Ever thought about what to wear? You are in good company..
Should I wear a skirt to the presentation? Or maybe that is too girly, maybe trousers are better? But that might be too strict.. Jeans is out of the question, dress is too dressed up.. What to wear when?
Corporate presentation, team meeting, company dinner, interview, yearly review, parent-teacher conference... You name it. We are constantly in decision making mode. And our wardrobes seems full of useless items for the wrong season, last year's body measurements or simply uninspiring.
This is a 10-step guide that I have used on several occasions to decide what I should wear, to any event:
1. Always strive to be COMFORTABLE. First thing you do is rule out anything that is too tight (no matter how dearly you want to wear that dress or skirt or those pants, if it does not fit, it is not a hit and you will be uncomfortable, both physically and mentally).
2. OVERVIEW is key. Make your bed, and clear it from anything that you cannot wear (pillows, books..). This is now your staging area. Your mannequin. Any outfits you consider goes on the bed. Put together the outfits as if you had cut-out paper figure to dress. This gives you an impression of what it will look like, without having to change a zillion times. You will have had enough changes by the end of this without having to go through the obvious no-go's.
3 . DIVIDE AND CONQUER.. What season is it? Cold outside? Really warm?
- Anything that needs open toe or open heel shoes is out (This goes for indoor events as well. Even though you can bring indoor shoes, in the middle of winter, even indoors, an open toe shoe would feel awkward.
- Do you have stockings that are in good shape and not too shabby? If yes; then skirt or dress is still an option, if no; then you only have the trousers option left.
- Any dress or skirt that need stockings to fit well and look good is out.
- Thick, warm trousers are out. The last thing you want to do is sweat, regardless of occasion.
- Make sure that whatever you choose to wear; dress, shirt or pantsuit, for any occasion, it covers most of your shoulders (not necessarily with arms but not string tops either), and does not show too much below your collar bones. Don't get me wrong , I am PRO women wearing whatever they want to be comfortable and feel good about themselves, but unless you are going to the beach, gym, or is under 20, deep cleavage and spaghetti straps are just not classy, in fashion, trendy or professional. Those are in general a lose-lose situation.
4. WHERE the event or occasion is taking place might give you a hint for the appropriate apparel. If it is outdoors, on a lawn, cobble stones, at a palace or a cottage.. As you can see, depending on the venue, you might want to rule some outfits either in or out. I would suggest to leave the long black dress in the wardrobe if you are going to a Swiss Chalet, or bring the flat sandals if you are going to an outdoor wedding where the grass might create minor anchors around your high heals.
5. Also consider WHEN the event is taking place. Is this a casual lunch, a fancy dinner, evening time and day time may allow for different, shall we say, liberties, in terms of relaxed, dressy or creative outfits.
6. WHO is going to be there is another point to consider. You can always (and I encourage it) don't give a **** but sometimes it helps with guiding you on what to wear. The obvious ones we all would consider are of course the queen of England and the Princess of Monaco, but some other people to have on your radar might be parents in law (make sure you are yourself), kids (be comfortable), the most colorful person you know (go WILD).
7. THE CLASSICS are always a safe go-to solution. The black trousers with a silk top, a white crisp shirt, a jumper and/or a blazer depending on weather. Or that very elegant, neutral, comfortable dress that works with both flats and pumps. That is it. All you need. But make sure it is fresh, clean, ironed and nice looking. You are all set.
8. If you feel adventurous go FASHIONABLY COLORFUL. Add a striking color to your outfit to stand out from the crowd and get a bit extra 'shine'. A bright red top, a pink skirt, a blue blouse, or green trousers, combined with the more classic blazers, white shirts, or slacks, will make a fabulous outfit. If you don't want to go full on, add a colorful scarf, a purse, watch or shoes with a block color.
9. DARE TO BE CREATIVE with your outfit. If you have time, feel comfortable with the above, then take it to the next level and go creative. Try a new combination of items that you have not used before, that pink blouse with your red skirt maybe? Or what about a checkered blazer with striped trousers? A knitted cardigan or sweater with your silk skirt and high heals. Try, test, and don't hesitate, who knows what golden combo you might find in there!
10. BE YOURSELF. The most important of them all. Stay true to yourself. Don't try to be someone you are not. If something feels uncomfortable or not you, then don't wear it just because you think it is the right thing to wear. Then go back to the basics. To your favorites. You will GLOW in whatever outfit you are wearing if you feel good about it yourself. You are the best item of the outfit.