As you all know, I’m a big believer in going after what you want. You deserve to be the best you can be, and you should do whatever you can to make that possible. However, sometimes when pursuing your goals, one can go too far and cause damage to others in the process. Or damage to yourself. How do you know when you have crossed a line? How far is too far?
Politics is everywhere. No matter who we are or what we do for a living, we all find ourselves in situations where we need to be diplomatic and look for compromises. We also need to get past the surface and try to see someone’s true intentions, whatever image they project on the surface. Caroline, our most recent client, knows this all too well. Her fiancé works in politics and one of his nicknames for her is “First Lady”. I believe that was her inspiration when choosing this full skirted, cinched waist, lavender dress. It mimics Jackie O’s famous Oleg Cassini ensemble that she wore when visiting India in 1961. The high neckline is appropriately conservative while the centered bow along the waistline, and the candy colored hue, adds the appearance of sweetness. A demure but sophisticated white handbag with a snakeskin pattern, and simple nude pumps, finishes the look with a glossy sheen. Overall, this outfit is perfectly designed to give the impression of sincerity.
Nobody is only one thing. No matter what the media tells us there isn’t the smart girl, the pretty girl, the sweet girl or the funny girl. There are only people, and every person is all of those things and more. Personally, I might have sophisticated taste, excellent planning skills, and be forcefully ambitious but there are other sides to me too. I can also be accommodating, silly, spontaneous, and go with the flow. With that in mind, I love this sixties inspired, loose and free wheeling shift dress. It’s lively green and yellow pattern is a treat for the eyes, and it’s silky soft, woven fabric breaks free from the confines of my more structured ensembles. Paired with black, peep toe ankle booties this outfit lets people know you don’t always need to have rules. Finally, a matching mint green clutch covered in tiny gold beads shows how complex you are, and how nobody really knows you unless they look closer at the details.
According to Wikipedia, a frenemy refers to “someone who pretends to be a friend but actually is an enemy—a proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing in the world of friendships.” These relationships can be extremely destructive, creating a pervasive sense of unease and ultimately eroding your self-confidence. And because the frenemy often comes in the guise of collaborator or confidante, the reveal of their true nature can leave you with painful feelings of betrayal. In my experience, I’d much rather know that someone has it out for me from the beginning.
Caroline came by for another meeting today but it felt more like a girl’s afternoon hangout with talk of shopping, mutual acquaintances, and dating. And her outfit definitely has that sunny afternoon, lunching on the terrace, relaxed vibe. A pair of flattering, form-fitted, tailored jeans and a gorgeous white, floral, peplum top with a series of feminine, ruffled pleats down the front giving the impression of softness. An impression immediately called into question with the addition of bright red, ankle strap heels that mimic her bright red lipstick and a leather, hard edged, metal-studded envelope clutch in matching blue. Caroline can be a woman full of contradictions, and this outfit reminds me that every person has a lot of sides.
Something about work this week keeps reminding me of high school, and I have no idea why. It’s a feeling I can’t shake and it’s definitely influencing my wardrobe decisions. Plaids and pleats, both classic teenage staples, come together with this adorable black and white, knee length, full skirt. Then, for a splash of color, I add a bright red blouse with black piping at the neckline. Black, white, and red are a traditionally powerful color combination and red means good luck in some cultures, something you can never get enough of in business. Another part of being young is attitude and rebelling against tradition. Like giving this blouse-skirt combo an avant-garde edge with black, peep toe, ankle boots with faux leather straps. Or this sharp, metallic, black and gold statement necklace. And careless, frivolous fun never goes out of style with an elegant, snakeskin, black and gold clutch covered in rows of knotted fringe. If feeling young means personal growth, experimenting, and rethinking who you are, then hopefully we all stay teenagers at heart.
Emma asked me to write today’s blog, and suggested I talk about this subject in particular. According to Emma, I’ve been “lecturing” about it a lot lately and should “make myself useful” by writing it down since I seem to know so much about it. Which wasn’t the worst suggestion in the world, no matter how she meant it, so here goes.
This is a conversation that comes up a lot and with good reason, given the many different ways it can apply. Some weeks you end up spending more time with coworkers than with your friends and family. In order to build a team atmosphere, offices often arrange extracurricular activities to encourage employees to socialize. And if any part of your job includes customer interaction, it’s always nicer helping people you genuinely like, isn’t it?
It’s easier if you care about your job and the business is of personal interest to you – then at least you have something in common with those you work with and for. Or if you’re newer to the workplace and your job right now is really all about just paying the bills, you might bond over your desire to achieve more. But the sad truth is that at some point on the job, you will be forced to deal with people you don’t like, and how you handle them can have a direct effect on your career. Still, there are ways to get through it without being miserable.
Our latest client, Caroline Lee, has proven to be a very determined and particular woman who knows exactly what she wants and how she wants it. I also think this is pretty evident in the way she puts together an outfit, down to the last color-coordinated detail. Today she started with a very posh set of matching separates. I have to admit it’s clever, since wearing a patterned skirt and top has the uniformity of a dress, but allows for more flexibility with the fit, especially if you have curves. The pastel color blocking gives plenty of choices when accessorizing, and I have a feeling Caroline prefers to have a lot of options available to her. This time around, she chose a shiny, gold and pink statement necklace, tall nude heels, and this uber feminine, designer mint purse. It’s beautifully structured with an optional strap, decorated with the whimsical charm of an oversize bow, and twinkling in the sunlight, due to tiny, gold stud accents. And well, I have to admit, I sort of want one for myself.