One of the major challenges with getting dressed in our busy lives is that often the first hurdle is figuring out what to wear - what is flattering for your body shape, your goals and aspirations, daily activities and lifestyle? Second, I hear from people all the time that they may see something they like, but they don’t know how to wear it. How do you put pieces together so everything looks cohesive while still paying attention to all of the above?
I’ll do What to Wear and Why It Works features in the blog rotation to provide some styling insights into these challenges.
What to Wear…To a Dinner Event and…Why It Works
I selected these pieces for a client who had an informal interview the night before her interview with them the next day. Our styling challenge: Dinner with prospective employers in Vegas. This could easily translate to cocktails, dinner with the in-laws, or just generally looking fabulous and polished for those hard-to-dress-for evening occasions that aren’t formal but aren’t quite casual either where you need to project confidence and look pulled together.
Why it works:
Fit and figure flattery come first! The top by Pippa has pleating detail at the neck which draws the eye upward toward your gorgeous face by adding some visual interest at the neckline. It nips in at the natural waist, generally the slimmest part of a woman’s figure, helping to create a balanced and flattering shape (or the illusion of one - still counts!). The top is also in an allover print in a medium scale (not to big and busy, not too small) which works on most women - petite and plus size gals should be careful with print and ensure the scale (big, small) of the print is in proportion with their size.
The top is available for spring in a feather print and in an awesome stripe that mixes neons and neutrals in a non-scary way. That’s important…
The mustard Elie Tahari pants are a mid-rise and have a straight leg which is a very flattering cut on almost every body shape. Why? It lengthens the distance between the thigh and slimmer part of the waist, making that entire area appear longer and slimmer. The pants are in a contrasting color family to the top (yellow to blue) which is a surefire way to make each color look more vibrant.
This stunning Stella & Dot necklace picks up on the color family without competing, which helps to keep the outfit professional for this particular occasion, by not adding another color to the mix since we already have contrast on top and bottom, and helps to keep the look harmonious. And remember, metallics are neutrals. So not only can you mix metals as you would other neutrals, the gold here works as a neutral tone and a complement. Also, having one large statement piece keeps the overall look unfussy, and that’s important in a professional setting.
The shoes: If this were a formal interview, a closed toe shoe would be more appropriate. Given what my client shared about this dinner and the more casual nature of the meeting, open-toe was an appropriate choice. The tobacco leather sandals, the Pavia style by Sofft, are in a warm neutral color, and the t-strap cut outs add some visual interest on the feet without being so busy that they distract from the top and the focus we’re trying to create at the top of the outfit. Prospective employers should be looking at your face and listening to you, not thinking about your shoes.
Keeping the shoes neutral and in a warm color like the mustard pants will continue the visual line down the leg and thus elongate your legs. Doing a black shoe here could be visually jarring and cut the legline off at the ankle, making you appear shorter. Also, this particular brand, Sofft, offers great arch support, which was important to this client.
Is this look working it out? Methinks yes.