Posts filed under 'Women's'

What to Wear to Give a Presentation

Q: I am a college student that is a business major. As finals week slowly approach, I have presentations to present. What should I wear to the presentation? My dilemma is that I don’t want to look too overdressed or underdressed. Would a simple black dress and a boyfriend fit blazer with black flats be okay to wear?

wool-gabardine-one-button-jacket_121009
Pictured: Wool Gabardine One Button Jacket | $235 at J Crew.

A: Whether it’s a presentation during finals or a boardroom presentation in the workplace, the key to dressing well is to wear something that you feel confident in.  We all have outfits (and shoes) that make us feel good - and ready to take on whatever the day throws at us.  For a presentation where it’s important to make a good impression, tip the scales in your favor by wearing a tried and true favorite.  Or if you’re buying something new for the presentation, make sure to try on the whole outfit to get the right fit - and feel - before the day of the event.  That way, the day of the presentation, you can focus on what really matters: your message.

For a college presentation, you’ll want to keep your look professional, but still youthful.  If you wear a suit, keep it fitted and feel free to take some liberties with your shirt - you don’t have to wear a plain white or striped button-down.  Try different fabrics (like the chambray shirt, pictured), colors, or silhouettes.  You can also choose to go the dress route and wear a simple dress, as you suggested, with a professional looking jacket.  You may want to mix up the colors - a heathered grey dress with a navy blazer, for instance, would be both professional and a little more visually interesting. 

For a workplace presentation, a good rule of thumb is to dress a level or two above your position.  That way, you’ll be sure to look polished, but you won’t be overly dressy. 

If you’re being filmed, here’s a couple of extra style notes:

(1) Bright, vibrant colors work best for TV; they look good to the eye - and the camera.
(2) Try not to wear white clothes - it’ll wash out the lighting.
(3) Same goes for pure black or navy clothes.  While they look good to your eye, they tend to look like a solid patch of darkness to the camera’s eye.
(4) Fine patterns like herringbone and small checks can cause a wavy effect; avoid these patterns where possible.

Have a great tip about what to wear to a presentation? Share it with us in the comments!

7 comments December 11th, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear to a Winter Graduation

Q:  I’m going to be graduating from college this December. Usually one can find all kinds of style tips for graduation in the spring, but I’m graduating a semester early, and now I’m just a little confused about what to wear. I go to Texas A&M University, so I’m predicting it to be relatively cold (40s-50s), but I want to look sophisticated and skinny.  My question is, what should I wear for a December graduation?  I’m 5′ 10" and weigh about 165, with most of my weight in the hips & thighs.

What to Wear to a Winter Graduation
Pictured: Wool Ribbon Script Coat | $275 at J Crew, Silk Taffeta Bow Monde Dress | $225 at J Crew, Merino Rose Corsage Cardigan | $71.60 (sale) at J Crew, Mab D’Orsay Pumps | $79 at Nine West.  Here’s more information about this look.


A:
Graduation, whether it’s in the Spring or the Winter, is a time to celebrate, and a rite of passage for you as you blossom into your adult self.  You can show your family and friends that you’re a grown up in a sophisticated dress or blouse and skirt combination.  But as it’s going to be cold out, you’ll want to dress in layers so that you can adjust to the temperatures inside and out. 

To flatter your figure, choose a dress (or skirt) that skims over your hips.  Wrap styles will work well, as will empire waist dresses and moderate a-line shaped skirts.  To draw attention upward, try a dress with an open neckline - or show some skin on your shoulders or arms.  J Crew’s silk taffeta bow monde dress will flatter your lower body while drawing attention up towards your upper body and face.

Since it’s cold out, layer up.  Slip on a sweater on top (note: cashmere is extra warm), and try a pair of pantyhose or tights and closed-toe pumps to help keep your legs and feet warm.  Finish off the look with a stunning overcoat - and a bright smile.

What would you wear to a winter graduation? Share your style with us in the comments!

7 comments December 4th, 2009

How Real People Can Get the Skinny Jeans Look

Q:  Skinny jeans are the rage for fall, but some of us aren’t tall and a size 2. How can regular sized folks with a bit of muffin top translate the look?

The Skinny Jeans Look for Real People
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A:
Well said!  Though skinny jeans appear to be ubiquitous, they’re certainly not for everybody (though, I might add, they’re great for women with short legs, as they make their legs look longer and leaner - I promise!).  But if your personal architecture is steering you away from the severe, skinny cut of these pants, you can get a similar look with straight leg jeans.  Straight leg jeans are easier to wear, especially if your figure isn’t as clean as that of a model. 

In order to find the most figure flattering pair of jeans, I look for stretch styles, which help smooth out bumps and other figure imperfections, while maintaining a slim silhouette.  One other tip for finding jeans that flatter "a bit of a muffin top" is to look for jeans with a higher rise, as the muffin top will be less prominent.  Last thoughts?  In order to camouflage any remaining "puffing" out of the jeans, look for a top that blouses out at the point where it overlaps with the jeans.  Here’s how to get the look of skinny jeans for Real People:

1. Start with a pair of straight leg, stretchy jeans for a figure flattering yet slim silhouette.
2. Add a voluminous blouse on top for a big-over-small look.  Note how the blouse skims over your middle, creating the appearance of a slim figure regardless of your personal architecture.
3. Skinny jeans are traditionally paired with booties, pumps, or flats.  Here, we’ve paired these straight jean replacements with a fun pair of yellow flats to keep the outfit youthful in spirit. 
4. Finish off the outfit with your favorite handbag or clutch.  This straw bow clutch (and the entire outfit) will take you to a outdoors get-together with friends.

How would you translate the skinny jeans look for real people? Share your style with us in the comments!

8 comments August 19th, 2009

What to Wear with a Minidress? Leather.

Q:  I like the idea of a minidress, but my style isn’t too girly.  What should I wear it with?

What to Wear with a Minidress
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A:
Yup, it seems that it’s officially minidress week here at Omiru.  We love minidresses, but we agree that they can be a bit precious.  How do you balance out a delicate minidress so that the overall look isn’t too twee?  Pair it with harder elements to give the look an edge.  Here’s how to get the minidress and leather look:

1.  Start with a delicate minidress.  Notice how the ruffly tiers add a sense of femininity to the already girly dress.
2.  Slip on a leather jacket.  We love how the buttery brown pairs with the red and blue in the dress.
3.  Finish off the look with a pair of killer heels (look at the heel height!  and the cuffed ankle!) and a clutch.

What would you wear with a minidress? Share your style with us in the comments!

8 comments August 6th, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear in Amsterdam

Q: I’m heading to Amsterdam with my husband and 8 month old little girl this August. I need some advice on what to pack. I want to be stylish, yet still be comfortable and warm if temperature is cool. I will need practical, everyday outfits as well one or two dressy options.

What to Wear in Amsterdam
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by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: Amsterdam will be wonderful in August.  Temperatures will be moderate - expect temps between the mid 50s at night and the 70s (and maybe 80s) during the day.  The excellent weather, however, will bring out the crowds, so expect tons of events and festivals and the visitors to match.

Style wise, Amsterdam is a creative city.  The city is known for liberalism and tolerance, and it’s certainly reflected in the clothing.  If you have an itch to explore an edgier side to your personal style, you can scratch that itch in Amsterdam.  You can get your inspiration from Amsterdam street style blog Dam Style.

As you have a one year old traveling with you, you will want to be comfortable but fashionable.  The ideal for you will be a mix of form and function.  Here’s what you’ll want to pack for your trip to Amsterdam:

Tops: Pack a variety of tee shirts (especially ones that don’t take themselves too seriously), along with an arty looking blouse or two.

Bottoms:  Shorts should be appropriate for daytime sightseeing.  We like tailored styles that hit at about the knee, but whatever style flatters your legs is going to be your best bet.  If you dare, skinny jeans are great for the eclectic vibe of the city (but straight jeans are perfectly fine).  Simple skirts will also work, and they’re easier to wear. 

Sweaters: A couple of lightweight sweaters, especially ones with interesting textures and patterns, will do the trick.

Outerwear: A single lightweight jacket will work for your trip to Amsterdam.

Dresses:  Try a couple of vintage-y dresses that work during the daytime - but can be dressed up for evening with the right shoes and jewelry.

Accessories:  Comfortable walking shoes, a nice dressy pair of shoes for nighttime, some fun jewelry, a hat and sunglasses will round out your travel wardrobe.  Not to mention a good backpack or diaper bag to hold your necessities - and the baby gear.

Last thoughts?  Pack a light umbrella just in case of summer showers.  And don’t forget bug spray, since Amsterdam is close to the water.

Have a great tip about what to wear in Amsterdam? Share it with us in the comments!

4 comments July 29th, 2009

Vegas Fashion: What to Wear in Vegas

Q:  I’ll be heading down to Las Vegas for a few days in July. Any tips for what I should pack?

Sophisticated Going Out Style
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A:
What do you wear for a trip to Vegas?  Sin City style is over the top, glitzy–and more than a little risque.  But you can be daring without going overboard. The rule of thumb is to pick a part of your body to show off–just not your entire body.  You can show off some skin with a low cut top, but pair that skin-baring top with a skirt that reaches your knee.  Or if you wear a miniskirt, keep your top half covered.  Our example outfit, above, is a great example of how you can dress up at night without looking trashy.  It works for a woman in her 20s or 30s, but it can be adapted for women in their 40s or above.

Be prepared for the weather.  Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert - with the weather to match.  During the summer, expect temperatures into the 100s during the day and in the high 60s to mid 70s at night.  You don’t have to worry about humidity, but get ready for some extreme heat (and air conditioning on full blast).

At night, you’ll be dressing up to go out to dinner, shows, and clubs.  Think dresses—or going-out tops over skirts.  During the day, you’ll want a set of more casual clothes to take you shopping–and perhaps over to the spa.  Think cropped pants plus an embellished tank top.  Or shorts with a brightly colored tee.  For a long weekend in Vegas, here’s what you need to pack:

Tops: A couple of casual tops for daytime wear supplemented by a going-out top or blouse will do the trick.  Try bright colors—or tops featuring embellishment—to stay true to the Vegas spirit.  Don’t be afraid of a little sparkle.

Sweaters: Pack a light sweater or two for nighttime and/or heavily air conditioned areas.  Cropped sweaters are great with dresses, but a long cardigan paired with a dress is a very modern look.  

Outerwear:  It’s Vegas!  No jackets required.  If anything, you can bring a single lightweight jacket in case you get cold in the casinos. 

Dresses: Bring a dress or two, depending on how many evenings you’ll be going out.  We love drapey dresses that aren’t overly figure hugging; they leave something to the imagination.

Bottoms: Miniskirts if you dare (and have great legs), or knee-length pencil skirts (which tend to be fairly figure flattering).  For daytime, shorts or cropped pants are going to work.  We love knee-length tailored shorts for a pulled-together and figure flattering look.

Shoes: Heels are great for evenings out, but flats or sandals are best during the day.  Don’t forget a pair of flip flops for vegging by the pool.

Last thoughts about what to wear to Vegas?  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  So get dressed to have fun.  And don’t forget your swimsuit, sunscreen, and a cover up.

Have a great tip about what to wear to Vegas? Share your style with us in the comments!

12 comments June 30th, 2009

Washington DC Style: What to Wear to Teach in Washington DC

Q: I’m a fourth grade teacher moving to Washington DC this summer. What should my new wardrobe staples be?  I’m moving to a new school and want to create a good first impression!

Teaching Wardrobe
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by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: Congratulations on starting your first teaching job!  It should be no surprise that (1) Washington DC is a conservative city style wise (though in Michelle Obama you do have a new fashion icon to take cues from), and (2) it’s a city with very distinct seasons – and it can be fairly warm even in the Fall and Spring.  Be prepared for daytime temperatures ranging from 40s in the Winter to 80s in the Summer, plus humidity.  Here’s what you need to build your wardrobe around when you move to Washington DC this Fall:

Suit: Even though you won’t be wearing a suit to teach every day, you’ll want to have one handy for any important meetings that come up.  Since you’re teaching, your suit doesn’t need to be ultra conservative.  Feel free to spice up your suit with details like three-quarter sleeves or a tulip skirt.

Blouses: Build your wardrobe around a series of well-cut blouses in a variety of colors and shapes.  Washington may be conservative, but bright colors will help keep the kids’ eyes on you.  Just make sure that the tops aren’t overly low cut.  Look for short sleeves for warm weather and long sleeves for cooler months. 

Sweaters: Simple cardigan and pullover sweaters in a variety of versatile colors will help you layer

Pants: Tailored Pants will help round out your wardrobe.  If you’re a jeans kind of woman (and denim is allowable on the job), we’d recommend a nice pair of trouser jeans.  They’re uber-comfortable and will help you look instantly pulled together.

Dresses and Skirts: On the whole, skirts are going to be less practcal than pants since you’ll be taking care of 4th graders all day.  But if you’re going to add dresses or skirts to your wardrobe, make sure they’re ones that you can move in.  No severe cuts (or overly short styles).

Outerwear: A light trench will keep you warm during mornings and evenings for warmer months.  When the weather turns chilly, however, you’ll want a full East Coast worthy winter coat.  Look for tailored cuts in versatile neutrals (or brights, if you dare) in the best fabrics you can afford.  Cashmere is going to be super warm, but if it’s out of your price range, try a wool cashmere blend.  Also, keep on the lookout for pre-season and off-season sales to snag your coat - as an investment piece, it can be on the expensive side. 

Accessories: Keep your jewelry minimal, as it can be distracting to the kids in your class.  A scarf, however, is going to be a chic choice all year round.

Handbag: A simple structured work tote that will carry papers and books home will serve you well.  Make sure that it’s one that can survive a beating - you never know what kinds of stains it’ll be exposed to in the classroom and beyond.

Shoes:  Flats or kitten heels are going to be your best bet.  You’ll be on your feet all day, and you’ll be picking up after the kids in your class.  Make sure that your shoes are comfortable enough to keep your feet happy.

Last thoughts?  Keep in mind that stores like Ann Taylor Loft and J Crew offer discounts for teachers – so do use those savings where you can.

Have a great tip about what to wear as a teacher in Washington DC? Share it with us in the comments!

7 comments June 19th, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear in Spain during the Summer

what-to-wear-to-spain_060909
Pictured: Short Sleeve Twist Detail Top | $34.30 (sale, originally $49) at Banana Republic, Cotton Smocked Skirt | $55.20 (sale, originally $69) at Banana Republic, and Cotton Bonbon Dress | $78 at J Crew.

Seems that Spain is a hot summer destination, based on the number of questions we’ve been getting about what to wear on Spanish summer getaways.  For all of you Omiru readers who will be vacationing there this summer, here’s our guide for what to wear in Spain this summer:

Our reader questions center on three Spanish destinations: Madrid, Barcelona, and Costa Brava.  Madrid is going to be the hottest of the three, with temperatures in the 90s during the day, and 60s at night.  June is slightly more mild, but July and August are stiflingly hot - so make sure to get a hotel with good air conditioning. 

Barcelona and Costa Brava are going to be more comfortable than Madrid.  Barcelona in June is going to be in the mid 70s, dipping into the low 60s at night.  In July, the weather heats up to the high 70s or 80s during the day.  As for Costa Brava, look for temperatures in the high 70s during the day and mid 60s at night.

To stay comfortable in this toasty weather, here’s what you need to pack for your trip to Spain:

Tops: Breathable knits and woven shirts are going to be your best bet.  Pack an assortment of layering tees (roll them up to be most space-efficient when packing), plus a few short sleeved cotton or linen shirts.  Extra style points for bright colors–perfect for such a festive vacation spot.

Sweaters: A lightweight sweater (or two, max) will do the trick.

Dresses:
Pack a nice bright dress for evenings out on the town.  Extra style points for trying out exotic prints.

Outerwear: Pack a single lightweight jacket for nighttime.

Bottoms: Shorts and cropped pants are going to be the most weather-appropriate.  If you’re a skirt kind of gal, feel free to pack a skirt or two as well.  We’re loving the breezy chic look of a layered cotton smocked skirt–very flirty and extremely versatile.

Accessories: Sunglasses (oversized for drama), a hat to protect your face from the sun, and a scarf (optional) for layering.  Check the weather forecast before you leave to see if you need a travel umbrella; rain is rare but not unheard of.

Shoes:  Sandals are going to be a must–but choose ones that you’re comfortable walking in.  Also pack a pair of flip flops for the beach.

Have a great tip about what to wear to Spain this summer? Share it with us in the comments!

17 comments June 12th, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear to Wimbledon

Q: I’m going to Wimbledon at the end of June and was looking for advice on what to wear.

by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: London in June is rather cool and somewhat rainy - expect temperatures in the 50s and 60s while you’re at Wimbledon.  You’ll want to be prepared for rain or shine - so plan your wardrobe accordingly.  Here’s a couple of outfit options that will work with London’s finnicky weather: 

Lightweight Sweater + Tee + Long Pants
wimbledon-outfit-1_052509
Pictured: Cashmere Three Quarter Sleeve Cardigan | $158 at J Crew, Soft Tee Ruffle Top | $39.50 at J Crew, and Gray Wide Leg Jeans | $49.99 (sale) at Gap.

If the weather is on the cooler side, we’d suggest wearing stylish but comfortable pants with a cute tee.  Toss on a lightweight sweater if it gets breezy.  Keep a light but waterproof jacket around, in case of rain.

Knee Length Dress + Jacket
wimbledon-outfit-2_052509
Pictured: Theory Raineria Dress | $285 at Nordstrom, Linen Collarless Jacket | $130 at Banana Republic, Leather Tuck Lock Satchel | $100.03 at ASOS.

You can hope to wear shorts or skirts on warmer days, so keep a dress and light jacket on hand.  For Wimbledon, we’re loving the look of a tailored shirtdress with a cropped jacket.  Try this Theory shirtdress paired with a short navy jacket for a clean, classic look.

As for footwear, make sure to wear comfortable shoes since you may have some walking to do to view all of the matches.  Flats or low heels will serve you well.

Last thoughts?  Apply sunscreen (rain or shine), and if you’re sensitive to sun, bring a hat for sunny days.  We’d also suggest bringing an umbrella in the somewhat likely case of rain.   

What would you wear to London in June? Share your style tips with us in the comments!

10 comments May 29th, 2009

Q&A: What to Wear in Los Angeles

Q: A friend is graduating from law school in Los Angeles in a few weeks, and I will be spending the weekend there as well. What would you recommend to wear to the graduation ceremony, and for the rest of the weekend?

What to Wear in Los Angeles
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by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: Graduation from Law School is a big accomplishment–so congratulations to your friend!  In LA, the weather will likely be hot (and depending on the size of the graduating class, the ceremony could be long).  For the ceremony itself, we’d recommend a simple dress + cardigan outfit, though you may want to switch out the floral dress for one in an edgier pattern for Los Angeles.  For the rest of your weekend in Los Angeles, here’s what you’re going to want to bring:

Tops: A cute top or two that can be dressed up or down will do the trick.  A light sweater will keep you cozy at night.

Bottoms: Jeans are a must - try grey jeans or an unusual wash for something a bit different.  You may also want to bring a pair of shorts or a skirt to keep you cool if the weather gets too warm.

Dresses: Bring the dress you’re wearing to the graduation ceremony.  If you’re really into dresses, you may also want to bring a California casual sundress (or a long maxi dress) to round out your dress wardrobe.

Outerwear:  A single lightweight jacket will suffice for the balmy Los Angeles weather.

Accessories: A pair of kitten heels for the ceremony, and either a cute pair of sandals or a pair of casual shoes will keep you comfortable through the weekend.  Add a pair of oversized sunglasses (and perhaps a hat), and you’ll be good to go.

Have a great tip about what to wear in Los Angeles? Share it with us in the comments!

3 comments May 15th, 2009

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