Friday, December 24, 2010

Fall 2010 sees an influx of sophisticated neutral fashion. The dress code for today’s corporate world rejects the gender binary. Blurring the fashion gender lines, the ability for men and women to dress down at work presents more options. Getting dressed for the office demands a professional and competent image projection.
Emulating the right executive look can be complicated because unlike a fashion faux pas, a career killer outfit spells permanent damage professionally. Therefore, we deem it necessary to showcase five dress-to-impress essentials that will help you navigate through unpleasant working conditions in style.

Root for the suit
Other than a slimmer silhouette, the premium three-piece suit upholds its exclusivity. Choose a gray or charcoal suit with velvet or satin trimmings for a fashion forward look. There is a much needed revival of the long forgotten waistcoat aka vest this fall. The ultimate layering piece, a vest can work wonders with a slim fit tie, crisp shirt and lean trousers. Also a masculine blazer with notched lapels, cuff detailing and metallic buttons swapped with the suit exude corporate charisma.

Elegance underlies this burgeoning trend of gender bending. Think the retro ’60s, which was drenched with hourglass waistlines. Come fall, it’s all about menswear inspired suits and vests styled in a plethora of ways. By day, gild the standard womanly pantsuit or a coat over a men dress shirt and skirt with longer hemlines finished off with a belt. A splash of colour and accessories add femininity to this fashion feature.

Girt the shirt
The general trend for the winter man is less versatile and more fashionable. Plaid is back. Although the patch pockets stay true to the trucker inspired original, the fit and collar have been trimmed down for the modern man and the colour palette has been updated to earthy tones of brown, green and navy. The classic cotton white shirt is perfectly poised as a base layer for pairing up with an interesting blazer, vest or jacket for power dressing.

Winter trends for women are greatly inspired by menswear. So head to the men haberdashery and borrow the crisp white shirt or plaids for a neutral base and give it a feminine twist. Opt for a chic fall look with volume sleeves, exciting collars and lace trimmings. A printed burnout tunic or solid asymmetrical top worn with a basic pantsuit and kitten heels spells modern sophistication.
Rant about the pant

Carrot cut pants graced the international runways this season but for a formal look, pinstripes are better suited. Whether it’s Grey on brown or on black, the classic detailing on pinstriped pants can spice up an ordinary ensemble. Trousers in tweed or corduroy are another weather favoring item whereas, a casual Saturday at work calls for a pair of denim.
Whether it’s a pair of simple cigarette pants or trousers with fluid flare, these contemporary styles create the illusion of height and a more proportionate figure. Pair the slim cigarette pants with a roll neck blouse and suede coat or opt for a fitted blouse and trench coat with the high waist flared pants to achieve the perfect business attire.
Bet on the jacket

Jackets usher in fall as piece de resistance. While the length is cropped and the silhouette is made slimmer, the lapels are atypically large for jackets in vogue. Choose between a timeless pea coat and a double breasted military jacket in camel, olive or charcoal to put a military spin to your business attire and upgrade your overall look.
A rising utility trend, jackets have the ability to pull ensembles together by providing the finishing touch. A trench, cape or aviator jacket presents a polished, professional appearance. The ’50s inspired shawl collar jacket and wide belt at the waist is gaining momentum as a must-have this season. Hop into a pair of high waist flare pants and put on ankle boots to make a serious corporate style statement.
The most appropriate way to finish off a refined business look is with a tie. A skinny, monochromatic tie in silk or satin lends a subtle yet ultramodern edge to a dress shirt or an argyle print vest as well. Don’t neglect the choice of footwear when you are dressed to the nines. Basic, smart looking patent leather dress shoes in black and dark oak are essential. Plus, a scarf adds style and panache to a man’s winter wardrobe.

From suits to jackets to coats, belted waists top this season. Tie a medium to thin belt with just about any outfit for a chic look. Opt for stud earrings, single bracelet and a branded watch for the right amount of bling at work. Structured style handbags and satchels project an organized image. Platform pumps, kitten heels or ankle boots in neutral shades are best suited for the corporate woman. 

Fashion and androgyny

As a teenager I didn't like fashion. I thought it was silly to waste effort and money in commodities like clothes.I was lying to myself because I liked it. Very much.I enjoyed watching defiles on fashion channels, and I stayed hours watching and listening to critiques' opinion about different collections. I didn't tell this to anyone, I didn't share my thoughts about other people's style, mostly because I was the first one not to put into practice what I was seeing. I just thought many things wouldn't look good enough on me, that there are things I look good in and others I don't.

From a certain perspective I am a fashion snob. I think looking good with your clothes on is something anybody can achieve, any shape your body is: fashion is a matter of taste, that's all. I like to mix clothes of different types and style and still I don't respond to any fashion rule or definition but one: androgyny.

Tonight I was watching a movie I simply adore: "Annie Hall" by Woody Allen with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton and I just stopped the DVD player to say: woha, that's stylish" right while watching this scene on the left.

The whole outfit is just really tasteful and cute. You can tell she's wearing male clothes but she's so sweet and she wears them so naturally her femininity is perfectly preserved making her incredibly intriguing and interesting.
I couldn't be the only one to like this kind of style and there I found a definition: androgyny. Androgyny in fashion started with (or even before) Marlene Dietrich dressing as a man, and then it continued to distinguish and inspire both actresses and fashion designers like Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel. During my small and totally random research I stumbled in an article on knol treating "the appeal of the androgynous woman", by dizzy li. It was truly insightful for me to read this article, mostly because I realise I am an androgynous woman. My approach to fashion is much more similar to the one described in the article:  
...a woman who's androgyny inclined would feel just as happy about herself putting on the first thing she sees out of the shower and heading for the door. The refreshing absence of effort can be appealing all by itself.
 This doesn't mean that the clothes who have been chosen are random, just that it's easy to put them together because both the clothes in the wardrobe and the woman respect one and only rule simplicity. 

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