How to Look Great in Pleated Trousers!

Yes plain front trousers are still modern and look great on most men. However there is nothing like well tailored pleated trousers to add the look of classic sophistication to a man’s wardrobe… even without a jacket. Unfortunately because many men have no idea how to wear them properly, they end up looking frumpy!

So how should they be worn? Try the following:

  • Wear them at the waist (near the navel) not the hip.
  • The crease runs down the front of the leg from the pleat
  • Pleated trousers should always be worn with the shirt tucked in
  • Wear pleated trousers with a cuff for added sophistication
  • They are hemmed at the heel in the back and long enough for a slight break in the front
  • Pleats and pocket should never pull

Leggings for Work?

In the early 1980’s, I lived in leggings. And for good reason; they are so comfortable. Now that leggings (and jeggings) are back in fashion, again, many employers are frustrated by the fact that they are being worn to the office in business casual work environments. However, just because they are comfortable wear, it doesn’t mean they are office wear. Keep your leggings and jeggings for weekend wear instead. It will make your weekends feel even more relaxing.

Not All Jeans are Created Equal

Here in Vancouver, jeans are still very popular in the workplace for casual days. However, there still seems to be confusion about what styles are appropriate to wear to work. This continues to be a big issue with the many employers who ask me to talk with their employees about appropriate business dress.

Because jean styles are constantly evolving, it is much easier to describe what is not appropriate to wear to work rather than what styles work at work. If you are lucky enough to work in an environment that does allow jeans, avoid these styles at the office:

  • Jeans with holes
  • Jeans that look faded, worn out or distressed
  • Jeans that are too tight
  • Jeans that don’t stay up
  • Jeans that are extremely low cut
  • Jeans with cargo pockets
  • Jeans with frayed bottoms

How to Hold Your Red Wine Glass

Wine glass

Wine is still as popular as ever and personally one of my favourite social beverages. However, knowing how to hold the wine glass properly has recently become a bit confusing. It used to be a rule that a red wine glass was held by the bowl of the glass. This was done because red wine is meant to be served at room temperature and the warmth of your hand would bring out the best in the wine. Lately though, we are seeing a shift to holding the glass by the stem.

So why is this? I have actually heard two reasons for this:

  1. Wine was invented before homes had central heating. Then, room temperature was much cooler than it is today. So because of this, today, when we hold the glass by the bowl, we were actually warming the wine too much, taking away from wine rather than bringing out its best.
  2. The second reason that I have heard, is that when we hold the wine glass by the bowl we leave our finger prints. The glass no longer looks pretty or clean.

So how should we hold our red wine glass? I tell my clients to hold the red wine glass by the stem unless the wine has been served too cold. This will make you appear modern and educated about wine. However, when drinking white wine always hold the glass by the stem.

Holding a Drink While Mixing and Mingling

Holding a glass while mingling at a social or business mixer can help to ease the feeling of shyness. However, shaking hands with someone who has wet, clammy hands caused from the condensation of a glass can ruin the moment of introduction. The remedy, hold your glass in your left hand to keep your right hand free for handshakes.

Let’s face it, walking up to a complete stranger and saying hello at a networking event or business mixer can be very uncomfortable.

Eat Before Networking

I can’t tell you how many business mixers I have been to where I have seen people head straight for the buffet table or the servers holding the Hors D’oeuvres trays. To make a good impression at a business mixer or networking event I always recommend eating before you arrive. Although the buffet line-up can be a great place to strike up a conversation, spending all your time there will not make the best impression. Also, juggling food and drink can present challenges when meeting people, shaking hands or while trying to carry on a conversation.

Platform Shoes

A huge trend that is carrying on into fall for women is platform shoes. They are everywhere! The question is, are they appropriate for office wear? The answer… it depends on the company culture. 

The general rule is the thinner the sole the more conservative and formal the shoe. For career wear, when in doubt, always choose the classic pump with a 1 1/2 – 3 inch heel and a thin sole. You can never go wrong with this style and will always make a great impression at work. However, if you like the platform styles and it fits with your company’s contemporary culture, I would suggest that the classic style pump in a neutral colour with a platform sole is your best choice. For a great example see my post:’t-believe-…thing-you-read/

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

InStyle magazine is a publication that I really enjoy reading. It contains great tips for the average woman on current fashion and beauty. Business Dress
However, in the September issue of InStyle magazine I was a bit disappointed to see this advertisement produced by Dry Idea. It indicates that these clothing items are appropriate office attire for women. Although I love the little black dress and it would definitely be appropriate for social occasions, it might leave some thinking that this style is appropriate for the office as well. Anything strapless, low-cut, mini in length or sheer is not appropriate office dress. However, in the case of the strapless black dress, if it is camouflaged by covering up with the coral coloured sweater showing next to it, you might be able to get away with it. As long as you can’t tell it is strapless. Good personal judgement is advised.

Harem – Dhoti – Jodhpurs are All Pants!

harem pantsYes, this is a summer of extremes when it comes to fashion silhouettes for women. Leggings are stepping aside this season for a fuller pant silhouette. I just returned from France and although there were still some leggings, harem, dhoti and Jodhpur styles were everywhere. For those of you who are new to these terms here is a quick rundown… 

Harem Pant legs are full top to bottom and gathered into an elasticised/ drawstring or added cuff at the hemline. The waist may be smooth or full like the pants in the picture. As you can see these harems are a variation of the real thing with the hemline only partially gathered. 

Dhoti’s are a full pant that is very long in the crotch area. The legs are full in the thigh and taper dramatically to the ankle. Some may have an added cuff at the ankle. 

Jodhpurs were traditionally a riding style pant. They are fitted in the hip area and very full in the thigh. They curve in dramatically at or just below the knee they fitted to the lower calf or ankle.

Street Fashion – Extreme Fashion in London and Paris

maxi dressStreet styles for women in England and France included a bit of everything. Many of the fashions were mirror images of what we would see in Vancouver or any American or Canadian City. There were a few things that stood out for me. Hemlines were extreme; micro-short and maxi-long. I noticed the maxi length dresses more in England than I did in France. And they came in a variety of different styles in solid and print fabrics. On the other extreme, mini’s were everywhere; both in skirt and dress styles. Those who wore pants opted for harem, dhoti and Jodhpur styles, although there were plenty of leggings and short-shorts worn as well.