Dressing for work can be daunting. So we went to Manhattans most sought after image consultant, Lori Silverstein for her advice on how to power dress. Lori offers her exclusive roster of private clients, many of which are high power executives advice on their personal appearance, image, grooming and wardrobe. I believe the best strategy for women dressing in todays work environment is to embrace a tailored silhouette which is feminine, classic and clean and modeled on the European approach to dressing, says Lori. We sat down with her to get her fabulous tips on how to dress for work in style.
lori-silverstein.jpgWhat are some of the essential items a woman should own in her work wardrobe?
I strongly encourage my clients to invest in classic but stylish pieces. Basic items in the fall wardrobe should include: streamlined cashmere coats which fall right at the knee and are perfect for skirts, dresses and trousers; pencil skirts in beautiful wools and cashmere or cashmere blends; fitted blazers with narrow shoulders with a cinched or defined waist; cashmere sweaters; beautifully tailored trousers and pantsuits with a well proportioned leg, paired with a beautiful silk blouse; and tailored shift dresses (both sleeveless and with sleeves) that follow the contours but are not too form fitting. Good fabrics are key and contribute to a rich, elegant and timeless look.
What types of accessories should a woman opt for when dressing for the office?
I believe accessories complete and enhance a look, and a good shoe, handbag, belt, scarf and jewelry are essential.
For the work environment, I love a kitten heel or a 2-3 inch heel, and prefer a good classic pump with a bit of twist, as well as a sling back. My favorite shoe designers who have the perfect pump and sling are Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin. The shoes are beautiful, sleek, classic and subtly sexy. They are absolutely worth every penny of the investment. A good suede or leather boot with a narrow toe box and a 2-3 inch heel is also beautiful and classic.
Handbags you can never go wrong with the Prada leather tote which comes in a few basic colors such as black, brown and tan, and holds enough items without being oversized and cumbersome. I also love the Chanel classic handbag and tote.
Belts and Scarves
For belts, I steer my clients towards a black, chocolate brown or rich tan belt, preferably in leather or skin and for scarves I favor Hermes. They have so many wonderful designs and colors to choose from, and there are so many flattering ways to tie the scarves that will make every woman look chic, stylish and pulled together.
When it comes to jewelry, I emphasize that simple is best. For earrings, diamond studs or larger classic pearl studs look beautiful and there are some great copies out there that could fool anyone! Depending on the neckline, a scarf could look great, or perhaps a nice pendant or a pearl and gold necklace which is long enough to wrap a few times around the neck and sits up by the collar bone. I do like enamel bracelets (my favorites are designed by Hermes and come in different widths, design motifs and colors) and gold or silver link bracelets with a fob closure. I do stress that one thing to avoid at all costs is wearing large dangling earrings as well as glittery and over-sized pieces. Simplicity is key and contributes to a very polished and stylish look.
When it comes to hair and makeup, what works?
Regarding hair and makeup, the overall look should be neat, polished, well groomed and not overdone. I favor a soft palette for makeup. The first step is to ensure that one takes good care of their skin by using good products diligently (I love Biologique Recherche, La Prairie and Clarks Botanicals) and visiting an excellent facialist. My favorite facialist is Natalie at Yasmine Djerradine. A good, light foundation is important (such as Armani Face Fabric or the Fluid Sheer Foundation, or the new Guerlain Fundation) and a soft, neutral eye (mascara and lightly lined upper lid) combined with a soft cheek blush (the best colors are by Chanel) and a soft lip (Chanel lipsticks and glosses have the prettiest colors). Hair should be worn loose either straight or in soft waves, or held back in chic low ponytail or soft chignon. I strongly discourage hairstyles which are very exaggerated or messy. Everything should be soft and feminineno overpowering colors or heavy makeup application.
What are some things to keep in mind in terms of dress code for work?
Overall, when dressing for work, I advise my clients to dress in a clean, tailored and polished fashion that is very stylish and flattering. I discourage them from dressing in fashion trends that will detract from a polished look, and look inappropriate for the office. It is important not to wear anything that does not fit well and having access to a good tailor is essential to ensure that each piece fits perfectly. Another item to bear in mind is not to wear anything that is too short, too tight, too low cut, too clingy or too bright, glittery or overly patterned. Femininity is key. Lastly, its extremely important to be respected at work by clients and colleagues and a beautifully polished look will keep you on the right track!
For more information on image consultant Lori Silverstein please visit (http://lbsimageconsulting.com)
By Millissa Mathai