Anna Soo Wildermuth

Welcome to Personal Images, Inc.!

Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Women Business Casual

Hose etiquette

blue pattern leggingsI was surprised to see a Diane von Furstenberg model wearing dark hose with a light color sandal promoting a skirt dress. Wearing hose with open toe sandals is becoming more mainstream. These are a few guidelines to ensure you will look smart and not frumpy:

• Wear dark sheer hose with a dark sandal
• Pattern hose will look best with a sandal in the color same family
• Hose must be toeless – no seams at the toes
• Tights can be the exception in coordinating color with the shoe when the tights match the outfit

If in doubt, chose a color close to the sandal rather than the dress or skirt.

Mix and match

3d human with a red question markClassic styling has dictated that shoes, belts and handbags match. Today’s trends are more in the mix and match category like wearing colors and patterns.
However, a man wearing a dark leather high gloss brown shoe would choose a dark brown leather belt in an high gloss finish like a lizard print. He would keep the same color scheme with different leather blend.

Women have gone in the opposite direction. A black shoe might be matched with a patterned purse in a totally different color. What makes it work is the clothing pieces worn to complement the black shoe. I still believe if you are more comfortable with matching then add a mixed pattern in the same color.
Whatever you choose to accessorize, make sure it is the best quality leather or fabric.

Outerwear – First Impression

IFun-Fur-Credit-Sandra-Semburg-Vogue_fr_ recently noticed a professional woman wearing an oversized mock faux coat walking toward her car. I love faux fur coats when they look either real faux or real in-between. A faux fur looks best when styled to look that way. There are colors and fur types that shout: I am not real! Even so, they make a fashion statement. A faux fur that tries to look real without having a contemporary style appears cheap and matronly.

My late mother had a mink coat that she stopped wearing because it became too big and heavy. We brought her a faux fur in deep forest green in the traditional style. It looked sharp, fun and she loved it!

 

Leggings or slim pants

skinny pantsLeggings hug the legs almost like a second skin. There are some leggings made in a heavier weigh knit but they are still leggings. Instead of the skin tight look, opt for a pair of pants that have slim legs. The real good ones on the market are comfortable and will add a polished look to your business casual appearance especially when worn with polished boots. Also, the new shorter boots are becoming more of a traditional look than a trend.

How much is too much skin?

reject-stamp-showing-rejection-denied-or-refusalI understand the trend is sleeveless tops and dresses have become more acceptable for business and social occasions even in zero temperatures. Low cut tops are now on the forefront especially with actresses and some news anchors.

However, be careful not to get carried away. Recently at a 4-star, high visibility dining establishment, a patron was wearing a top that barely covered her breasts. It was unflattering because of way too much skin showing and because of the fact that her breasts kept sliding out of the top causing her to constantly try and adjust it! Cleavage can be attractive but only if there is a hint of it.

Framing your face

Stripe Shirts with TiesA very important but frequently underestimated sartorial consideration is the framing of one’s face. After you are finished donning your ensemble, but before you present yourself to the world, take one last look at your face in the mirror to see if it is appropriately complemented by your choice of clothes and jewelry. For example, a closed collar strengthens formality and authority attributes whereas an open collar signals approachability and connectivity. The color of your shirt, blouse or jacket is a critical choice as it can lend a powerful but subliminal highlighted quality to your face. A necklace can also be chosen to enhance your preferred projection, but be careful not to let it be a distraction. A recent choice by Barbra Streisand was particularly interesting. Her face was well framed by her hair. She used a long necklace to accentuate her body length for this particular concert occasion.

 

Jewelry

petrified_woodRecently, when working with a client in refreshing her wardrobe, we realized that the jewelry that worked a few years ago needed to be replaced with more statement pieces for a couple of reasons. She was recently promoted to a senior vice president role and the office went to a more casual environment.

So now, for her, professional casual is more fitting. She also travels internationally. In upgrading necklaces and earrings choosing the right proportion of each is critical. Increasing the size of the stones by one half and wearing a more intense color will add the impact needed to create the elegant, smart, professional casual look.

Flip Flops

flip flops.cn11037686It is interesting to see flip flops become somewhat of a main footwear choice on Main Street. Flip flops are designed now in every material from rubber to upscale leather. Recently, at a 5-Star restaurant for dinner, I was disappointed to see men wearing leather flip flops! It was a dinner not lunch. There are so many cool casual shoes that resorting to flip flops is not necessary.

The new color is not a color

nike-esquire-sneakers-whiteWhite has been in style for the last two years. In 2016, it hit in athletic shoes and in recently replacing sandals especially for men.  Give credit to the shoe designers. We have seen the colored footwear boom in everything from bright orange to screaming yellow hues. Smart designers decided to add a white and it became a trend. It makes sense because you can wear white with any color outfit. The new white shoe is not clunky so add it to your closet!

Leggings verses skinny pants

skinny pantsAt a recent program for women. I was the keynote speaker. A question came up around whether it’s appropriate to use leggings for everyday wear. Many women today like leggings because they are popular, comfortable and easy to wear. However, they are not pants.  Maybe when wearing a longer, three-quarter length jacket that hangs to the calf, leggings could squeak by but skinny pants add more polish and style and provide a very smooth finish. They are a much better choice than leggings. Spanx has leggings, that when worn, look like pants.