Archives for January 2018

Bury the Hoodies and Bling at Funerals

Q: I have been to several funerals recently that leave me confused about the best way to dress for such events. Can you share some suggestions?

 

 

A: Funerals are one of the significant and emotional life moments. I have to share that during this past year, I attended four wakes and was really shocked at the flip-flops, jeans, hoodies, graphic t-shirts, rhinestone bling on jeans and tops, and athletic shoes. All of these garments are too casual and communicate that you don’t really know any better. The purpose of these events is to honor the deceased and show respect and support to the loved ones left behind. Dress with decorum and ensure that your demeanor shows respect for the event and for yourself.

When it comes to clothing, this is the one situation in which I would consider blending in and being unobtrusive. Keep your clothes simple and avoid too much jewelry, especially if it is jiggling and distracting.

There is no need to only wear black, although from my experience most people have an abundance of black in their closets. Not all black is appropriate; avoid wearing a black cocktail dress or something that is strappy, very short, backless or revealing. Be sure that the fabric isn’t shiny and wedding-like. You might think these are obvious details, but I saw many of these faux pas at recent funerals. Another option in lieu of black would be jewel tones teamed up with the neutrals navy, brown, and grey.

Having your body jiggling in everyone’s face is never a good idea. I’m referring to cleavage, tummies or upper arms. Even in the summer, avoid showing up in a sundress and sandals as if you were on your way to an outdoor concert. All funeral homes are air conditioned, so slip on a summer cardigan to cover your arms, and button up your overexposed skin. Gentlemen can wear a sport coat.

Keep your hair and make-up simple, ladies.

Avoid wearing large patterns. Again, it’s not about you; this event is about honoring someone else. The traditional blazer or jacket with trousers or a skirt and heels will always convey a classic, respectful message. As in every day of your life, having a wardrobe that fits you properly and honors your now body is key. It will take you everywhere you want to go in life.

ABOUT TRACI MCBRIDE: TRACI IS THE WARDROBE STYLIST AT TEEMCBEE IMAGE CONSULTING. SUBSCRIBE TO HER NEWSLETTER, SCHEDULE A STYLE STRATEGY CALL, OR REQUEST TEE SPEAKS TO INFUSE YOUR ORGANIZATION WITH PASSION AND STYLE.

The Stone-cold Truth About Winter Coats

Q: Working downtown and having to walk a few blocks after parking, I need a winter coat that keeps me warm but looks good too. What tips should I keep in mind when shopping for a new coat for my professional wardrobe?

 

 

A: Outerwear is a very important investment when living in climates like northeast Ohio. Preparation is key for this season. We need different coats for each level of dress.

As an example, the coat you wear to play in the snow with the kids and shovel the drive would not be the same coat you wear over your professional wardrobe. Right? When I do a Closet Detox with a client, I have them model each coat and tell me when and where they wear it. I look for fit, flattery, purpose, and color.

Yes, a coat needs to fit you properly. I can’t tell you how many times someone has said, “I know you are going to tell me this coat is too big, but it’s warm.” To me, this is an opportunity to donate that coat and find a warm coat with a flattering fit in your power color. If you just can’t let go of the coat, then invest in having it tailored to fit. Another client had a coat that was her mother’s. She really liked the vintage details, so she wasn’t ready to get rid of it. It was expensive to tailor it and reset the shoulders, but now it looks like her coat.

TIPS for being Stylishly Warm and Cozy:

  •  Materials Matter: A wool coat is more versatile and chic than one of a synthetic material, but there are some pluses to manmade materials, like machine washing.
  • Make a Statement with the Details like unique color, trim, belt or welting, buttons or cut, but avoid making more than one statement.
  • Flattery will get you everywhere: Celebrate your now body and avoid an oversized baggy fit. Accent your waist.
  • Buy for more than one reason: for instance, warmth, style, and price. Make the coats work for the real estate space they will consume in your closet by investing the time it takes to get all of those areas covered. If you will be sitting at a bus stop, be mindful of finding a coat that covers your bottom. Consider if you need a hood or a high collar to break the wind. These are details that matter.
ABOUT TRACI MCBRIDE: TRACI IS THE WARDROBE STYLIST AT TEEMCBEE IMAGE CONSULTING. SUBSCRIBE TO HER NEWSLETTER, SCHEDULE A STYLE STRATEGY CALL, OR REQUEST TEE SPEAKS TO INFUSE YOUR ORGANIZATION WITH PASSION AND STYLE.