As I coach many professionals on how to polish their Executive Presence, I explain the importance of being “current” versus looking overly “trendy”. Looking current conveys confidence, an attention to detail and the message of accomplishment. There is a fine line between overly traditional and outdated. Please be careful as it can greatly impact your success.
As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, it is time to get your FALL wardrobe prepared. It is important to know what it is popular or trending, and then make smart decisions about your specific Personal Brand, coloring and body proportion. The key is to mix classic pieces with a few unique pieces that reflect YOU. The season is about being sensible but stylish – we are even seeing flat shoes for women!
- Tie Jewelry – Hooray, for all you men who loved tie bars from the ’80s, they are “current” again. Not only are they so very practical to keep your tie in place (and out of your plate), but they add a nice opportunity to show a bit of style. For you more Traditional men, the tie bar is a classic look, so you can have fun with this trend while still feeling comfortable. Such a small accessory can create a big impact! Tips to wear a tie bar properly:
Size: A tie bar should never be wider than your tie. ¾ of the width of the tie is ideal.
Placement: Guideline is to place the tie bar between your third and fourth buttons – at the chest bone.
Angle: Always wear the tie bar perpendicular to your tie.
Color: Silver is a classic choice and it should match the metal of your watch.
Never: Wear a tie bar with a vest or cardigan.
- Pocket Squares – Like the tie bar, the pocket square is a classic detail that has made a huge comeback. Just rip out the stitching on your suit breast pocket and you are set to impress!
- Fit – Fitted is in and baggy oversized clothes are out! Suits designers from Joseph Abboud to Armani are trimming down their lines, and ensuring a perfectly tailored look.
- Slacks (flat front or pleats?) – Flat front slacks have come to dominate most wardrobes because of their versatility. They are simply more modern looking. A perfect fit is required with this style – no pockets pulling open at the side. For those of you with pronounced tummies, a pleated slack is a better choice for your body proportion.
- Shoes – Think classic styling but the 2014 version! Classic cap-toe oxford shoes are a must – with a slightly elongated toe box. They look great with your suit and are “current” enough to wear with jeans and a blazer for a business casual look.
- Green and Gold – Green is the color for Fall. It is bolder than black and more unusual than blue. All shades are being seen from seafoam to emerald, so select the shade that is in your color palette. Gold is the metal for the season and is also being seen sparkling in clothes. This is perfect for those ladies with “warm” palettes!
- Sensible and Stylish– Beautifully tailored pieces, in nice fabrics that are uncomplicated. Sheath dresses with matching jackets. Skirts are longer – midi length. This look must be capped off with a shorter top or jacket and a higher heeled shoe. Trouser slacks are back with wider cuffs. Of course, we are still seeing skinny leggings and jeans. Cinched at the ankle pants are something new. They deliver a more casual and sporty look for those of you with a more flexible dress code. This style is best worn with heel unless you have very long legs.
- Fun and Furry – Animal prints once again make the list, these classic neutrals never go out of style. We are seeing the pattern on everything from shoes to tops, to handbags. Furry and fuzzy vests and jackets are a new look. Be sure to look for a cinched waist or an elongated zipper style.
- Accessories – Handbags are now held in your hand – well, at least the handles. Think satchels, very ladylike and elegant. Earrings are being worn on the ear lobe. Yes, stud earrings are back – again, a simple and elegant look. Another fun new trend is the delicate wrist and mixed ring combos – all one piece. Multiple layers of delicate necklaces are still very popular, as well as statement pieces.
- Shoes – Male inspired oxfords – yes, flat shoes are everywhere! Ankle boots worn with dresses is a fun new look. Of course, they are also great with your rolled up jeans to your skirts. Boots have gone over the knee as well as rugged. The caged bootie is hotter than hot!
Remember to select those trends that work best for your company culture, your Personal Brand and your color key. Not everything is right for everyone. It is fun to add a little something to keep up with the times, but the real investments should be on what you will love for years to come.