Iconic power dressers now and then

Looking for style inspiration that brings out your inner Alpha Power Leader? Look no further than this gallery of ten iconic power dressers, both fictitious (think Dynasty’s Alexis Carrington) and real (think Anna Wintour).

While we don’t suggest you go out and find yourself a 1980s power suit, we do like to read about the efforts and thinking that went into planning these ladies’ outfits.

Take Margaret Thatcher: The former English Prime Minister “cleverly refined her clothing to reflect her rising power (…) and kept files on what she wore when, with outfits named “Reagan Navy” or “Election ’87”.

Or look at Victoria Beckham: She “struggled sartorially when she first moved to Los Angeles in 2007. (…) Her body-hugging frocks, five-inch stilettos, statement handbags and perma-pout just didn’t look right on the studiedly laidback, expensively dressed-down west coast. She nailed it eventually, of course. Now, as a surprisingly successful fashion designer with an eponymous label, she’s helping a whole new generation of women to power dress.”

Have a look at the full gallery in Guardian’s The 10 Best Female Power Dresses.

Business Travel, beautiful

Business travel is a bit of a necessary evil and often quite literally “part of the job.” Most companies have installed stricter rules around business and first class placements, so we all end up together in coach sometimes. Here are a few tips to get you to your destination in style and comfort.

  • Coconut water. We know you can’t bring it through security but it’s worth stocking up on super hydrating coconut water at the airport shop.
  • Moisture mist. Every hour in the air drains more moisture from your skin. We love this lightly fragrant Caudalie Beauty Elixier mist to refresh our skin and senses.
  • Braid your hair. An easy French braid is the best hair style for long flights. You can lean back and it looks lovely even as it gets a bit messy from trying to find a comfortable position.
  • Sleep mask. Redeye again? We feel your pain. This “NapForm” sleep mask keeps all light out and does not press on your precious lashes. It cushions the undereye area and the gentle pressure will send you right to sleep.
  • NextIssue. This app turns your smartphone or tablet into a well-stocked magazine newsstand. With access to 140 magazine titles (Fast Company, People, Wired, Elle, New Yorker, and everything else for your high and low brow reading needs) you won’t run out of things to read no matter how long your flight.
  • Saline nasal mist. We always get a little paranoid whenever someone has a cough on the plane. We’ve been using saline nasal mist ever since we heard that keeping your nose hydrated helps ward off infections. So far so good!
  • Lip tint. A bit of lasting color and a lot of moisture, these Tarte LipSurgence lip tints are a great on-board choice. They promise to increase the moisture levels of your pout by 6000%. Doubles as a cheek stain in a pinch.

Fall on your fingertips

“Pick a polish!” — These three words greet us at every nail salon. If you’re getting a bit bored with your go-to shade and want to mix things up for fall — we have fall trends for your fingertips.

Take a look at this slide show where Elle.com editors present their favorite polish picks for fall. Some lovely, classy choices. We’re particularly intrigued by this unexpected chocolatey shade:

 

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Laura Mercier. Nail lacquer in Cocoa Suede. Available here.

For even more choices check out PopSugar’s list of Fall Nail Polish Trends. We will be wearing this golden caramel shade with our knits and layers:

Butter_BrickLaneButter London. Nail lacquer in Brick Lane. Available here.

We hope these choices help you when you find yourself stuck in indecision in front of The Wall of Colors at your nail salon.

Easy Wardrobe Updates for Fall

Fall is firmly upon us and it’s time to add a few new items to our work wardrobe! (Don’t tell anyone but we still feel a little cheated for not getting any “back to school” presents anymore.)

We liked Elle Magazine’s “20 Finds for under $100” and you might like some of the tops, bags, hats, even sunglasses for those bright fall days.

Our favorites:

A pair of short leather gloves. Perfect if you’re taking your Vespa or your vintage bike to work — or want to look like you did. $45. Available here.

Amato_gloves_shopbopThis felt fedora in wooly grey keeps your hair in place and your head warm. $95. Available here.

whistles-fedoraA black backpack that looks cool and fits our Mac Book, the stack of notepads we like to tote around, and a fully stocked cosmetics bag? Sign us up! $66.65. Available here.

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Office Wear Inspiration: “Suit of the Week”

A great suit is hard to find. And if your schedule between work and play is anything like ours you don’t have the time to do the leg work to find one. Corporette.com has a great “Suit of the Week” series which does some of the recon for you. Check out their weekly reviews of professional yet stylish suits for a variety of budgets and sizes.
 
We like this one from Boden for fall.
 
Could you work this at work?
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Our relationship with heels: It’s complicated

Everyone who’s in a committed love-hate relationship with their high heels, please raise your hands.

If you’re like us, you love them for how they make us stand tall and add an inch of confidence. For how they make us feel like we can command every room and every audience. For how they add a final touch to any outfit.

And we hate them because they all hurt after a while. And because they turn every walk into a negotiation with your surroundings: Don’t walk on that grate. Better not to walk on those cobbled stones. Further than two blocks? I don’t think so. (If you are one of those ladies who take breezy lunch break walks in their 5 inch beauties or participate in the annual Stiletto Run, we salute you!)

Do you resort to the shoe change? If you ever have, then this is for you:

“Oh, the ignominy and the embarrassment of it all: swaying on one leg like a drunken duck, hiding round the corner of the red-carpet entrance, pulling off the flats, stuffing them in a handbag and putting on those vertiginous heels.”

Oh, how we feel with Suzy Menkes, the editor at Vogue, who describes what she sees and experiences at red carpet events and what we see and experience — with slightly less vertiginous heels, mostly — in every business building in the world. And how many of us keep an extra pair of pumps by our desk in case a client drops by or an impromptu meeting is scheduled?

You can read Suzy Menke’s article here: Killer Heels: The Agony and Ecstacy on Seductive Shoes

New fall trend: The soft pink lip

New season, new colors.

We always love a red lip but are intrigued by the new fall trend for lips: soft pink.

To save us from having to try out every single shade under the sun ourselves, a beauty editor from XO Vain did the work for us. She swatched and sampled 13 shades in different formulas, from a variety of brands, and at price points ranging from budget to luxe.

A favorite for professional settings is Lancome’s Rouge in Love. (Be sure to check out this link as Lancome has a great feature to show the shades on every complexion.)

Check out the reviews: Here’s the first review of 6 shades of soft pink lip colors. And here’s the second batch of 7 shades.

Ask a Stylist: Nails that mean business

Do you talk with your hands a lot and love a fresh manicure before a meeting or presentation? Same here. So what are great styles and polishes that add a sophisticated touch in a professional setting?

We asked Claire Beaudreault. The talented nail artist has worked on nails for runways, editorials, and lookbooks. — And did we mention that she brought her “nail game” to several Gimme Gorgeous events? Yes, we love her! Check out her point of view and tips below.

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Claire’s first tip is a kind warning. She says it’s time to consider retiring the “soft pink with white tips” French Manicure. What has once been considered a clean, professional look has since entered dangerous territory that veers toward the adult entertainer.

So what to put on your nails instead?

She says: “Nudes and neutrals don’t have to be boring. Chanel Frenzy is a gorgeous grey-beige. I love grey as an unexpected neutral. It can flatter all skin tones. Greys from pale to dark look great through the fall, winter, spring.” (P.S. If you want to ease yourself into “greige” territory before springing for a Chanel lacquer, try CDN’s Impossibly Plush.)

“Black has gone from rockers and goths to the fingers of the likes of Lauren Conrad and ladies with Louis Vuitton bags.” For a luxe “almost black” with a hint of metal try Jin Soon’s Nocturnal.

Dark burgundy like Chanel’s Vamp, Essie’s Wicked, O.P.I.’s Lincoln Park After Dark is also an option.”

Her current favorite? “Try blue! Sophisticated dark or royal blue or fresh turquoise and mint.”

For blues, look at Chanel’s Blue Satin or Essie’s After School Boy Blazer, for a classy turquoise, look no further than YSL’s Vert D’Orient.

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Thank you so much, Claire, for sharing your secrets with us.

Follow her on Instagram as @maniclaire.

Dress professionally & for your body

So what’s an outfit that’s great for business and work life?

If you ever grew a few cup sizes you know that the same dress that looked perfectly “business chic” before can suddenly be quite revealing.

We were happy to find this article that breaks down professional dress by body type and gives useful recommendations for athletic, curvy, petite, plus-sized, and tall ladies. It’s aptly titled How to dress professionally for your body type.