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Pumps and Pencil Skirts: What to Wear to Work

Pumps and Pencil Skirts: What to Wear to Work

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Pumps and Pencil Skirts: What to Wear to Work

151 pagine
1 ora
Jul 3, 2013


This is a comprehensive guide on how to dress for work! The author breaks down our fashion mishaps into four basic mistakes and then very simply explains how to fix and avoid those mistakes. Read on as you will also learn how to take your work wardrobe to the next level where you will not only be ready for the 95 grind but also for every possible work presentation, bosses dinner, and even black-tie event! This books guidance is lighthearted yet straightforward and thorough. From designer bags, to the fundamental black pantsuit, to womens love for shoes, every aspect of getting dressed for work is covered. Pumps and Pencil Skirts should be on every working girls must-read list!
Jul 3, 2013

Informazioni sull'autore

As a woman prospering in the corporate world for over twenty years, Dianne Whitelocke certainly knows how to dress the part! Like many women, Dianne enjoys fashion, but she uniquely and truly believes that fashion should be a part of our everyday work life. Ladies, let’s get dressed for work!

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Pumps and Pencil Skirts - Andrea Clement


Copyright 2013 Dianne Whitelocke.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or

transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or

otherwise, without the written prior permission of the author.

Created in the United States of America.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2013907288

Trafford rev. 06/29/2013

North America & international

toll-free: 1 888 232 4444 (USA & Canada)

fax: 812 355 4082


The Big Four

Where Do I Start?

Shoes Set The Stage

Suit Yourself

When You Aren’t Wearing A Suit

Black (And White)

Color(And Pattern)

Pulling It Together

You Need More Than Just Clothes

Trend Or Classic?

All Eyes On You

When It’s Not Business As Usual


What Never Works

What Works!

My Top Ten Lists



A knockout suit, great accessories and magnificent shoes. I think all women should look beautiful, chic, and fabulous for work. How do you get there? Start by not making the typical mistakes! There are four big ones.

1. Not Dressing Up

Always dress for where you are going, assuming you have a career plan that includes upward mobility! If you are trying to break into management, dress like a manager! If you are trying to get the key to the executives’ lounge, dress like a VP! If you dress like the gum-chomping receptionist, you will have little credibility as the project manager for your firm’s ad campaign. Dress by looking upward, not downward. Never justify an outfit by saying I look fine. Hey, Laura in the mailroom wears capris. Better you take style cues from Karen, the VP in the corner office! Retire your khakis, polos, and sneakers. None of these items present you as a woman with her eye on success. Don’t look sloppy or slouchy. Choose dressy pieces with clean lines and structure that give an appearance of order and competence. If you are on the fast track for a promotion, skip business casual; always don business attire. Every morning, ask yourself if your ensemble is presentable for a high-level meeting. If it’s not, change.

After I quietly stopped participating in business casual, my peers tried to convince me to loosen up. My explanation usually was I wish I could, but I have meetings today. Funny thing, this retort turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy as before long, I was invited to more high-level meetings and then was off to join the management team!

2. Looking Like the Guys

Trying to break the glass ceiling by being one of the guys? Take charge of your womanhood! Being one of the guys means you are not standing out! If you are the only woman in the room, make that work for you! In a sea of gray and blue pantsuits, wear a strong color to stand out! And if you are going to wear a gray pantsuit, just make sure you don’t wear it like the guys do: with loafers and a button-down blue shirt! Wear heels, and let’s pick ones with some flair, buckles, rich color, something to make you stand out. Make sure you wear women’s shirts; they are cut for the female form and button right to left (I notice everything), in colors the fellas won’t typically wear, like red or lavender. Accessorize! Taking care not to be guilty of mistake number 3 below, add earrings and a necklace or a chic belt to make the look more feminine. For those of you thinking that wearing a skirt means you aren’t looking like the guys, think again. The white oxford shirt, gray/black/blue skirt, midheeled loafers, and no jewelry are just a sad female version of the standard male outfit. To make it right—and by right I mean less masculine, pair the neutral skirt with a jewel-toned blouse, add accessories and feminine shoes like pointy-toe slingbacks. Get noticed!

3. Going Over the Top

You want to have a look that gets you noticed but seems effortless. So tone it down! You don’t need big hair, blazing makeup, a diamond choker and hoops, and a red suit topped off with red patent leather stilettos to get your point across. Everyone is so busy absorbing your outfit, they don’t hear a word you’re saying. You want to look like you command your look, not like your look commands you. Don’t wear everything at once, have only one focal point for each outfit, and balance strong elements with those that are subdued. There’s nothing wrong with a fabulous jacquard skirt, a tie-front blouse in a bold color, and really fierce leopard shoes—just not all at the same time. Having a great style presence means you pay attention to the details. It means you know how to add interest with statement pieces juxtaposed with muted ones. It also means you definitely understand when less is more, because you want to be taken seriously! You want to be noticed, but for the right reason, because you look polished and credible. Don’t let your look detract from your greatness!

I once overheard a top executive say of a middle manager, Beth pays more attention to her makeup and accessories than she does to this project!

4. Looking Great, but Not Great for Work

I have seen great date outfits, nightclub outfits, garden party outfits, and even stripper outfits, all at work! Yes, these women did look in the mirror; and yes, they concluded that they looked great. What they should have done was ask themselves this crucial question, Am I dressed for an impromptu meet-the-client-and-present-your-proposal meeting? Remember, you want to look good, but you want to garner respect too. That low-cut sweater and hip-hugging mini just say that you stopped in at the office on your way to happy hour! It begs the question, are you really serious about this job?

I recall a black tiered and

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