This week MPs have stated that the government must enforce a law to ban sexist dress rules at work that discriminate against women. Here at colour me beautiful, we are delighted to hear about this, surely to have a rule for one person, but not another because of their gender is both unfair and sexist?
What interests us as image consultants though, is how different people will ultimately interpret dress codes in different ways. It’s all down to our style personality you see; so whilst one woman may be horrified at the thought of having to wear 2-4 inch heels on a daily basis, another wouldn’t dream of stepping out in anything less. The key thing is that we should all have a choice as to what we wear in the workplace.
In our mind it is all about being dressed appropriately for the environment you’re working in; so you are well groomed and comfortable but still given the freedom to express your unique sense of style too. After all, its takes seven seconds to make a first impression, so for an employer the goal must be to have employees who are appropriately dressed and also comfortable in what they are wearing. An employee who feels comfortable and confident will certainly perform better in their role and represent their employer in the best possible light.
In a smart-casual office environment for example, a dramatic style personality would most certainly be donning her 4 inch heels on a daily basis, she simply couldn’t concentrate in flats (as a famous dramatic once said). These heels may also be in a vivid colour and you can be sure that her footwear will compliment her on-trend office outfit. Her natural style personality colleague on the other hand, will look at those glorious heels and cringe. They’re just not for her. Instead she slips on a comfortable pair of flats worn with trousers and fixes her hair in a simple, no-fuss style to ensure it doesn’t bother her throughout the day. Both are dressed appropriately for the work environment that they’re in, just in very different ways.
Next take our romantic style personality, she may opt for some elegant Chanel-inspired court shoes with a mid-height heel. Her office look will be more detailed, perhaps a floral printed blouse or some delicate jewellery to off-set her smart work look. A classic style personality will opt for a more understated, slightly traditional look – a jacket and dress, skirt or trousers, comfortable yet smart shoes. Her whole outfit will be co-ordinated beautifully in tonal colours and with very little make-up or jewellery.
Ultimately, what you wear at work should be appropriate for the industry you work in, and for your role within the organisation. The key to dress codes is flexibility. Trust your employees to dress in an appropriate way, to present a well-groomed, professional exterior in their workplace and allow them to show some of the personal qualities that make the world the diverse and colourful place that it is!
Unless you have been living in a cave for the past month, it won’t have escaped your notice that there’s a new Hollywood blockbuster hitting our cinema screens right now going by the name of La La Land.
This nostalgic Hollywood musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is one of the most colourful displays of filmography to hit our screens for some time, so naturally the team at colour me beautiful were keen to get front row seats to see it as soon as it opened last week!
After all the hype (and a record-breaking seven Golden Globes) would it live up to our expectations? The answer is simply, YES! The story is beautiful, the music is wonderful and the costumes are colourful! It is the ultimate in uplifting escapism and the amount which the colourful costumes contribute to its feel-good factor should not be underestimated.
From the opening scene where four aspiring actresses shimmy and sing, each dressed in a different brightly-coloured dress, through to our heroine carrying her bright blue heels around in her oversized red tote bag, colour is everywhere! The result? You watch the film and you feel fabulous!
It is no secret that colour has a powerful effect on our senses and on our mood. In a recent article The Telegraph reported that the costume designer for La La Land, Mary Zophres, intentionally utilised the power of the colour yellow (as seen on Emma Stone on promotional posters for the film) to make viewers feel great about her character. After all, yellow is an optimistic colour, reminding us of sunshine; so its sure to put a smile on our faces when we see it and trigger positive associations.
As the film goes on we see Mia (Emma Stone) in an array of bold hues; emerald green for a romantic date with the dashing Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), primrose yellow for a show biz pool party, Chinese blue for a night out with her girlfriends. When she’s not wearing a brightly coloured dress she is carrying a true red tote bag everywhere she goes, injecting energy and vibrancy to the screen.
In a month most commonly associated with grey (mainly the colour of the sky here in the UK!), seeing a kaleidoscope of colour exploding onto our cinema screens in a most welcome sight. It’s also a great reminder that wearing colour, in particular colours which really do make you look and feel fabulous, can have the most uplifting and energising effect!
We’re packing our bags with our most vibrantly coloured clothing and planning a move to La La Land – care to join us?
We’re almost two weeks into 2017 and along with the influx of ‘SALE’ and ‘MONEY OFF’ emails, we’re also seeing lots of ‘NOTHING NEW’ messages; people who are shying away from the shops and instead vowing to buy no new clothes, some for up to a year (take a look at one of our favourite sites The Women’s Room for their recent post on this here.)
You may have heard the statistic that most of us wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time; we get into the habit of reaching for the same items time and again, leaving clothes lurking at the back of the wardrobe (some with their labels still on), never to see the light of day.
Whether you have a wardrobe bursting at the hinges with purchases or a modest collection of clothes, it is likely that there will be items in there that you may not have worn for several months, or perhaps even forgotten about. January is a great time to take stock of many things, your wardrobe included, so this month we’re encouraging you to shun the sales and instead go through your existing clothes, weeding out anything you don’t wear and perhaps discover some new outfits that you may not have come across before!
Here are our top tips to help you perform a successful wardrobe weed…
- Is the item in your colour palette? If not, can you wear it with something that is to ensure it flatters your natural colour characteristics? If the answer to both of these questions is no, then we’d suggest you remove it from your wardrobe.
- Does the style of item fit you well? Does it flatter your body shape and proportions? If you don’t feel comfortable in something then it’s unlikely you’re going to wear it, so it’s best to get rid of it.
- Has it worn well? Is it bobbled? Does is have holes or pulls in it? Sometimes we hold onto clothing for longer than we should do because we love them so much. However, wearing clothes that have seen better days can make you appear scruffy, it may be time to keep this item for days when you’re relaxing at home!
- How do you feel in the item of clothing? Feeling comfortable in your clothes is so important – if you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious then you won’t be able to relax and feel your best. If there is anything in your wardrobe that you really don’t like wearing it definitely needs to go!
- When did you last wear it? If it’s more than six months ago, then it’s unlikely you’re going to wear it again (unless it’s a seasonal piece of course). The exception to this would be classic items like skirts or trousers in a neutral colour, in which case give yourself another three months to get back into wearing them, if you’re still not reaching for them after this time then time to pop them on eBay or send to the charity shop.
Once you’ve completed this process you should have an edited wardrobe which only contains clothing which fits, flatters and makes you look and feel great!
Now it’s time to look at your clothes with a fresh pair of eyes. Experiment with different combinations of clothing, try accessorising with belts, statement necklaces and scarves. Have fun with your clothes and enjoy discovering new outfits without leaving the house (or spending any money!)
Need some style advice or would you like to book a wardrobe weeding session with one of our expert colour me beautiful personal stylists? Take a look at our directory here to find someone local to you.
If you are hitting the shops this January you may find this post useful, containing our top tips for shopping the sales!
Take a look at some of the dreamy wardrobes like the one in the image above over at Who What Wear here.