Working Girl Basics: The Pencil Skirt Mix&Match

With all the sales around, I decided to go for a small shopping spree this weekend and ended up buying once again a pencil skirt…in white leather this time, because yes, I did not not have one in this style and color… I always say that of course. And this is what actually led to this post.

The bottom line is I realized the pencil skirt is my go-to item for the office. I just love it. I feel feminine, elegant and professional at the same time. I often wear monochromatic or tonal tops or classic button shirts with it (my favorite combination to be honest).

Looking back at the pencil skirt style I read that thanks to the genius of Christian Dior, working women in the 1950s turned towards precision tailoring and slim, mid-calf skirts that celebrated the feminine form. The pencil skirt worked its way up to the knee and became more figure hugging in the 1980s as part of the “power suit.” Fast forward to 2013-2014-2015, and while the colors and fabrics may change, the pencil skirt’s ability to flatter and mean business remains. And that’s what I love about it. It is a timeless piece indeed!

Pencil skirts can accentuate curves or create definition, depending on your body shape. Here are a few facts about pencil skirts:

1. Buy them in monochromatic colors – one color from head to toe – it creates a smooth line this way.
2. The more conical it is, the more curvy the silhouette will look – consider how much attention you want to call (or dial down) to your lower half.
3. With that said, you don’t have to be really skinny to wear a pencil skirt. Pair with a solid color top that hits the hip. Believe me, it works!
4. Pencil skirts look best with high heels. (!!!)
5. As it is a timeless piece you can mix and match, I suggest you invest in the highest quality you can afford. Pencil skirts can make you look pulled together, so make sure yours doesn’t fall apart.

You can find beautiful pencil skirts in Zara, BCBG, Herve Leger, Topshop, Asos, PNK Casual, Burberry and many others.

I ultimately believe that the pencil skirt style is symbolic of a woman who understands that femininity and professionalism are not mutually exclusive :).

Below, I pulled out some looks from a character from “Suits” (TV series) I particularly liked, Rachel Zane, that portrays very well the professional/stylish pencil skirt style. Enjoy :)!
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My BASICS of style

There are some key starting points that every woman should take into consideration when shopping to suit one’s style.

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Throughout the years I realized that you must be a smart fashion shopper in order to keep the pace with the fast-fashion trends resulting into changes of collections every month for every brand. It can become overwhelming and you can easily waste a lot of money on many unnecessary items. And honestly, since I live in Switzerland, smart shopping became a must at these high prices! 🙂

Therefore, I believe the below basic simple guidelines should always be considered when shopping for a new season.

The feel good factor
It’s important for you to feel good about what you wear and not just follow trends for the sake of it. Your clothes are really your ‘second skin’ so to speak so it’s important that you feel good in it!

However, you might argue that there are always problem areas of body vs. ‘body type’. Many magazines and books will tell you that you should only shop for clothes which suit your body type i.e. shop appropriately for the pear shape etc. While this is of course true to a certain extent, it’s also important not to get too obsessed by your body shape and the restrictions it may place on you. The same can be said about colors depending on your skin tone. I think the most important thing to pay special attention to is what suits your body shape but not according to the ‘rules’ which govern the different body shapes. Not one of us fits the atypical body shape e.g. of a pear (small waisted, shoulders and bust not as wide as hips and bottom and thighs are quite rounded).

What you need to focus on are some of the ‘problem areas’ of your body and work on ways to address those issues.

The importance of neutral colors and simple/classical in your wardrobe
Trend or accent colors are of course good to have in your wardrobe. However, don’t go overboard with your purchases in this area as trend colors are exactly that….just trends. They are the type of pieces that could quickly go out of fashion or you may simply don’t like them anymore at some point. As a result, makes more sense to have more classic items in neutral colors so that you can mix and match (with your statement colours) most effectively. In this way, you’ll be able to create more outfits.

Accessorize!!!
The importance of accessories! It’s important to remember that accessories can really give a personal or statement touch to an outfit and at the same time, help you to re-create outfits for very different looks. So next time you go shopping look for necklaces, bangles, bags, bracelets, scarves and shoes etc. You’ll be amazed how many different looks can be accomplished with the same items reshuffled!

The above represents just a framework for surfing for your style and shopping efficiently. I believe these three simple rules truly help at the foundation of ones wardrobe every season. Happy Styling for autumn/winter! 🙂

Floral prints for summer getaways

Fashion’s ongoing love affair with floral prints continues for Summer 2014 with a myriad of designers offering up their take on the iconic pattern.

I love the femininity of floral prints, be it on dresses, smart suits, slinky gowns, and retro jumpsuits. Last year, it was all about delicate pastels. This time around, it is more vibrant blooms that make up the trend, or a mismatch of patterns like Stella McCartney’s mixed prints. The floral print can be a strong statement on its own, so it would be advisable to keep hairstyles simple and makeup almost non-existent; then just add a pair of sandals. If you’re not ready for the jungle yet, go in gently with floral shorts maybe or a skirt and temper it with a mono-color t-shirt or top. However, be bold! There’s nothing to lose and your outfit will bring a touch of happiness around!

Florals are all about having fun with fashion and embracing the joy and romance of the sun. Maybe this is why the floral trend keeps on being reinterpreted every summer and it just won’t go away.

Here’s three of my favorite floral dresses that I believe go perfectly with summer days and nights, and the romantic atmosphere of South of France.

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So why not embrace your inner lady with some floral prints? 🙂

Work it: 9 to 6 dress to impress… for the job!

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Work attire is a tricky subject. While there are a few general rules of thumb for office dressing, it really depends on where you work. Different environments call for different ensembles. However, I have learned a few things based on my office experience, especially since I moved to Switzerland in a corporate HQ. I will try below to provide you with some general tips on dressing for work.

If you’re new to the working world, I should warn you: Beware of the fashion police otherwise known as “Human Resources” and your fellow co-workers, especially females (believe me – been there, done that!). Wearing the wrong threads has the potential to distort your image as a valued employee and may even prevent you from going up the ladder. If you wear tight skirts, sheer blouses and routinely put your “girl parts” on display at work, your co-workers may have a difficult time taking you (and your wardrobe for that matter) seriously. Therefore, as with all occasions, dress for success–and mean it, especially when you’re on the clock!

Even though all work environments have different rules as to what is and isn’t okay to wear, the following points cover most of the general dos and don’ts of dressing at work:

  • Never let your outfit outshine your work. (Yes, creatives and fashionistas, this applies to you as well!)
  • Do not wear clothing with big written logos. (No one wants a walking billboard in their office.)
  • Avoid all sexy and revealing clothing. Don’t show much cleavage or wear a skirt that skims your butt. Stay away from too short skirts (If you want to wear shorter skirts, or even dress shorts, pair them with opaque tights to temper it). Also, no tank tops unless you have something layered over it to cover your shoulders.
  • Do not wear any ripped, torn, or sloppy clothing. This includes anything that can be worn to the gym or the beach (gym shoes and flip-flops etc.).
  • Try to dress like your female boss. If you do not have a female boss, emulate the highest-ranking female in your company. This doesn’t mean steal her style. Rather, base your office attire on what she considers appropriate. Is she casual? Always dresses to the nines? Take a cue from the people in positions you aspire to have someday. They don’t say, “dress the part” for no reason.
  • Don’t let casual Fridays fool you. Jeans may be okay, but that old tee reserved for lazy Sundays and those comfy flip-flops are just not going to make it… Casual Friday attire should be based on your weekly work wear, but made slightly more relaxed. 
  • Careful that your underwear does not become outerwear. Ever. This is pretty self-explanatory…
  • Always use your best judgment. Consider your work environment and dress accordingly. Anything you can wear to a club should never step foot in an office.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

P.S. These rules apply to interns too! 🙂

Summer beach fav: Black & White

I always considered black & white the reference for stylish simplicity. I believe these non-colors are the utmost of elegance, that’s why every summer in my swimsuits collection, I like to have a black & white or white or full black swimsuit for those occasions when I want to feel a touch of elegance on the beach.

I usually like to buy my swimwear from Victoria’s Secret and below is my favorite one (you can find it on the VS site in the current collection).

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Here are two other personal favorite black&white ones also from VS:

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And here’s a stylish full-body one for a white pool party (you can find it here http://www.yoox.com/ch/47152423WE/item?dept=clothingwomen#sts=sr_clothingwomen80&cod10=47152423WE&sizeId=4)

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Or this beautiful Just Cavalli one (http://www.yoox.com/ch/47157185VR/item?dept=clothingwomen#sts=sr_clothingwomen80&cod10=47157185VR&sizeId=3)

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I guess if you have any kind of fancy beach parties planned this season, a non-color swimsuit is always a good choice. You can accessorize it with a pair of platforms and an oversized hat and you will look fabulous for sure!

Summer-Lace-Obsession

I developed a small passion for lace this season, be it short tees, skirts, dresses or cover-ups. There is something about white, cream or black lace that makes me feel both gentle and sexy. I feel feminine and I feel attractive. I simply love it!

Moreover, lace can be both casual and elegant. It is very versatile. However, you have to be careful with the pattern in lace and how stretchy or short it is not to fall into vulgar.

However, as it is beach season, I decided to focus on how nicely a beach outfit can be if you put a touch of lace. One of my favorite beach cover-ups is a white lace one from Victoria’s Secret below. It goes with every swimsuit I have and it reveals just the right amount of skin:
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You can find a lot of cute lace outfits in Zara and Mango today, but also online on http://www.chicwish.com. And it goes from shorts, blouses, dresses to playsuits (that I personally love).

I also recently bought this white lace skirt below from PNK Casual and it shortly became one of my favorite items this season (you can find it here: http://ro.welovecouture.com/pnk-casual/imbracaminte/fuste/fuste-scurte/fusta-scurta-alba-din-dantela/ )
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Moreover, the stores are full of chic lace dresses that you can casually wear with flats on a hot summer day or with a pair of high heels and statement jewelry for an evening out.

So why not embrace your femininity and be both delicate and sexy with a touch of lace this summer!

Weekend fling: boyfriend … JEANS

Living in Switzerland taught me to slightly adapt my style to comfier clothes, and honestly I developed a small passion for boyfriend jeans lately. I can wear them with loafers, sneakers or flats for a relaxed get-away or add high-heels/pumps for a night out.

So, there you go, worthy emotional attachment you can develop this summer – a pair of boyfriend jeans 🙂

You can go for the ripped off look or the classic ones. The point is you can play around with the style, matching them with a short tee, a bustier or a comfy loose t-shirt.

Here are two of my favorite comfy looks for the weekend:
Wearing Mango boyfriend jeans, Ash sneakers, PNK Casual t-shirt, Raybans, Michael Kors bag
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Wearing Diesel boyfriend jeans, Zara shirt, Raybans, Ash sneakers
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