How To Dress Your Man Stress Free - It Is Possible, Let Me Show You How!

Ok, so your man may have the business suit styling down pat, but is he fashion challenged when it comes to his casual wardrobe?

 

I can feel most women reading this shaking their heads - YES, YES, YES!

 

What do you do?

 

He needs help - how do you break it to him without hurting his feelings?

 

Women need to tread carefully when diving in to restyle their man. It’s important to reassure him that you’re not trying to change who they are...if they get an inkling of that then they are running in the opposite direction.

 

You know your man the best so the aim is to draw out his inward personality and compliment his outer style.

 

Trust me if your man feels confident in his clothes, it will reflect on the outside.

 

You’re simply giving him the tools to feel more confident, project his personality and portray an awesomely handsome, classy dude! It’s all about educating him and presenting him with clear and easy options. Remember men are simple...overall (or so they keep telling us!) therefore it’s going to be easier for both of you to keep the styling rules uncomplicated. All you need to do is steer him in the right direction with a gentle-yet-strong, confident hand.

 

You've got this!

 

Comprehensive & Stress Free Guide to Dressing Your Man

 

Here are some tips I have mastered over the years (a little trial and error, believe me!).

Sharing these with you will hopefully take a lot of guesswork out of the exercise AND your man will be very impressed with your level of styling experience!

 

1.     Don’t Be His Mother, Be His Equal

This is such an easy trap to fall into.

It takes patience not to mother your man and refrain from blurting out things like ‘OMG, you have THE WORST taste in clothes’, ‘your style really sucks - actually you don’t have any style’, ‘gosh that just looks awful on you, you look fat, washed out’...blah blah (I am being polite here!).

You get it….we can moan until the cows come home in relation to critiquing our partner’s clothing style.

Let’s create a comfortable atmosphere and help style him without it ending in a fight!

 

2. Don’t Criticise, Instead Be Complimentary

Ladies, again patience comes into this.

You need to remember men (well, a large percentage of the population) are not good at the particular task of styling themselves so put yourself in their shoes. They are like little lost lambs - don’t know where to begin. It’s not their forte. It doesn’t come natural.

 Step up to the plate and steer your man in the right direction. Be helpful!

 For example Instead of saying, "those ill-fitting trousers need to go, they look hideous on you." Try saying, "I would love to see your cute butt in those jeans - how about you try them on."

 

3. It’s Time To Hit The Shops (Take a Deep Breath)!

The thought of this may make you feel anxious or even nauseous and you may need a stiff drink leading up to.

As we all know, every man’s nightmare is shopping for clothes. Isn’t that why most women prefer to shop with their girlfriends?!

I am sure we can all agree that we dread having to take our man shopping….right? AND men hate it even more.

I would predict it’s probably easier to take kids (even though I don’t have any!) shopping than our man…. I don’t know….just saying, men can throw the toys out of the pram pretty easily!)

 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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      Clothing and shoes - Club Monaco, Massimo Dutti, Zara Men, De Novo

Clothing and shoes - Club Monaco, Massimo Dutti, Zara Men, De Novo

So how can a short shopping spree be stress free and actually enjoyable without ending in wanting to slit each other’s throat? (drastic as that sounds, I am sure I am not alone thinking this).

 

A.  Have a plan in place regarding what items need to be purchased

Go through his wardrobe and check to see if it’s a matter of replacing items only (because he has been wearing the same trousers for 5+ years and the butt is so worn it’s time to bin them!). Or maybe he has some nice pieces but not wearing them because nothing matches with those items. As painful as it may sound you may need to break the shopping trip into a few visits depending on whether your man needs only a few items or whole new wardrobe. Remember, short shopping sprees are the key!

 

B. Keep shopping to a limited time frame - 2 hours max

Men can’t deal with any longer shopping period than this. They’ll get fidgety and may get to the point of throwing their arms in the air and saying it’s all too hard (this has happened to me which frustrated me to no end).

 

C. Choose 1-2 stores only for the shopping expedition

Men don’t like hopping from shop to shop, like we do! Keep it simple and if choosing more than one shop ensure it’s within close proximity to each other. The purpose is ‘get in and out ASAP!’

 

D.  When you hit the stores, step in and help him choose some styles and colours from the clothing racks so you can get him into the dressing room quickly.

Men generally respond well to visuals, so what I find helpful is to initially walk around the store with him and look at the mannequin displays. Your man is more likely to want to try on a shirt or trousers if he can see it teamed together with accessories such as shoes, belt etc. While he is in the dressing room you can zip around the store and look for a few more items in peace.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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      Clothing and shoes - Club Monaco, Massimo Dutti, Zara Men, De Novo

Clothing and shoes - Club Monaco, Massimo Dutti, Zara Men, De Novo

E. Make Quick Decisions

Men are known to procrastinate when it comes to choosing clothes (go figure!), so be ready to help him make decisions quickly so you can get to the bar for a vino as much as he wants to! You want to think about what he already has in his wardrobe which will pair with the new purchases; do the colours/patterns/textures suit him? (don’t forget most men are colour blind so they need a woman’s opinion on the items they are trying on).

 

Ask him whether he feels comfortable in the clothes (ask him to wiggle around, sit down on the seat in the dressing room to see how the clothes feel); check the fit by asking him to do a 360 so you can see how he looks from all angles (men don’t pay enough attention to this - they just look at themselves front on and think - cool! Looks great!). BTW, It’s a perfect opportunity to check out his butt!  

 

F. Take baby steps, don’t drag him shopping if he really really hates it.

You may need to go shopping on your own and select a few pieces to have him try on at home (we have all had to do this and actually it’s quite nice picking up a few items for him as a surprise when you may be out shopping for yourself!).

Again, think about what he needs, what you feel would suit him, keep the items simple - nothing too garish or over the top...unless you are super confident he will go for something ‘out there’. I have messed up on this before though and bought items in the past that I felt 100% sure my man was going to love….NOT!! Of course, that never ends well.  If you are a newbie at shopping for him, you want to go in slow and steady.

 

**Note to new 'Romeo and Juliet's:' While my tips are full proof, you don't want to begin this project until after you have reached some milestones in your relationship (at least a few weekend rendeavous, and perhaps some sneaky sexy text exchanges!) to get to know each other better before diving into a shopping expedition.

I constantly observe different styles (or no style!) when I am out and about and one thing that jumps out and hits me in the face are people who don't get the shoes right.

This goes for men and women, but as this article is focused on men’s styling, I am sharing with you some tips on what the essentials your man needs to make his wardrobe work. The transformation of your man doesn't stop at the ankles, ladies. Make sure you help him choose the right shoes for his cool, dashingly handsome new threads.

Firstly, steer him towards the classics, secondly ensure the footwear is quality.

There is nothing worse than cheap looking shoes on men or women.

Here are my male footwear recommendations: 

Casual Converse

For a casual look, converse sneakers are super cool and look great with jeans/t-shirts or casual shirt rolled up at the sleeves with a pair of chino trousers or shorts.

 

Step Up With Brogues

For a step up from a super casual shoe, you can’t go past a pair of brogues (a twist on the traditional Oxford shoe). The brogue is very versatile, pairing perfectly with a slim dark denim jean, v-neck tee, or chinos and a dress shirt.

 Brogues, being as timeless as they are, pair perfectly with business suits - for this look keep the Brogue shoe very simple and classic as there are quite a few styles to choose from.

 

The Chelsea Boot

I’m also a big fan of the Chelsea boot.

Like the Brogue, it carries a classic look and can be dressed up or down. A black Chelsea will give a man’s outfit more of an urban look and a tan or brown suede more casual. If your man is pretty confident in making a statement, he could try a brighter colour Chelsea, like a red, green or blue.

 

4. Slowly Get Rid of the Clothes You Don’t Like

If you think you’re just going to grab those favourite jeans from his tightly gripped strong hands, think again. Men don’t part with their old frayed, lifeless items willingly or easily.

To avoid him going into complete shock and thinking the world is going to end because you are trying to remove one of his best loved items of clothing from his wardrobe (oh yeh, it can end in tears if you are not careful!), the best tip I can share is slowly rotate new clothing in before you discreetly ditch the old stuff. Help your man do a spring clean of his wardrobe.

Perhaps grab a bottle of wine or a few beers while embarking on this project. It will keep you both relaxed and it may even be fun! Suggest donating clothing that no longer fits him and replace those items with a similar but more up-to-date stylish look.

 

5. Wardrobe ‘Must Have’ Basics

The perfect wardrobe for your man starts with these essentials:

  • Quality polo shirts in suitable colours,
  • Good quality cotton trousers/chinos (khaki or navy are a good option),
  • A few well fitted dress shirts (men look hot in a soft pastel pink shirt!),
  • V neck sweaters in a solid grey, navy, or olive green works well,
  • Classic dark denim slim fit jeans,
  • Basic t-shirts (white and black are good staples),
  • Structured blazer that teams well with jeans/trousers,
  • Good quality leather shoes like brogues (this is an investment!),
  • Socks that match trousers and shoes,
  • Boxers (go for colourful cotton or microfiber as well as basic black and white),
  • Belt(s) understated classic black with silver buckle.

I'm sure you have you're own stories you can share of styling your man. I'd love for you to share in the comments section below!

 

Fashionably Yours,

Donna x

 

Spotlight Series with Lisa Frain - Mum, Creative-Preneur

This is the first of the “Spotlight Series” I will be posting on my blog and I couldn’t think of a better subject than my dear friend Lisa Frain. 

Lisa and I met more than 5 years ago when I was working at Barclays Bank. I was on a training course which included a role playing exercise and Lisa was one of the actors who was brought into contribute to this section of the training.

Lisa and I were teamed up and hit it off immediately. We swapped details, however didn’t actually reconnect again till 12 months later. 

Lisa and I have very similar personalities (creative, easy going, social to name a few) and also very similar thoughts on life. A wonderful friendship has blossomed over 5 years.

 

Mothers Juggling Family, Career and Looking Stylish

My topic for today’s blog is focused on Mothers who juggle work and kids and how they can still look stylish and confident when swapping out their Mum hat for their work hat. 

Putting aside that daily help with kids on the home front is readily available in Hong Kong, it’s still a challenge making all this work and keeping sane. Having no children, I am always blown away at how Mothers just roll up the sleeves and dive into any task at hand, AND it’s always multiple tasks at once. 

Lisa is definitely one of these Mothers. 

Lisa is not only a Mother, (a very important and rewarding role), but also a very creative theatre costume designer as well as a damn good cook and social extraordinaire (like me)! 

Over a number of years while living in Hong Kong, Lisa has had time in between full time corporate employment to enjoy working on her creative passions in these fields. 

I will let Lisa share some of the wonderful opportunities that have come about from applying her passion and hard work to her dreams that she’s had from a very young age.

Revamping Lisa’s Work Wardrobe

When Lisa decided to return to full time corporate employment 12 months ago, she reached out to me for help with her work wardrobe.

I was so excited to have been approached by Lisa, as firstly it is my passion to help women look good and feel comfortable and confident in their clothes and secondly, I wanted Lisa to feel great inside and out when she returned to full time work.

I spent an afternoon with Lisa (around 3-4 hours) and we tackled her wardrobe. I loved it...actually we both did!

Here’s a snippet of Lisa’s testimonial in relation to the fun wardrobe edit that took place prior to her return to full time work.

‘I felt really comfortable and at ease with Donna's approach, she listened to my wailing about not having enough clothes (even with a full wardrobe or two) and immediately set about getting me a style profile.

I never thought clearing out my wardrobe would be so much fun!  Donna showed me how simple it was to create a multitude of looks to suite MY body, personality and style. Not only did we edit my wardrobe, we also shopped together to find a few essential items I needed to complete my re-defined look.  It was a lot less costly than buying a whole new wardrobe of clothes (which is what I thought I needed)”

 

Let’s dive in to my “Spotlight on Lisa” so you can learn more about this fabulously creative and kind woman.

Q: Lisa, please give our readers a brief background on how long you have lived in Hong Kong, the jobs you have had over the 16 years you have lived here and what gives you inspiration inside and outside the home?

A: Hong Kong has been my home for the past 16 years and I wouldn’t be anyway else. I am a mother to three gorgeous children aged 13, 11 & 9 and have worn many hats in my career.  I’ve worked in events for various banks and ran my own import business distributing Australian products. I was also involved in the theatre community as a costume designer for various stage performances including Doubt – The Parabel by Sweet & Sour Productions and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Naiad Productions just to name a few. For more details visit here.

 

Q: What was it like returning to work full time, 12 months ago (I know this isn’t the first time you have done this)?

A: I found the first 3 months the most difficult as the kids were missing me being at home.  Juggling everyone’s schedule as well as my own new work schedule was challenging at time but now 12 months down the track it was all worth it.

 

Q: You have so many talents - what do you feel your dream job is and why?

A: My dream job would be a combination of costume & fashion design. I have always had a love of fashion as well as enjoyed the entertainment industry.

 

Q: Describe your personal style?

A: I would definitely say that the best way to describe my personal style is: clean, classic & elegant. Most of my wardrobe is black, supplemented with navy, grey, cream, white, red and pops of colour; mainly all solid colours. I prefer simple classics and high quality fabrics. I like to build my wardrobe on basics that will last for years. My philosophy is to focus on true classics and more unusual pieces that won't easily be dated, because they were never trendy to begin with.

 

Q: I know you love fashion - what are your favourite day and evening looks?

A: My favourite day look would be a classic white shirt over black capri pants and sling back heels and my favourite evening look would be an elegant black dress, strappy heels and a pop of colour for a clutch bag (say a shimmery silver).

 

Q: You have been living in Hong Kong a long time, what are 3 key things you love about it?

A: 1. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency!.  2. Beautiful skyline.  3. Hiking trails.

 

Q: As we know, summer is hideously humid - what are your favourite casual items which you feel cool and comfortable wearing?

A: For those very hot days, I would tend to stick with a light cotton maxi dress, strappy sandals, wide brim hat (to cover the frizzy hair I struggle with on a daily basis) and dark sunglasses.

 

Q: As best friends and sharing very similar personalities, we have had many a fun time over the years hanging out. What do you think has been the most fun shopping extravaganza (we definitely have had a few of these!)?

A: Hahaha….we’ve had plenty of fun shopping experiences but the one that comes to mind is where we actually didn’t go shopping together, and ended up purchasing the same two items - great minds think alike!

 

Photos courtesy of EIGHT FIVE TWO http://eightfivetwo.net

Jewellery -  Fifth Avenue Collection Jewellery 

Clothing - our own and loved pieces

Styling by Donna - Styling Packages

Locations Bistronomique, Kennedy Town and Hilton Private Residence, Pokfulam


If you need help with restyling your wardrobe or just an edit, I would be more than happy to assist!

Check out my personal styling services and get in touch!

I look forward to bringing you another inspiring interview guest as a part of my 'Spotlight Series.'

 

Fashionably Yours,

Donna

Sun Struck - Behind The Scenes of What I Packed For My Phuket Resort Vacation

Ahhh, Summer!

How we love the many Asian resort destinations available for that perfect getaway.

I decided it was time to escape the high humidity, torrential rain and craziness in Hong Kong and spend a peaceful, relaxing eight days at my second home - J W Marriott Phuket.

After all, everyone needs to recharge the batteries from the stresses of everyday life.

Bliss, Serenity, Paradise are just a few adjectives to describe my agenda for the following days.

Excitement doesn’t even come close to describing the feeling I have when heading on holiday (I guess that’s pretty common!).

BUT my excitement coupled with a love for stylish clothes can usually mean over packing! 

However for this holiday I tried really hard to keep my outfits to a minimum without compromising on style. Believe me, I really had to reign myself in, but I think I did OK

Following on from my blog How To Pack For The Perfect Beach Holiday - Your Resort Wear and Accessories Are Covered, I thought this would be an opportune time to give you a peek inside MY no fuss, simple resort wardrobe.

 

What I Packed for a Resort Vacation

The purpose of my holiday is to relax, which resulted in me packing items which will keep me cool, comfortable and chic while I unwind poolside followed by sunset drinks at my favourite resort bars.

Based on my key tips for packing for the perfect beach holiday, below I share with you a few outfits for my Phuket stay!

It’s time to drag myself from poolside at the Blue Pool to a quick freshen up/wardrobe change for sunset cocktails, beach side.

Can’t beat the ease of gliding from the pool to cocktails!

Before I head off into the sunset with a Mojito in hand, I would like to also share with you a few key packing tips.

Check out my ‘Queen of Can’t Pack Light’ ie “Me”, though I am learning!

 If you want to know the secrets to successful packing - READ THIS!

If you want to know the secrets to successful packing - READ THIS!

Jewellery - Fifth Avenue Collection Jewellery

Clothing - my own and loved pieces

Location - JW Marriott, Phuket, Thailand



Going on vacation?

Whether it’s a resort location or an exciting city destination, I can help you create the appropriate outfits and accessories to get you into holiday mood without the stress.

Take a look at my Styling Packages or contact me directly! 

 

Fashionably Yours,

Donna x

 

 

HOW TO TAKE YOUR CORPORATE OUTFIT FROM DESK TO DINNER

CORPORATE STYLING SERIES THREE -

HOW TO TAKE YOUR CORPORATE OUTFIT FROM DESK TO DINNER

 

As a working woman, your time is precious, right?

Especially when you’re planning to effortlessly transition from your desk to drinks or dinner after hours.

Firstly let’s visualise how this will play out (I know this is how it played out in my mind  while working in corporate for many years!).

You’re standing in front of your wardrobe ready to choose your corporate outfit for the day and then realise you will be heading straight from work with friends to a bar for a glass of wine or cocktail, then onto a restaurant for dinner.


Do you hit the PANIC button and ask yourself “what do I have in my wardrobe that I can wear to work today, AND which will double as a chic outfit for the evening?”
 

Of course you do!

After all, the thought of lugging a heavy bag filled with an entire outfit change to work, merely because you decide to have a few drinks/dinner after work sounds reeeaaaallly unnecessary.


Instead of panicking, read Part III of of the Corporate Styling Series where I share a few surefire tips to take you from office appropriate to dinner date chic in a snap!

 

How to take your corporate outfit from Desk to Dinner

 

In my recent workshop I ran for Barclays, Projecting your Personal Image in the Corporate World, I demonstrated how effortless it is to take your corporate outfit from desk to dinner.

With a willing audience participant, I turned Shella’s corporate day attire to ‘dinner and drinks’ ready, and it took less than 2 minutes!


Here’s how:

1. Start With Your Base


You may recall in my last post, I talked about the Base, Accent and Statement formula.

Let’s start with the Base.

I am going to use Shella as an example for this exercise, as it was a super quick, no-fuss and fun!

Our starting point was a simple black shift dress and a pair of black/brown two toned ballet flats and a wrist watch.

 

2. Transform With Statement Accessories

To effortlessly transform the look, I added a few Statement accessories.

Firstly, a few jewellery pieces - a matching bracelet and necklace (choosing silver which matched Shella’s skin tone), and a small pair of earrings to frame her face.

The look was complete with a Michael Kors tote (or you can choose a clutch) and a heeled pair of black shoes with silver detail on the toe.

Very simple and understated, however a little less of the corporate day look.

  Fifth Avenue Collection Jewellery available through  http://www.stylingbydonna.com/jewellery/     

Fifth Avenue Collection Jewellery available through http://www.stylingbydonna.com/jewellery/

 

 

3. Get Creative

Of course, if you want to be more creative, add some colour/bold statement pieces to give your look a more of a - ‘I’ve just clocked out, now it’s time to kick up my heels after a long day in the office’ look.

 

So there you have it - it’s as simple as starting with your basic yet versatile corporate pieces.

Then we merely change up a few base pieces with some statement pieces to give you an effortless and chic after work look!

 

What do you think? 

I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PIECE OF CLOTHING OR ACCESSORY THAT YOU LOVE TO WEAR TO TAKE YOUR LOOK FROM DESK TO DINNER? 

 

If you feel you need styling assistance with your after work look, make sure you take a look at my Styling Packages.

I’d love to be of assistance!

Fashionably Yours,

Donna x

 

 

 

HOW TO EASILY BUILD A CORPORATE CAPSULE WARDROBE

 

Corporate Styling - SERIES TWO

HOW TO EASILY BUILD A CORPORATE CAPSULE WARDROBE

 

Do you constantly ask yourself, “What am I going to wear to work today?” 

If this sounds familiar you need a corporate capsule wardrobe!

 

So, what is a corporate capsule wardrobe?

It’s a mini wardrobe consisting of a small amount of versatile corporate pieces that you can mix and match to create a number of different looks that you wear solely to work.

Wasting time staring at your wardrobe first up in the morning, repeating to yourself “I have nothing to wear,” (which we all do!), will not only put you in a frenzy, but the outfit you do finally choose could be a train wreck for the day ahead if you haven't put thought into it. 

No one can wear different outfits and accessories everyday of the week for a whole month without wearing the same item multiple times, (unless you have an enormous amount of cash - I know I don’t!). 

BUT that’s OK, because if you build a capsule wardrobe for your work wear, your 'mix and match' outfits will look as though you're wearing a new outfit everyday! 

Trust me - opening your wardrobe every morning and easily choosing the outfit you will wear that day from the corporate wardrobe you created will not only be stress free, you will feel confident about your selection as you have planned it in advance. 

You may even get a little extra sleep because that time every morning will not be wasted ‘umming and ahhing’ about your choice of outfit.

 

 

How To Easily Build A Corporate Capsule Wardrobe

Here’s my guide to building a capsule wardrobe which will help you choose your best corporate looks for the office.

PART 1 - PLANNING

First up! - think about how you want your wardrobe to work for YOU:

1. It needs to be comfortable, practical and appropriate to fit in with your everyday work tasks. Choose clothes that sit well on your body so you focus on work, not on whether your hemline is too short, your skirt is riding up, bra straps are showing, gaping shirts etc.

 

2. Choose items that suit your body shape and skin tone. If you feel good in what you are wearing, then confidence and professionalism will follow.

 

3. Ensure your clothing choices reflect your personal image, (you don’t have to fit the ‘mold’) but you do have to respect the company’s culture.

 

4. Keep your corporate capsule wardrobe separate from your casual wardrobe. This will make grabbing an outfit out of your wardrobe easier, quicker and stress free. Watch for future blogs as I will show you how to build a few different capsule wardrobes, such as a casual and travel capsule wardrobe.

 

 

PART 2 - BUILDING

Once you have put some thought into the above, then comes the fun part - building!

I will be using a Base, Accent and Statement formula to explain how to do this. 

Be mindful what styles form your capsule wardrobe, depending on your profession and the industry you work in and don't forget, you can still project your personal image. Let’s get started!

 

1. The Base

The Base is the starting point for your wardrobe - the foundation. Think of the base as staple items, more classic/timeless styles, investment pieces (eg. skirts, jacket, tailored trousers, dresses, a pair of pump/court shoes). You want your base items to be in neutral shades (ie white, black, navy, grey, tan, brown etc. These shades basically match with any colours and forms the base of your outfits.  

My favourite neutral shades are tans and browns as they match my skin tone perfectly.  Other neutral shades I love to wear often are charcoal or silvery greys and navy. These colours again work very well with my skin tone.

 

2. The Accent

The Accent is the ‘add ons’ to the base/staple items which lift or add variety to an outfit (eg. a coloured cardigan or knit can be teamed with a pencil skirt, or colourful top or tank can be worn under a classic blazer and trousers).

Choose accent shades that emphasise the neutral shades. Accent shades are endless and can be a mix of colour and neutral shades if desired. Try wearing accent shades of burgundy, teal, coral, or cobalt blue for example with a neutral shade.

 

3. The Statement (or Pop)

The Statement is what completes your outfit - it's the cherry on the top! Working in an office doesn’t mean you are limited to wearing a black or grey suit or a black shift dress with no pop! The Statement refers to accessories (eg jewellery, scarves, handbags, belts, shoes) or if you’re confident wearing statements in the form of a top, skirt etc - go for it - as long as it works with in the corporate dress policy! If you think you have ‘nothing to wear’ in your wardrobe, adding a few pop or statement items/ shades with each outfit will extend the variety of your wardrobe in a blink of an eye. Trust me!

I often will pick out a shade, (if I am wearing a print), and use that colour as my statement piece. For instance, if I am wearing a multi coloured dress with shades of teal, navy, brown, burnt orange, red -  I could choose any one of those colours to use as an accessory, (handbag, shoe, statement ring, bangle/bracelet or earrings). If you are not over confident in wearing a statement shade, choose some jewellery in gold, rose gold or silver to compliment your outfit.

Here are some suggested mix and match work outfits using the Base, Accent, Statement Formula

 

 

Stay tuned for Series 3 of Projecting Your Personal Image in the Corporate World.

I will be sharing with you tips and demonstrations on how to take your corporate day outfit from Desk to Dinner. 

If you missed PART 1 - read it here - 8 SIMPLE STEPS TO BREAK THE MOULD AND PROJECT YOUR PERSONAL IMAGE IN THE CORPORATE WORLD.

 

Now over to you!

What's the first step you need to undertake to create your own Corporate Capsule Wardrobe?  Share with me in the comments below.

 

If you feel you need styling assistance with creating your own corporate capsule wardrobe, make sure you take a look at my Styling Packages.

I’d love to help you!

Fashionably Yours,

Donna x

8 SIMPLE STEPS TO BREAK THE MOULD AND PROJECT YOUR PERSONAL IMAGE IN THE CORPORATE WORLD

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CORPORATE STYLING - SERIES ONE

8 SIMPLE STEPS TO BREAK THE MOULD AND PROJECT YOUR PERSONAL IMAGE IN THE CORPORATE WORLD

I love sharing styling advice and recently I presented to a small group of business women, (and a few men!), at Barclays in Hong Kong.

This specific event was centered around how to project your personal image in the corporate world and why this is important.

So why is projecting your personal image important? 

We hear these words time and time again – FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT.  

The way you dress impacts your confidence and body language.  People can be very quick to make assumptions about you, your credibility and deciding if they want to work with you.

 

Here are 6 important questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you demonstrate the right look in a corporate environment which highlights your confidence?

  2. Does your appearance reflect your personal values and character?

  3. Does it convey who you are and how you want to be recognised in your business?

  4. How do you want to be perceived by others?

  5. What are your career goals?

  6. Have you identified your own personal image, (you don’t have to fit the “mould’)?

 

Let's face it - some people have more style than others. 

And the number one challenge is unlocking YOUR “true style.” But my best piece of advice is to wear what’s comfortable and appropriate for the situation/location and most important - what makes you feel good about yourself!

 

 

So, who are you?

I would like to share 8 ways to help YOU find your personal style:

 

  1. Seek inspiration - This is the best place to start. Research social media sites such as Pinterest, Google, Instagram to gather inspiration from a few of your favourite style icons. Pulling inspiration from various sources is a great way to figure out what styles you like and dislike,

  2. Give your wardrobe a spring clean - Take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves and dive head first into your wardrobe! Discard what you haven't worn in the last year so you can start fresh and discard -  I mean, bin, donate, give away to friends, swap parties etc.  Then you can begin to rebuild and refine your wardrobe with a style that truly reflects where you are/want to be in your life and career,

  3. Be a smart shopper - We all have doubts at times about our wardrobe collection - hey that’s normal! We may think if we throw money at the issue (as in buy a whole new wardrobe) it will all come together.  Experiment with fashion trends the smart way – browse online and go try on items in department stores.  Keep an eye out for great deals at speciality stores. Only splurge on staple clothing items, (handbag, shoes, jacket, a nice coat etc). The remaining wardrobe items can be purchased at mainstream stores like Zara, J Crew Massimo Dutti or whatever your favourite stores are.

  4. Consider your goals and lifestyle - your wardrobe should represent your vision and creativity, and be tailored to your lifestyle. You want your style to reflect your personality, but it also has to work in line with your profession, overall lifestyle, the city/environment you live in and aligned with your long-term goals. Do you want a more rewarding job or maybe you want to change your career? 

  5. Forget dress sizing – it’s confidence that matters! No one can see what the size tag reads on the inside of your dress (and who cares!). The focus should not be about fitting into the smallest size possible. That will not give you confidence—how you feel in your own skin does. When you feel your best, you stand taller, smile wider, and people will notice. As Diane von Furstenberg put it, "Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good."  So wear what makes you feel confident!

  6. I need help - shout it out! - don't be afraid to reach out to the professionals when it comes to redefining your style. If we have health issues we seek professional help, if we are hosting a large event, we hire a caterer and/or event planner. The same applies when you are wanting to project the right image, you enlist the help of a professional to steer you in the direction of looking and feeling confident.

  7. Stock up on accessories - I love, love, love accessories! The easiest way to pull any outfit together is adding accessories. You can make the changes subtle eg. update a basic denim jean and white t-shirt with a patterned scarf or a few simple layered chains and a statement ring or bangle/bracelet. For a more feminine look choose pearls or soft delicate jewellery pieces to give a soft romantic touch. If you have more of a bold vivacious personality go all out and add a bright clutch and pumps to make your outfit pop. Play around with different styles - the ideas are endless!

  8. Trust your instincts – authenticity is the key - The most important thing when developing your style is to be true to yourself. Experiment with different patterns, textures, accessories, and shoes. It all comes down to feeling good in your own skin—your style should reflect and celebrate YOUR life, YOUR individuality, and YOUR personality. Own your style, be proud of it, and embrace fashion as a way to express who you are and who you want to be. Trust your gut, because something that makes you feel confident and beautiful never dates.

 

Stay tuned for Series 2 and 3 of Projecting your Personal Image in the Corporate World.

I will be sharing with you tips and demonstrations on How To Put Together a Corporate Wardrobe Capsule and taking your corporate day outfit from Desk to Dinner.

If you feel you need styling assistance with your projecting your personal image in the corporate world make sure you take a look at my Styling Packages.

I’d love to help you!

Fashionably Yours,

Donna x

 

P.S. Here is a snippet of the great feedback I received from the Barclays Corporate Styling Workshop!

Styling By Donna’s workshop was a Great excuse for a fun and interactive social event! It was fantastic to hear Donna’s advice and very relevant tips when it comes to making the transition from desk to dinner. Understanding your personal image and how best to project this is a skill often under estimated. Workshop attendees left the event full of confidence and had a much better idea of how to achieve more of a power image to help them achieve goals and success in the corporate world.  

C  Rose, Women’s Internal Network- Barclays

 

 

How To Pack For The Perfect Beach Holiday - Your Resort Wear and Accessories Are Covered

It’s HOT, HOT, HOT and you are already dreaming about your Summer getaway…….is it Bali, Koh Samui, Malibu, Miami, Maldives or perhaps one of the gorgeous Caribbean Islands?

Wherever you are heading it’s wise to pack your suitcase with comfortable breezy pieces that will keep you looking chic and cool at the same time.  After all, the top of your ‘to do’ list reads Relax and Unwind!

Below I share my top tips I swear by to keep me looking carefree, cool (temperature and style wise!), comfortable and sassy while enjoying my beach holiday. 

 

5 Packing Tips For The Perfect Beach Holiday

 

1. Think about your destination

Are you going somewhere where it’s only beach as far as the eye can see, or are you combining city, beach, nature walks? Will you be  poolside lounging by day, chic dinners by night?  Also take into account any cultural differences depending on where you are heading.  Pack appropriately so you cover all bases.

2. Your travel choice

Whether it’s by train, plane or automobile, choose your travel pieces wisely.  Firstly you want to be wearing something comfortable for the trip, (you are in holiday mode after all), but you don't want to be donning a bikini and a see through, free flowing kaftan on the plane for example.  Oh, I have seen some interesting outfits on my many travels to holiday destinations! Keep those outfits for pool/beachside.

3. Keep your clothing and accessory selection to a minimum

Choose breezy and light fabrics that are easy to mix and match to create a multitude of different looks for day, evening and different activities (a spot of shopping, scenic walks etc). We’ve all had those holidays where we are so excited we pack a truck load of clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and only wear half of them, or even a quarter.  I certainly have been guilty of that many times out of sheer excitement. Lay out everything you think you need to take and then choose half. Trust me it works!

4. Majority of  your wardrobe should work over a bikini/swimsuit

Oh, BTW, I always take a few bikinis - different colours/styles.  I like to mix it up day to day. You are on holidays so you want to shimmy on up to the bar from a day at the pool or beach without compromising your style. A Kaftan for example can be worn as a beach cover up, a tunic over a capri pant, or pair with denim shorts - loosely tucked in - either way look effortlessly stylish - a Kaftan or (two) is a resort must have!

5. An outfit is not complete without accessories

Play with different styles and sizes, even layer up. Don’t be afraid to get creative! You are on vacation so you don't have to abide by strict dress policies.

Also, don’t forget to pack the sunscreen!

 

Here’s a list of some of my fave beach holiday items:

 

Printed Lightweight Rompers - good for wearing to dinner with a wedge heel or dress it down with a pair of flats or flip flops, poolside.

Shirtdresses - so easy to throw on, button up, belt or leave loose with a flat jewelled sandal...off you go!

Aviators - nothing cooler than a pair of mirrored or classic. If Aviators are not your thing, a pair of black tinted cat eye sunglasses. They are versatile enough to match any of your resort pieces - they create a bold look and turn heads.  

Evening clutch - if you are heading out to a chic bar/restaurant, don't forget to include a clutch when packing your suitcase.  A slim line, natural fibre clutch in a bold colour will make a simple flowy dress pop AND you’re keeping in the resort theme!

Tote - choose a neutral colour that matches your resort wardrobe to take you from the beach, shopping, lunch to the spa.  Select a tote that’s big enough for all your summer essentials but doesn’t weigh you down.

Wide Brimmed Fedora - if you don't wish to carry it on your travels make sure you pack it with the inside full of soft items like lingerie, socks etc - this will help it keep its shape.

Shorts/Pant - Denim cut offs, Bermuda, Capri - whatever you feel comfortable in and most importantly suits your shape.

Flowy or Open Back Tops - go a bit sexy with a plunging neckline.  This creates a romantic touch against your sunkissed glow.

Maxi Dresses and/or Off the Shoulder Dresses - I live in Maxi dresses in Summer, Spring and Autumn! They are the most simple item to throw on and with a range of styles, colours, prints, it’s so easy to rock a comfortable, flattering and super versatile look.

Drawstring V Neck Dresses - again very comfortable and flatters any shape. Pairs nicely with a flat sandal or a wedge.

Shoes - wedge heels, flip flops, espadrille flats, flat jewelled sandal - maybe not all of these (errr, or maybe)! Depending on your resort wardrobe and your destination, decide which shoes pair with most outfits to lighten your load while traveling.

 

If you need help sorting your stress-free resort destination wardrobe, I am here to help. Take a look at my packages and learn how I can help style you for your next beachside vacation.

 

Other articles you may be interested to read:

7 Style Secrets to Easily Inject Colour Into Your Wardrobe

8 Stylish Ways to Wear Flats

 

 

7 Style Secrets To Easily Inject Colour Into Your Wardrobe

Did you know that colour affects our moods, behaviour and stress levels? 

Every day, in every part of our life we are surrounded by colour which makes us feel certain ways. For example we feel happy when we see a blue sky, a rainbow, a field of bright coloured flowers.  

Our mood could change from having a happy disposition to feeling flat when we are surrounded by only neutral colours which include black, grey, white, brown.  This also applies to the colours we wear. These colours are perfect as background colours so incorporate brighter colours to lift your look.

It’s important to note that colour can be subjective and depending on a person’s experiences or cultural differences, a colour that may make one person feel upbeat or cheerful, may bring about a different emotion for another individual.

Injecting a pop of colour to your outfits can do wonders for giving your wardrobe a new look. This can be as subtle as accessorizing by adding a colourful scarf or handbag to a monochrome outfit.

Check out my 7 fun, easy and effective style secrets to brighten your look, oh so effortlessly!

 


Be BOLD And Inject A POP Of Colour Into Your Outfits

  • Top off a slim line black trouser and turtle neck sweater with a bold coloured coat dress in a bright pink, orange, blue…whatever colour takes your fancy!

  • Add some head colour to a casual look with a colourful hat or beanie to brighten your outfit on a grey wintery day,

  • Team a printed or block colour scarf to any outfit to complete a casual chic look,

  • Go for a bright block or patterned/textured colour (eg. orange or yellow) in a handbag and shoe against a black or white backdrop of a trouser and buttoned shirt,

  • Choose a bold colour statement neckpiece to bring a simple little black dress to life,

  • Slip on a red dress and a black stiletto and bring out that sex kitten! Red is the colour of passion and gets the blood pumping!

  • Any colour matches a pair of blue denim jeans, so experiment by adding a block colour or printed buttoned up shirt or blouse and a strappy sandal for a cool breezy look.

 

How do you like to add colour to your outfits? I’d love for you to share your own style secrets in the comment section below.

If you are looking for personalised styling advice, feel free to take a look at my Personal Styling Packages and book in a consultation. 

 

Fashionably Yours,

Donna

FABULOUSITY = FLATS! - 8 STYLISH WAYS TO WEAR FLATS

Gone are the days where flats are seen as boring, unattractive and non-stylish.  

Apart from giving our feet a much needed rest from time to time, flat shoes can make any outfit look fashionable and chic. 

Just like a casual button up shirt, Flats are one of those ‘must haves’ in every woman’s wardrobe, so get them out ladies and rock a ‘Fabulous You!’ 

 

Below I share 8 stylish ways your can wear your flats in any season:

 

1. Mix it Up With Colour

Choosing flats in bright, bold colours with a little embellishment or alternatively soft hues such as blush, pink, nude or white are just a few options of how you can add the right look to your outfit

 

2. Get Edgy With The Studded Loafer

Studded loafers give an edge to any outfit – for a ‘rocked out’ look team with a soft light blue denim shirt with rolled up sleeves and soft black leather shorts.

 

3. The Comfy and Casual Look

For a comfy casual look team a black suede loafer with a dark skinny denim and an oversized wooly pullover. You can’t beat it!

 

4. Capri Pants and Ballet Flats

Capri pants and ballet flats are a match made in heaven ! For an Audrey Hepburn look, team with a crisp white buttoned up shirt.  This is a perfect combination to elongate your figure.

 

5. The Maxi Dress and Sandal

This is one of my fave looks – a stylish long length Maxi dress and a flat sandal.  If you’re not keen on exposing your legs, this is a good option as Maxi’s cover problem areas. This combination is effortless and stylish taking you from day to night with no fuss.

 

6. Long Legs with a Pointy-Toe Flat

Look fashionable without having to wear high heels and elongate your legs at the same time with a pointy-toe flat.  

Team a pair of black flats with a skinny jean, leather jacket and a floral flowy blouse underneath to give an edgy but feminine look.

 

7. A-Line Skirt and Soft Knit Cardigan

Bring a cute flirty A-line print skirt and a button down soft knit cardigan to life with a pair of Mary Janes or ballet flats. It’s important to note that this look is best worn with the skirt just exposing the knee cap to avoid your legs looking shorter.

 

8. The Little Black Dress

Who said you can’t rock sneakers with a Little Black Dress? 

Pair a cutsie sleeveless daytime LBD with a casual black sneaker and a small tote bag in a bold block colour and you are ready to go!

 

Now it’s over to you! How do you like to wear your flats? I’d love for you to share in the comments section below!
 

Don’t forget, if you need any personalised styling advice take a look at my Personal Styling Packages and feel free to book in a consultation.

Together we can update your wardrobe in a fun, no stress, easy process and have you feeling happier and more confident, inside and out, than ever before. 

Fashionably Yours,

Donna.

The Casual Shirt - How To Style It 3 Ways With Fifth Avenue Collection Jewellery

We all have a wardrobe full of shirts and it’s not uncommon to get stuck on how to style them.

It’s important to note that a casual shirt is a must have staple of your wardrobe. You can easily slip on a casual button up shirt when heading out to coffee, hitting up the shops or even slipping it over your bikinis when on vacation.

A shirt doesn’t always have to feel so formal -  below I share with you three simple ways to transform your basic shirts into casual luxe.

 

  1. THE BLUE SHIRT AND LAYERING

Layering is the key to dressing up any blue shirt. A tan jacket or cardigan is a simple and elegant option to achieve this style.  

To create depth, I recommend accessorising with a statement neckpiece seen here with the Double Duty Necklace. You can also add in Life’s a Ball Earrings for a chic touch.

 

2. THE RELAXED WHITE SHIRT

A relaxed white shirt will never go out of style. I suggest to my clients to pair it with a boyfriend jean for an everyday look or skinny ripped denim for shape. 

Go one step further and add the Pearl Talk Necklace and a pair of pumps to create an effortless Parisian vibe.

 

3. MASCULINE FEMININE VIBE

Combining subtle palettes with more masculine dressing, pays homage to a more classic era of tailoring. In the styling world we call this refined masculine femininity. 

A pastel silk shirt, tailored chinos & brogues is the perfect way to achieve this look. To really pull off this look you can pair your casual shirt with Pearl Earrings and single Pearl Talk Necklace to add a soft touch.

If you need customised styling advice, take a look at my various Personal Styling Packages and feel free to book in a consultation.

I’d love to help you define, update or maintain your image!

Scarves - Multiple Reasons Why You Need At Least One!

Get your scarves out Ladies (and Gents!).  Whether it’s winter or you just need to keep your neck warm in the freezing low air-con temps, plus you want to look chic, of course! You can’t go wrong with adding a scarf to complete your look. A ‘must’ accessory to compliment your wardrobe.

Check out at LEAST 5 Ways to Wear Scarves!

  1. Wear it like a bandit and rock it out with a tee
  2. Classic French look tied around the neck with a Breton top
  3. Drape under the lapel of a blazer
  4. Tied over the collar of a crisp white shirt
  5. The classic ‘Pull Through’ - fold the scarf in half, drape it over your shoulders, thread the ends through the loop and adjust. Wears well with most necklines and with your hair up or down

‘Must Have’ Winter Items To Complete Your Wardrobe

 

  • Basic white tee - one of the most versatile items in your wardrobe. Pair it with a skirt, jeans, shorts, layer it….the list goes on!
  • Black blazer - you can’t go wrong with a tailored classic blazer. The trusty blazer suits all body types and also pairs with anything and everything. Try it with skirts, jeans, trousers, and dresses
  • Statement jewellery - ‘go to’ pieces such as a necklace, ring and bracelet add oomph to a basic item in your wardrobe. Statement jewellery turns a simple outfit into a knockout one.
  • Little Black Dress - Every woman should own a LBD. It will last a lifetime if you invest in a classic, quality dress which fits your shape perfectly. The ideas are endless on how to wear, so get experimenting!
  • Classic Trench - either a black or tan colour works with everything, so invest in a timeless Trench with a classic A-line shape that cinches in at the waist to give you a silhouette look. A Trench pairs well with anything from suits to jeans, skirts and dresses
  • Nude Pumps - the neutral pump pairs perfectly with every colour in your wardrobe. Remember invest in a good quality shoe that will look smart and will hold it’s style in years to come
  • Oxford Shirt - go for a fitted one so you can wear it in or out
  • Ballet Flat - choose a colour other than black to add that pop to your outfit
  • Jeans - opt for a stretch denim with 2% lycra to ensure the fabric follows your curves and shape. Investing in a good quality pair will last your forever
  • A drape front cardigan in a light grey, black or tan colour not only pairs well with a pair of skinny jeans, a white tee and a pair of chelsea boots, it is so stylish with the added bonus of comfort and warmth!
  • Denim Jacket - a darker wash and slimmer fit is the perfect compliment to almost everything in your wardrobe
  • Scarves - well, what can I say….I’ll be writing more about this in my next post.
  • Boots - invest in a quality pair (I can't say that enough when it comes to shoes) Chelsea boots are your best bet. Go for a black or tan colour. They look awesome with leggings, skinny jeans, dresses, skirts - just about any of your winter clothing items
  • Tote-Size Carryall - large enough to hold every woman’s essentials (and we do have a lot that we lug around!). This practical and on trend tote will also have us looking nothing less than chic as it pairs well with multiple looks.  Don't forget though a classic clutch is also a ‘must’ wardrobe item which can be dressed up or down.  
  • An outfit is not complete without a designer-inspired pair of sunglasses.  Keep it stylish and chic with a pair that compliments each wardrobe item and your face shape!

Cleaning Out Your Closet? Tips On What To Keep & What To Discard

Now that 2016 is in full swing, and all the celebrations of the festive season and the new year have died down, it is time to reorganise your life. And where better to start than with your closet! If you don’t know where to start, what to keep, and what to get rid of, here are a few helpful tips to assist you in your closet makeover.

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Questions To Ask Yourself
These questions will help you make a clear decision on what to keep, and what to discard:

  • Does it fit?
  • Have I worn it in the last 12 months?
  • Will I wear it again?
  • Is it currently in fashion and/or does it represent my current style?
  • If the item is damaged, do I want to make the effort and incur the expense to have it repaired?
  • Do I feel confident when I wear it?

Discard, Donate, Resell
Once you’ve answered the above question, you can now get to sorting everything out. Create three boxes or piles, and label each one with the word “discard”, “donate” or “resell”.

Discard clothes that don't make you look your best. Don’t feel obligated to hold onto an item because it either was expensive or because it has sentimental value. If it doesn't make you look and feel your best then it is taking up valuable space in your wardrobe.  

Donate to friends, family or charity. If the item can’t be sold and is free of holes, tears, stains or discolouration, then give it to someone who might need it. Unless swing tags are still attached and haven’t been worn, underwear should never be donated, but rather be thrown away.

Resell old items and earn some cash. Sell items that don’t fit or no longer represent your style. These items may be slightly worn, but still in good condition. Some good options for purging those unwanted items would include posting an ad in your local magazine, on websites or in Facebook groups. Alternatively you could have an open house sale inviting friends and people from your local community.

New Year's Resolution = Feeling GREAT In Your Clothes

1. Reassess Your Wardrobe

Discard clothes you don't love or have not been wearing. A good rule of thumb - if you haven't worn a particular clothing item in the last 12 months, remove it. Hold a clothing swap party with friends - your unwanted items could create a whole new look for someone else and in turn you may be lucky to pick up a great outfit to replace the one (or few) you let go of.

2. Dress For Your Body Shape

More often than not we are unaware what clothes suit our body shape. We all come in different shapes and sizes - that's what makes us unique! Don't let fashion dictate what you wear. Get an honest assessment of your body and then consider what fashion trends to embrace and which to avoid.

3. Understand The Best Colour Clothing Choices For Your Skin Tone

The wrong colour choice for your skin tone will give you a dull appearance, whereas the right colours will flatter and enhance your natural colouring and also help hide the areas you wish to camouflage or make your strong points stand out.
Maintain a steady rotation of colour co-ordinates that work well with your complexion and include 'pops of colour' to create different looks. 

4. Don't Leave The House Not Feeling Good About Your Outfit Choice

If you are not comfortable in what you are wearing, it will show! Find something that fits, makes you feel AMAZING and you will be rocking that confidence you thought you didn't have!

5. Define Your Style

Individual style has little to do with how many expensive/designer brand items you own. An amazing look can be achieved on any budget. The most important point to remember is to create a signature style that suits YOU! Be yourself and wear clothing that expresses the unique person you are!
Know, First, Who You Are and Then Adorn Yourself Accordingly - Epictetus (Greek Philosopher)

Fashion Five - Styling the Classic Denim Jacket from Season to Season

Tip #1: Pair a light wash denim jacket with a floral dress for a stylish casual look.
 
Tip #2: Add a dark grey denim crop jacket to a mid-length flowy LBD and leggings.

Tip #3: Pair a blue denim jacket with a colourful pair of skinny jeans and a white T-shirt, or striped or plain shirt.

Tip #4: Go monochromatic. Pair a faded blue cropped denim jacket with a similar
coloured print maxi, and a neutral scarf.

Tip #5: Denim on denim! For an effortlessly cool, casual look, pair a faded blue denim jacket with dark denim skinny jeans, and a sheer floral blouse underneath.

Are You The Queen of Can't-Pack-Light?

Here are some tips on how to pack effectively!

1. Roll instead of fold! This will create more space in your suitcase.

2. Use tissue paper for garments you don’t wish to wrinkle and lay flat on the very top
of your suitcase before closing.

3. Pack small garments - such as underwear, scarves, socks into shoes, handbags - in any nook and cranny to avoid wasted space.

4. Pack shoes in plastic or cloth bags to avoid clothes becoming dirty from shoe soles.

5. Set a day-by-day plan to ensure you pack the correct outfit for each activity/meeting, and only include clothes that mix and match.

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