#Fashion101 When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People...
Let’s be honest, we have all flipped through a celebrity magazine and thought “what was she thinking?!” But the truth is, we have all had a fashion victim moment one time or another. That can mean you took a chance on a risky clothing option or you chose something that just doesn’t work on YOU.
I have this notepad on my desk aptly called “Fashion Citation” which allows you to check off (from a list of horrific options), the fashion offense a person has made. The pad is for fun, but you get the point. That said, I may or may not do this mentally as I walk the streets of NYC. Don’t get me wrong, my style is not perfect by any means, but I do know a thing or two about putting looks together. I also love a good before & after and often think about what I could have changed with someone’s look, if I had the chance.
Establishing your own sense of style first starts with examining who you are. In life, it IS often about judging a book by its cover because when you walk the streets of wherever you live or walk into a conference room to present to a room full of strangers, no one knows you- at least not yet, they only know what they see. That’s why style matters.
So that’s when you have to ask yourself what it is you want people to think of when they see you. What kind of style impression do you make? Is it for example, glamour, prep, goth, sophisticate, grunge, bohemian luxe or eclectic chic? Whichever you choose, you have to then factor it into the lifestyle you have or at least the one you aspire to.
So when people wear something that just doesn’t work, I automatically think either someone steered them in the wrong direction (a friend, salesperson, stylist) or they just didn’t consider that one style does not fit all. Did you ever notice that “Glamour Don’ts” and Us Weekly “Fashion Police” never run out of content? When it comes to celebrity, if you surround yourself with the wrong advice you can end up gracing those pages. For the rest of us who aren’t covered in the weeklies, wrong choices aren’t as dramatic, but still contribute to your PERSONAL STYLE REPUTATION.
I often say “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” and there is a lot of merit to that mentality. Fashion gives you the tools to “fake it til you make it”, so your personal style is actually more powerful than you think.
Ok I’ll admit it, I’m the girl that is always in full-face makeup. It’s how I roll, all the time. I guess it sort of goes along with my ‘always dressed up’ mantra. What can I say? I like a polished look. So sue me. But because I make a lot of effort to always look my best I’ve accumulated a lot of random beauty knowledge. Since this is my blog, I thought I would share. If this is a snore-fest, feel free to scroll on.
The Skin Trifecta:
The Base: OLAY Regenerating Serum: I’m not sure what it’s actually regenerating but it is unreal at making your skin look and feel like silk. I don’t know about you, but after I wash my face it stiffens up like sandpaper and even moisturizer is difficult to smooth on. So I use this serum as my numero uno product which sets the silky foundation for the moisturizer to layer on.
The Moisturizer: AVEENO SPF 100: Last Fall I noticed that my makeup was not going on as well as it had been over the summer. After investigative reporting, I finally figured out that during the summer I don’t wear moisturizer because my sunblock is moist enough. So I decided to continue this into Fall/Winter and what I found is that my skin actually looks better using this sunblock over a regular moisturizer. It’s not greasy and doesn’t smell like you’re at the beach (which is weird if you are sitting in your office). I put it on immediately following the Olay mentioned above and right before the foundation. Bonus points, I’m always protected from the sun. I mean how good is that?
The Foundation: MAYBELLINE DREAM LIQUID MOUSSE: Maybelline does the makeup for the DKNY show so I’ve tried a lot of their products. I apply Dream Liquid Mousse after the Aveeno SPF and it literally goes on like velvet. The result is a nude canvas. #Trust
Best part of all of the above, easy access. Try it. Let me know what you think @dkny
As a manager I have interviewed many people in my day. There are specific tips for interviewing well, but before we get there, you have to do your part to GET the interview.
Obviously your resume should be well written sans typos but beyond that it needs to be qualitative and show as much of your successes as your skills. Employers are looking for someone who doesn’t just know how to do the job, but someone who gets results. Aim to keep it at one page because the likelihood of someone keeping the pages together is slim to none and slim just got hit by a car.
The COVER LETTER:
1. Address it to an actual person whose name is spelled correctly. Include the person’s correct, official title.
2. Tell the person what your objective is and WHY you want to work THERE. Compliments are welcome. Research the company and perhaps touch upon how great you thought a recent success of theirs was. Tell them how you could add value. Show genuine interest and knowledge.
3. Keep it short and sweet. People lose interest quickly. I mean now anything past 140 characters seems long (I am still surprised anyone reads these posts…)
4. SIGN IT. I know this sounds silly and obvious but an unsigned cover letter goes in the circular file. You know the one. It also stores half-eaten lunch. (Scan it in if you are emailing).
Ok, so you do all the above and actually get called in for the INTERVIEW.
1. Think about WHERE you are interviewing and what the people who work there might be dressed like. Long gone are the days of the mandatory interview suit. You want to work there right? So wouldn’t it make sense that employers would want to be able to VISUALIZE you being part of the team?
2. Bring extra copies of your resume well printed on quality paper. If you don’t have a good printer find one. Think of your resume as your PERSONAL ADVERTISEMENT. The words alone are not the only thing employers are judging. Presentation is key.
3. If you have examples of your work, bring them too. Anything that can help show an employer what you are able to do is helpful and can also set you apart from other candidates.
4. Prepare in advance. I cannot stress this enough. There is no excuse for not knowing everything you can about a company.
5. Come with questions written down (or in your head). At the end of every interview there is that awkward lull where inevitably the interviewer asks “so do you have any questions?”. Here’s your cue…ask away.
*Note: Do not ask “is there room for growth?” Employers want to be sure you want the actual position you are interviewing for. Roaming eyes need not apply. If you deserve growth once you work there, growth will come.
6. Be ready with a list of references. Note: you must ask said reference if it’s ok for you to list them as a reference. It’s not a given and do not assume everyone will say yes.
7. Practice confidence not cockiness.
8. Don’t be “too” comfortable. I know this is a little bit of an ego thing, but interviewers are in the power seat. Let them have it.
9. Don’t be nervous. I believe whole-heartedly in ”fake it til you make it”. It works well here.
10. Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn in a humble way. You do need to explain how you could add value. But as important, make them understand why you would kill to work there.
11. Thank them. This where some may disagree, but I believe in the day-of thank you email AND a mailed handwritten note. Either way, silence kills.
12. Do follow-up. Oftentimes the need to fill said position is not as “urgent” as you would like to fill said position. If you don’t hear from someone in a week or so, check in via EMAIL. If you don’t hear back, do not attempt contact again. He or she is just not that into you. Just like dating, if they want you, they will call.
*Note: the below applies to pretty much any working human
How do you get experience when you have no experience? Obviously, you have to get creative. The good news is anyone looking for an internship or job now has 100% more resources than most people have had in past years. Remember there was no Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. I mean the fact that you can now tweet directly to a company you would dream to work at is pretty amazing.
If you are lucky enough to get an internship at a company you admire, here’s the TOP 10 things NOT to do.
1. DO NOT DRESS LIKE YOU ARE GOING OUT CLUBBING. If the goal is to ultimately get a job or get referred for another, you need to “play” the part and dress in the spirit of wherever you work. Personally, I want to see someone who is inspired to dress up for work because it shows me you care and are passionate about being there.
2. DO NOT BE LATE. Employers gets thousands of resumes. If you are lucky enough to get in the door, take it seriously and be on time. Being late shows nonchalance and that’s not a good message to send.
3. DO NOT THINK YOU ARE ONE OF THE TEAM. As an intern, you need to respect the hierarchy. I don’t want to hear about your boyfriend problems or what you ate for dinner last night. What I do want to know is was the garment bag I asked you to send to Vogue, delivered.
4. DO NOT WAIT TO BE TOLD. Make your own work or ask for work. Nothing is worse than seeing an intern sitting around flipping though a magazine (unless of course you were asked to do so).
5. DO NOT EXPECT A 5-STAR LUNCH. Settle down. Of course you will eat lunch, but if everyone in the office is eating at their desk, guess what? So are you.
6. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK TWICE. Any employer would much rather you ask if you are confused than do it wrong. That said, it’s imperative that you TRY and think it through first. FYI, whomever said “there are no stupid questions” is wrong.
7. DO NOT BE THE GOSSIP GIRL (or BOY). This is not the high school cafeteria. That is all.
8. DO NOT USE THE WORD “NO”. The only word you know is “YES” when it comes to work-related tasks. If someone asks you to go to their apartment and unload their dishwasher, that’s where I would draw the line.
9. DO NOT BE A DEADBEAT. That means look alive people. Enthusiastic has to be your middle name and energetic is your first.
10. DO NOT EXPECT A RECOMMENDATION. Here’s a news flash, just because you intern somewhere does not mean you interned well. So think about the end goal and figure out how to get there. Make an impression and make sure that it’s impressive.
You know I really pride myself on not pushing product. A lot of people out there (especially PR people) love touting every little thing their brand offers. But you know what, not every single thing is great. And that’s the case no matter what designer you are talking about, in any industry.
So when I LOVE something I want to shout it on a megaphone. You know that moment. You buy something that makes you so overjoyed you have to call a friend (translation for younger kids, that means email, text, tweet). It’s a feeling that can only be explained as “I am sooooo happy & I want you to be happy too!” (or at least happy for me about my stellar purchase).
The person I call is usually my sister. The conversation typically goes something like this. “Ok I just bought THE MOST ammmmmmmmmazing _________ and you must go NOW and buy it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Go now. GO”. And she does, because she knows and trusts me. Then she experiences this joy for herself and calls her friend and says the same thing. And it goes on and on and on from there.
People say that a friend’s recommendation is more powerful than any advertisement. It’s like, ‘ok if she loves it, then I will too’. And it works.
There’s rarely anything as good as the “original” and word of mouth is still the best thing we’ve got.
So go ahead and recommend something to a friend. Your voice is powerful.
I’m not gonna lie. By Manhattan standards, I have pretty good closet space. On those days where fighting to move the hangers down the rail is just too much to bear, I start to get that “ok it’s time to edit” feeling. This then becomes a Saturday afternoon project from hell, whereby I literally remove chunks of clothes at a time, toss them on the bed and attempt to edit the ones that don’t make the cut.
The ones that are lucky enough to go back in are placed in the following order:
1. Type (skirt, jacket, pant etc)
2. Within type—->cut (mini, cropped, short sleeve etc)
3. Within type/cut—->color
(So when you plan an outfit and you think ooh I want a mini skirt, you don’t have to wonder where to look).
Sounds like a good plan except when I come across something I NEVER wear, something in me starts to make excuses. “I loved that pant”. “I used to wear that pant all the time”. “What if this style is the biggest trend ever next season?!” Etc. Etc. Etc. Then I start to feel badly for said pant and lo and behold it goes back into the closet.
Don’t get me wrong, if a piece of clothing is in poor condition, I have no problem tossing it. But if it’s a gorgeous, never been worn piece, it’s just well, harder. So what to do? The closet is not getting bigger you know…..
As such I have established a hard core editing filter I like to call “STATEMENT KEEPER”. Simply put, if a piece of clothing has a defined and powerful sense of style (even if it’s not currently something I would dare wear) it stays. For example, that multi-color sequins blazer may not be what I want to wear this week, but it is a “statement” piece. You don’t toss statement pieces. You toss the pieces that you can always buy again if an emergency need presented itself. So if it’s a run of the mill basic (even if it’s in good condition) and I haven’t worn it in a year, it goes.
I am really strict with this rule because I have conditioned myself to think a roomy closet just means more room for new clothes. Fashion Editors edit collections as a job and when we read a magazine we trust what they have chosen for us. Surely we can wear this hat in the confines of our own little closet?
Try the “STATEMENT KEEPER” edit. It’s going to be a little painful but in the end it will be worth it. Then round back with me and we’ll work on filling it back up again, with fresh, new, exciting clothes.
I’m not sure who decided that red was the color of choice for THE carpet. Beyond that I have no idea why someone would even choose a carpet (I am a hardwood floor girl myself). But somehow along the way “the red carpet” has become a symbol of glamour to those who walk it and for designers, the ultimate showcase of their work.
On Thursday, the Emmy award nominations came out & I tweeted “I really hate when award show nominations come out”. Someone tweeted back “Why?! it’s so exciting!” (yeah maybe for you….but for me it’s the equivalent of a gun shot going off and I’m still in my pajamas at home.
The saying “let the games begin” truly applies here. It is after-all a game. Who has the best dress, the best stylist, the best publicist, the best hair and makeup artist, the best “best friend” to guide you in the right direction, the best manager to disagree with the publicist who agrees with the stylist. There are, as they say, A LOT of cooks in the kitchen. As such, I am always amazed when I actually succeed in dressing someone given how many decision makers there are. Notice how I didn’t mention the actual celebrity in the above- that was on purpose. In my experience there are very few who actually defer to their own gut feeling. But hey, I guess what’s the point of hiring all these people if not to defer to theirs?
One year I was dressing CelebX for the Golden Globes. We had two fittings in her home for an amazing custom Donna Karan gown and she was thrilled with it. When award show Sunday came around I was beyond excited to sit down on my couch with my laptop & a frozen yogurt and announce who was wearing Donna Karan to the press. At around 4pm on that day (red carpet begins at 6pm) the stylist called me from the bathroom in CelebX’s hotel room to tell me that CelebX’s boyfriend just arrived and has convinced her that the gown is “just too shiny” to be worn at 3pm (LA time) and that was the end of that. (Seriously?)
Another time we had made a custom gown for CelebY for the Oscars. I worked very closely with StylistY to make sure the dress was perfect. Well, CelebY’s “BFF” came to the final fitting on Saturday before the Oscars and ever so casually said “You know you’re only presenting, don’t you think that gown is better suited for a Nominee?” Ouch. And I mean ouch to ME.
So as you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into dressing someone. This is not at all to say the “Stylist” is not influential. They are and BIG TIME. Without a great relationship with the stylist, your gowns are not even invited to the fitting party and you have to be in it to win it right? A really good stylist has a lot of say over what their client wears and I think that’s how it should be. All I’m saying is 9 times out of 10, I have zero control over the outcome and any PR person that tells you otherwise is fooling themselves. (*Exception: if a brand has someone under contract, it’s clearly much easier to accomplish the above).
I work with some ammmmaaaaazing stylists and others that should not be styling their Grandma. That said, dressing someone is almost mandatory from a brand standpoint. I cannot tell you how depressing it is when 6pm rolls around on an award show weekend and I have failed. It happens from time to time and it sucks. Many of you who follow me on Twitter have experienced a lot of the drama and angst that I share as I go through this process. It actually does help to have an enormous support system because when I succeed, it’s like everyone is succeeding with me.
So now you can see how the pressure to dress someone would make me tweet something like I did above. We have some beautiful gowns from the new Donna Karan Resort 2012 collection and some custom ones that are currently cooking in the oven.
I have no idea where we will end up for the Emmys, but I can safely say, the games have begun….
Ok this is not a plug for deodorant (although as a side note, I swear by Donna Karan Cashmere Mist), but a very simple way of saying never let them see you sweat “emotionally” in the workplace.
Sometimes I swear there are bees swirling around my head. This is figurative of course, but the bees represent all the projects I am working on that need attention in equal priority…NOW, URGENTLY, IMMEDIATELY, YESTERDAY.
We all find ourselves in this cesspool of constant and utter work chaos and it’s a wonder we get anything at all done. I often joke that I need a To-Do List just to remember to make the To-Do List. Once I’ve made it, I inevitably add something to it I have already done, just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing it off. I know I am not alone-
So how do you keep it together without having your head spin like the exorcist in front of your boss or even your team?
You fake it til you make it.
Emotion is distracting. My friend Kelly Cutrone’s book title says it all, “If You Have To Cry Go Outside”. Sure if you work in an office with your best friends, no one is going to judge, but most people don’t and the last thing anyone wants to see in an office are tears. But more importantly, the last thing your boss wants to see is weakness.
I once asked someone I was interviewing: “What is your worst quality?” She answered that she is “not great under pressure”. Honest answer, but she didn’t get the job. Being able to work under pressure or even thrive under pressure is the answer to almost every question and it is not innate. It is a learned skill and one that comes with training.
So what does fake it til you make it mean? It means that no matter what, keep it cool. Go with the flow. Scream inside your head. If you can’t do that, take a walk outside and regroup for clarity, but never ever let them see you lose it. You will move on and forget it happened, but they will remember and the strike will be recorded.
A wise man once told me that 90% of the things we worry about, never happen.