer and more youthful.

For women, power dressing has never been easier. Feminine yet work-appropriate looks peppered the runways this spring. Pretty, structured skirt suits, high-waisted, wide-legged trousers and belted dresses by designers like Akris Punto and Michael Kors will be hitting the stores this fall.

Bag It
A serious "work bag" is another opportunity to make a statement. Women know this and often rotate their bags with the seasons. Men have a tendency to cling to a backpack or
beat-up briefcase. They'd be better off opting for a classic textured-leather messenger bag that will take one seamlessly from the office to the weekend, thanks to interior pockets for paper work, a cellphone, business cards and pens.

When "casual Friday" comes around, some make the dreadful mistake of thinking it's Saturday morning. The jeans that you wear to work should not be the same ones you wear to walk the dog and mow the lawn. Men should try dark and dressy washes in a stretch fabric with a medium rise. Women can play it safe with a bootcut unfaded stretch denim pair with no whiskers, abrasions or distressing.

Extras, Extras
Finally, wear accessories. While the last thing on, they are often the first thing noticed and shouldn't be an afterthought.
For women, statement jewelry is a must-have and can transform and immediately upgrade an outfit. Unlike men, whose options are restricted, women can tastefully go big and bold and can choose between a ring, bracelet, necklace, earrings or even a broach. The best part is that you don't need any other jewelry — just let the one eye-catching piece take the spotlight.

"Wearing the right jewelry shows a woman knows quality and she is not afraid to show it," she says. "It sends a powerful message that she has taken the time to prepare and understands the value of completing things — dotting her I's and crossing her T's. It shows she can communicate good judgment."

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