Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Well-Suited

I like le smoking because that was the moment when Yves empowered women. - Pierre Berge

I wore my new Theory suit on Monday - my first day of work and perhaps it was the excitement of new beginnings or the little sleep I got on Sunday night but I felt like queen of the world. Like I could conquer anything I put my mind to. Then again, perhaps it was the 4 inch Stuart Weitzman heels and the fact that they put me at eye level with most of the men in the room.

Or maybe it was the power of the suit. The power suit.
The thing about a tuxedo is that it is virile and feminine at the same time... It really does make you feel different as a woman, it changes the gestures.
(Source: NY Times)

The inception of the power suit. And here it is today, with a dash of increased femininity.

Yves Saint Laurent



Michael Kors
Tommy Hilfiger
Salvatore Ferragamo
Stella McCartney

Friday, August 19, 2011

Work Wardrobe Planning – Part 3


Here's today's outfit as I go bargain hunting to pick up a few last minute pieces before I head to FL for training.

Thanks for your wonderful feedback on these last few posts. I’m still learning how to build a more versatile and inspiring wardrobe and here's how I'll go about "maintaining" it.


Step 3:  Maintaining
a.    Remember what works – Dresses/skirts, yes! Pants, constant struggle.
b.    Make Quarterly Updates As mentioned before, I enjoy style inspirations and I like to look “modern.” On the other hand, I have given in to too many trends that have resulted in wasted money and a closet full of clothes that I barely wear. I’ll still follow seasonal trends but will my purchasing limited to more classic and versatile pieces.
c.     Love Every Item – I want to continue going through my closet and seeing what needs to be replaced. The goal is to LOVE every piece I own!

I'll leave you all with a sneak peak from a new post I’ll be doing about some of my more recent additions to my workwear wardrobe!
 



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Work Wardrobe Planning – Part 2

Thanks for the lovely feedback from the last post. I really liked Lisa's (from http://www.cubicleglam.com/) additional 2 points: Have you worn this item in the past year? And do other people at work have a similar piece?

After going through and tossing/donating what I didn’t want to keep, I was left with a pretty dismal result: 2 dresses, 1 suit, a few tops, 2 pants, 3 skirts and various shoes/accessories. Now I’m left to figure out what it is I need to add (emphasis on NEED vs. WANT) and how much I’m willing to spend on said items.

Step 2: Plan Purchases
a.    Make a list, check it twice – I made of list of what I absolutely needed to add: a tailored dress (x2), another suit, slim fitting pants (x2), few tops, few skirts, a pair of heels, a pair of flats. I still need to narrow down the "few" items but it depends on how cheaply I can snag certain items and how much of my budget is left over.
b.    Plan Ahead – Since finding the right pieces may take some time, I’m trying to plan for my purchases instead of just going to the store/online shopping cart. For me, finding the “right piece” is all about finding the right FIT. I for one know that because of my waist to thigh ratio, it takes me a while to find pants that I love. (ie Zara, can you make pants for women with THIGHS??) So I’m trying out different brands to see what fits the best instead of partaking in a rash purchase decision for something with a so-so fit.
c.   Create a Budget – No "fashionista" really wants to hear the B word but it's a reality I've come to accept. My workwear budget is $x,xxx (I'll share the exact figure in another post). And I'm sticking to it dammit!
d.     Save or Splurge? – This is a big one for me. I need to be realistic about what I can and cannot afford (hello? budget!). At this point, I only have room for a few “investment pieces” and the remaining purchases will have to consist of sales and major markdowns. More to come on what I'm considering pieces to invest in. 

So lovely readers, do you have a budget for clothing? I’ve always wondered exactly how much I spend on clothing and accessories per year. Starting in September I’m going to take the personal challenge to finally figure it out. 

Since I'm in the planning phase and looking for some , here are some inspiring skirt looks a la Zara and Anne Klein:


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Workwear Wardrobe Planning – Part 1


I have exactly 5 days until my first day of work!

While I’m excited to be (almost) building my workwear wardrobe from scratch, I'm also a bit apprehensive because this time I have to stay within a pretty tight budget. I worked for 4 years before returning to grad school so I have a “starting point” in terms of work clothes but this only consists of a few pieces that I want to keep.

I’ve decided to share how I’m updating my corporate closet. I enjoy reading other style/fashion blogs, but I feel like people rarely discuss the process by which they add/remove items in their wardrobe. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have unlimited funds to frequently purchase new items, nor do I have unlimited closet space to store tons of fabulous pieces (even if I could afford them!).



So here’s how I’m going about it - in 3 steps:

1.    Take Stock of Inventory
2.    Plan for Purchases
3.    Maintain and Update

Step 1: Take Stock of Inventory
This sounds super-anal but I’m going through every piece of clothing that I wear to work (or might consider wearing to work), this includes clothes, accessories and shoes, and I’m asking myself the following:
-       Does it fit? If it doesn’t fit to my liking, I put it in one of my 3 piles - Fix, Sell/Salvation Army and Toss. Sorry guys, but if you have several “motivation” pieces in your wardrobe all of which are waiting for you to lose those last 20lbs, find another source of motivation :) I’m definitely guilty of this myself (*ahem* size 4 Theory pants – last time I checked, I’m still a size 6).
-       Is it in good condition? Loose seams, worn elbows, scuffed soles... all reasons to discard - or depending on the damage - try to fix the item.
-       Do I still like it? No-brainer right? Do you still feel confident and well-put together in this item? I’ve got several pieces that I “kind of” like but never wear. To the pile they go.
-       Is it a classic piece or a novelty item? I consider a piece “classic” if it can be worn across various seasons AND if it can easily be worn with other items in my wardrobe. I try to keep as many versatile, classic pieces as I can with the occasional novelty item to ensure maximum “interchangeability” for outfits I put together. My novelty items tend to be accessories, ensuring a wardrobe that’s still timeless but also interesting.


 
Well, what did I find out after doing this? I have a lot of stuff but not a lot of stuff that I love. Time for steps 2 and 3!

Next, I'll continue with how I'm developing a budget for my new purchases and how I plan to maintain and update my workwear closet. In the meantime, I’d appreciate any feedback or comments about how you maintain your own wardrobe (for work AND play)!

 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thank You!

Just wanted to send a quick little thank you to all of my newest followers. I started this blog with the intention of getting my workwear wardrobe to be a true reflection of the classic, chic yet quirky style that I posses and sharing my experience in doing so.  Only a month later and I've already made new friends and have learned a tremendous amount.

THANK YOU!

In other news, I've just ordered this beauty as a late graduation present!!


Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens and EOS HD Movie Mode (Black) YM2KRGPQDGQ3

I can't wait to start experimenting with it so stay tuned for outfit of the day, streetstyle (corporate-style) and general photography features!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Color Trends Fall 2011: Royal Blue

I love black. It's slimming, timeless and always available. But to snazz up my what I wear to work, color is an instant fix.

This Fall jewel tones have been identified as a "trend." I put trend in quotes because I honestly don't like following them when it comes to fashion. I like incorporate certain aspects of some trends (some are more egregious than others) but since one is limited in funds, I pick and choose which to invest in.

One that I'm willing to go after is this rich color trend for the Fall. I love the deep, luxe and sultry feelings that jewel tones bring about and my go to one this season will be Royal Blue. I've gravitated toward rich blues since a makeup artist once told me that I have blue undertones. I really don't know what this means (thought people darker folks had yellow, red, orange) but since then I've ran with it and have received many compliments while doing so.

Here's how I would incorporate this rich blue into my work wardrobe:

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Garden

I've been spending quite a bit of time going through my closet, tallying what I want to keep and what I want to discard, deciding on what new pieces I need to purchase and working on a budget that leaves room for some pricier items. Stay tuned for a post about this whole process!

After all that time indoors, I felt compelled to take in some rays. I'm headed to run a few errands (mostly Whole Foods) but before doing so, checked to see what was ready to be picked from my mom's garden.






Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mr. Ford, will you marry me?



The content and aesthetics of The Talks is simple, clean and raw. All characteristics I appreciate in a good interview. I was instantly drawn to the talk with Tom Ford. Everyone "knows" who Tom Ford is but when I saw this black & white image of him, daring me to challenge him, I realized that I really don't have a clue as to who this man really is.


So the glamour you stand for doesn’t interest you?
After just being in New Mexico for two months, I realized that I could really work from anywhere. I am really a loner after all; I am really not a social person. Because of my job people think I am out every night, but I really hate all that. I am somebody who likes to be alone and see some close friends. I am a shy and introspective person.

Shy and introspective, loner, somewhat anti-social. This is me.

As he later says in the interview, "all the rest of this crap just fades away." All from a man who most would consider the a conspirator to our modern luxury/celebrity/hyperconsumerist culture.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wear-to-Work Dresses: Asos


I know that I keep referring to starting my new job but I’m super-excited for a few reasons. One is that I’ve had a 2-year “hiatus” known as grad school and I’m ready to build and learn. But the other is that I really do enjoy putting together a killer work outfit. Crazy, I know but there’s nothing else that says “strong, powerful woman” more than walking into those steel and glass, ultra-masculine environments than a well-put together outfit.

Over the next few days I’ll be documenting the steps I’m taking in assessing and building upon my workwear wardobe. So stay tuned! But right now I’m really focused on adding a few tailored yet chic dresses to my collection. It might have to do with the fact that it’s summertime and that I can only see myself in dresses/skirts right now due to the raging heatwaves but I don't mind. My body shape shines in a great dress :)

I’ve been looking for some affordable (ie <$100) dresses - I mean who doesn't love DVF but my budget just can't handle a closet full of +$300 dresses right now - and stumbled upon these great options from Asos. I've yet to purchase any of their tailored items but am excited to see how they hold up compared to the pricier brands I own.









1.  Pencil Dress with Twist Neck - $77.58
2.  Midi Dress with Contrast Belt - $94.81
3.  Ponti Midi Dress with Flared Skirt - $86.20
4.  Short Sleeve High Neck Pleated Midi Dress - $77.58
5.  Ponti Pencil Dress with Zip Detail - $77.58
6.  Pussybow Midi Dress with Elastic Waist - $60.34

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Away from Home: Singapore

Back on the East Coast of the US and have finally uploaded my pics from my "Asian Adventure." While it wasn't my first time in East Asia (I worked in The Philippines and have visited Japan, China, Hong Kong and Macau previously), it was a my first time in Singapore. And while the downtown area seemed really plastic and cookie-cutter constructed, there were some delightful gems, like the Botanic Gardens pictured below.

The last shot is of the nighttime skyline, from the luxuriously sexy KU DÉ TA lounge.







 


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