Posts Tagged ‘business casual’

Fabuliss Helps Joell Reinvent a Business Casual Wardrobe

October 15, 2010

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Meet Joell, a client who contacted me via email with the following:

I came across your website Fabuliss and felt the need to contact you…I’m trying to look young and fun but not look like a 22 year old …I would really love for you to come and look at my closet and determine what stays and goes and then some major shopping!…My work environment is business casual…However, I would like to look more “put together” and not just wear khakis and cotton shirts or jeans and t-shirts.

Based on talking with a lot of women, I know this is how many of you feel.  We are trying to look young and age appropriate as well as navigating the countless interpretations of “business casual.”

While working in a relaxed environment makes for comfortable dressing, it does not necessarily help us bring our A game to each day.  And when you lose that edge, it can affect self-confidence and other people’s opinions of us.


During Joell’s Custom Color Analysis, we discovered her amazing teal-grey eyes. When this color is in stores, she will need to buy one of everything!  Thanks to the color process and system I partner with Ditto & Co. to provide, Joell has a comprehensive color palette she can use for shopping any time of the year.

As part of her package, Joell also had a Fit & Style where we determined her vertical body type is balanced, her horizontal body type is a rectangle and her face shape is rectangular.

From this, we have detailed recommendations like a convertible collar is great, a crewneck is only good if worn with an exposed shirt collar and avoid the peter pan collar due to face shape.

These tools will make it easier for Joell to shop with or without help because she knows what to focus on and what to forget about.


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Armed with colors and fit information, we classified most of Joell’s current clothing as “weekend” and headed to the mall for some serious shopping.

This season, there are an abundance of purple shades, including Joell’s purples, so she snapped up a lot of pieces including shells and top layers.

She can pair the purple with grey and navy, her neutrals for Fall and Winter.  We found a couple of additional items including a brown skirt to pair with cute knee-high brown boots and a camisole that is in the same color family as her eyes.

After a total of 7 hours of shopping, she has a great set of items to mix and match to create outfits like the ones above.  From pants, skirts and shells to jackets, sweaters, necklaces and shoes, she should have enough pieces to create new outfits for at least a month.


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Since reinventing her wardrobe, Joell is getting noticed.  She immediately began receiving feedback about how “dressed up” she looked and her confidence in herself, as well as putting together her own outfits, is continually on the rise.

I can’t wait to hear the feedback when she wears this great dress on a date, to a party or out with girlfriends!

Are you looking for help to transform or reinvent what you wear to work?  Fabuliss can help – from color and fit analysis to closet evaluation and personal shopping.

{ Fabuliss helps women and men learn how to create and shop for outfits that align with their personal brand.  Color, fit, closets and shopping. or 612-554-4629 }

Fabuliss Helps Karli Mix and Match…Doesn’t She Look Smart?

May 27, 2010

Karli in 4 outfits

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Karli is an up-and-coming entrepreneur who splits her time between the travel industry and helping young athletes unlock their potential.

She describes herself as fun, friendly and outgoing and wanted help expressing her style through business casual.

We started at The Limited, a store she has shopped in the past and one that I believe has great casual separates.

I showed her a few items I thought might work for her.  Then she headed back to the dressing room with her bag of things she brought from home while I picked out a few things.

She has a number of great basics – grey pants, khaki skirt, pink blouse, black jacket – to mix and match with.  So we talked about how to use what she currently has with a couple of new pieces mixed in to achieve a smart business casual look.

Karli says, “I had no idea I could work with so many clothes in my current closet. I had great outfits I already owned I would have never thought to put together.”

After our initial conversation working with what she already has, she tried on a lot of clothing.  The photos above represent a small sampling of what we found (the khaki skirt is hers) and the different outfits she can make.

We also made a quick stop at DSW to find several shoes that she could wear with her new outfits.  She already has a huge collection but wanted some that polished off her professional look.

When your shoe size is not the average, it’s common to think that there’s nothing cute in your size.  But DSW continues to deliver.  We found several cute pumps – one snakeskin, one animal print and one classic red/tan pair.

In the short time since Karli has debuted her new clothes and shoes, she says she feels amazing.  People look at her differently, she is surely carrying herself differently and she’s no longer fighting with her closet day after day.

Are you ready to up your business casual to smart casual?  Fabuliss can help!  Visit or contact me at for more information.

Special thanks to Karli for giving me permission to feature her photos.

And thank you to the women working at The Limited in Mall of America.

Forget Business Casual…Think Smart Casual

February 12, 2010

Jean pocket w/sequins

Last night and this morning I have been delving into Sherry Maysonave’s Casual Power.  In summary, it was written at the end of the 90s to help people understand how to dress as more corporations adopted casual dress.  I have been madly bookmarking and making notes but the bottom line is this:  how you dress in the professional world absolutely matters, whether you work for an agency, a small business or a corporation.  I completely agree with Ms. Maysonave’s conclusion that “dress (and I would add “style) is a powerful business tool.”

I have worked at a variety of agencies, design firms and one big corporation (Target).  The dress code requirements have been all over the board and I am certain that my interpretations have been too.  Now that I am better informed, it’s so much easier to make better choices and I can use my clothing choices to help communicate who I am.

Ms. Maysonave cites a statistic that says 55% of communications is based on visual/physical presentation.  That motivates me all the more to help me and you get it right!

So how do you shift your thinking from business casual (and in some cases just casual) to a smart casual?  A few basic guidelines:

  • Incorporate layers on the top half with jackets and sweaters.  A jacket is great for meetings and a sweater is perfect for every day.  Why?  Because you look put together, like you’re conscious of your appearance and we get to know you better.
  • Make sure your casual pants or jeans are smooth and show no signs of being worn, crumpled up or left in the dryer too long.  Why?  Because you can tell and it kind of looks like you just rolled out of bed.
  • Ensure your midsection and behind are securely covered.  Why?  It’s embarrassing, shocking and uncomfortable seeing cheeks and muffin tops.  Save those special areas for that special someone.
  • Save hats and caps for cold weather, sunny weather or clubs, not for work.  Why?  Because, as one of my former bosses once told me, “I can’t take you seriously.”  Granted I was wearing kitty ears on Halloween, but point taken.
  • Don a good pair of shoes/boots!  Why?  They help to add polish, color and style for those of us who tend to dress with classic pieces.
  • Select jewelry carefully.  Why?  Too much bling can make you look cheap.  Look for pieces that accent your outfit.  You don’t want it to blend in or fight the outfit.  Practice makes perfect here.
  • Ask yourself a few questions.  What does this outfit say about me?  Do I feel empowered in what I’m wearing?  Will other people take me seriously?  Am I prepared for an impromptu meeting?

Don’t assume that because your place of work is casual, it’s appropriate for meeting with clients, partners, vendors, etc.  Why?  Being on the client side and having to wear suits every day, it was REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE when our agency showed up in jeans.  They apologized profusely and we forgave them because it was an impromptu meeting but I believe it put them at a disadvantage professionally.  Subconsciously, we had all the power in that meeting and they knew it.

In all honesty, I will say that when I worked at places with a more professional code, I felt more professional, more successful, more important and more confident.

Trust me, this will not be the last time I talk about this topic!  It is so important to get smart casual right so you can keep your career moving forward.  Good luck and, as always, let me know if you have questions, additional suggestions for readers and comments.

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