Thursday, August 04, 2011

Signature Work Style

It's taken a minute...five years worth of a minute...but I think I've finally figured out my Signature Work Style.  The first challenge was that I was moving from a business casual office to a more professional attired office.  All the men are always in a shirt, tie, pants combination (with white shirts being the predominant choice - tho' colors are worn) and the women in suit jackets with a dress, skirt or pants combo.


I ABHOR those boxy little suit jackets with the notched collar.  I just feel like a stuffed sausage in them and PULEEZE can anyone point me to a plus size woman that really looks chic and cool in them.  And please do not suggest the chick on Drop Dead Diva...I always want to lengthen her skirts and remove the jacket because once again the stuffed sausage analogy is appropriate.


So after sewing a few jackets and having a few failures, I realize that the jackets I like the most and are the most comfortable wearing have raglan sleeves and no collars...but even then unless it's "High Meeting Days" I'm most comfortable in a dress and a cardigan and/or a twinset and a skirt.  I've had to "up the quality of fabric" used in my skirts when mixed with a cardigan but basically this look works for me.


Now I look professional.  I feel comfortable and for the heftiest woman in my office (seriously I work with some skinny minnies - no one over a size 6/8!), I appear slimmer than the notched collar/jacket silhouette provides for me....some examples:


the original Vogue 1250 dress with cardigan


Christine Jonson dress with cardigan


Connie Crawford dress with cardigan


Black linen TNT dress w/burda cardigan
(what I'm wearing today!)

So I've decided that this is my signature work style.  As I said previously professional, comfortable, works with the dress code for my office and its me.  Plan on seeing more of this look!

Next...thanks for all of your wonderful comments about my Wearable Muslin dress.  It truly is a wearable muslin because after a day of wear, there are definitely some things that I need to change before I make it again.  The most important thing is that the neckline MUST BE raised.  Quite a few men got a treat on Monday when I wore the dress because the neckline got lower as the day progressed and it didn't help that my very heavy tote bag kept dragging it to the side...where my flesh colored bra made it seemed as if I was barer up top than I actually was.

Also the fabric was a little thin for my taste.  So the next one will either be lined and/or made from a beefier knit.  My original thoughts about a ponte knit are holding true!  The dress did garner quite a few compliments at work primarily because of the colors of the print - it was just the right print for work - not too garish or loud - subtle but professional.  There's that word again! *LOL*  But since I don't exactly fit in I don't want to stand out too much!

Well that's my Thursday update...

...as always more later!



34 comments:

  1. You could be a fashion consultant for professional women. Love your look!

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  2. Hi Carolyn, I love your style too. It looks professional and I agree far more flattering than a boxy suit. A quick question, when you line thinner knit fabrics do you use tricot or something else? Also where do you buy the tricot or lining?

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  3. I agree: those boxy, man-cut suit jackets only look good on the skinny. My other favourite, along with your picks (mine, too), is the slightly fitted jacket that flares a bit at the bottom as it's a fool the eye line.

    Yes, you look professional and comfortable. You'd look right at home as the chair of any charity group or spokeswoman for a cause, too, anything where looking professional and friendly counts. I always love your choices.

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  4. That notch collared jacket is just the woman's version of a man's suit, and it doesn't work for any of us who isn't really thin. You've found a look that is flattering and comfortable suits your work place and you. Makes sewing a whole lot easier when you know what works for you.

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  5. I think your designs look interesting and show that you have a personality, rather than gettting into the black boxy suit look. You look 'cool as a cucumber'!

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  6. Indeed it does work for you!

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  7. This works so well for you, and I find myself transitioning to the same look as well!

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  8. You happen to know your body and what works for you. Work it girlfriend!

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  9. So many comments.... First, I agree, your signature work style is FABULOUS. I really love you in all of those outfits. Second, I agree, I hate those tight boxy little outfits they put on the Diva when she's in legal mode. Finally, I LOVE that show. One of my favorites. :D

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  10. I think it's great that you have sorted out a signature style! This will really help you make the most of your sewing time by honing in on what works for you rather than making stuff that doesn't. I think you look fabulous and professional and not stuffed sausage.

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  11. Congratulations on figuring it out! Your style looks wonderful on you, and comfort is most important (after looking good). How can anyone function if they're not comfortable?

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  12. yes, you have a definite style. Pretty, polished and professional.

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  13. Even if you did look nice in that type of boxy jacket, I like your work style better. Your look is professional but still keeps a personal style to your look. The other "corporate jacket style" is too cookie cutter for my taste.

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  14. Carolyn, you always look wonderful. My YES vote for your summation of boxy suits. They only look good on the streamlined women who look good in everything.

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  15. I think they purposely overdo the boxy suits on Diva, since Jane being plus sized is the original premise of the show. There are some notched lapel jackets I like and think look fine on me, but they do need some shape, not boxy. But finding your own style is wonderful. I think you always look professional but also individual too. That's often hard to pull off and you work it!

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  16. Hi Carolyn.

    I too, quite like your work wardrobe - especially the first picture, where the cardigan does not have an accented collar but sort of drapes from your shoulder - that leaves the dress peeking through in the middle creating a much slimmer silouette. That looks splendid!

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  17. Your signature style is gorgeous. Aren't you glad you can sew! Re your 'wearable muslin'. I often read that a 'wearable muslin' is a contradiction in terms, and that we should always scribble on our muslins and never never plan to wear them. The dreaded "S" word! You have made a very useful point, that a dress can look beautiful when you first try it on, but you need to wear it to see how it works over time and during your daily activities.

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  18. you have a great style and comfort is so important especially working long hours. If you are not comfortable it will show and take away from the stylish looks. ( if this makes sense )

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  19. Your style is great. I love it, it expresses your personality. And I bet you are a whole lot more comfortable than the "stuffed sausage".
    I do like tailored jackets but only when they hang loose over a nice pair of pants. The ultimate comfortable pant suit, but not looking structured - very soft and comfy and in mens wear fabrics.

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  20. Do you find that Thursdays are "blue shirt" day for the men in your office? We made a joke of it at my old firm. Then the women started doing it too, and it became a little creepy.

    Your office style is perfect for you. You always look just smashing, and you are not always in black, which I always found depressing to look at in the office, day after day on so many people. I love a traditional suit jacket on me, but not boxy, one with shape. But that's me, and we're not the same shape.

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  21. I love your look! It's rather sad to have to be that conscientious about what you wear to work--you must have a majorly uptight office! Here I thought every work place in the world had gone more to the business casual look.

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  22. I think the point about being professional is you have to look as if you are in control, and that means looking smart AND comfortable without taking it down as far as sweatpants etc. Your style looks smart, though-out and comfortable. You don't look as if you are trying to be someone else. That shows confidence and professionals need to show and inspire confidence. Skinny mins in sharp suits can look very unprofessional, when the can't get the confidence thing. Sometimes they go too far the other way ("I am sooooooo sexy in my skintight pencil skirt and jacket I can hardly breathe in"), which fails because frankly they don't look like they really want to be at work....LOL. (I might add that the super-sexy look can really irritate other men and women, but men more so.... Maybe they don't like "having their strings pulled" all the time or maybe they want more clothing options themselves, office kilts maybe?). So, it's not just a question of weight. You need to know what image you are projecting - a very difficult thing for women - so many traps for us to fall into.

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  23. Your Signature Work Style compliments you very well. You look very professional and stylish. I enjoy reading about your reflections, triumphs and occasional mishap. Keep writing, cause I keep reading.

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  24. Fabulous! It is a rare skill for a woman to be able to both visualize and make clothing that suits her so beautifully. You are doing a fantastic job!

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  25. Boxy suits are not for everyone but it is so important to have a uniform/system to rely on in the morning rush. I think you look very professional.

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  26. I agree with the other comments. You look professional & pulled to gether, but comfortable. That's my goal too, but I don't think I pull it off nearly as well as you do.

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  27. I think that it's really important to work out a 'signature work style' and you have got yours just right. Knowing what looks good, and what goes with what, saves a lot of time-wasting in the getting ready morning rush. Your outfits looks chic and professional - looking that good means you feel good and work so much better!

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  28. I'm the only person in my office that wear dresses, Oh well, I get tons of compliments from passersby in the building so I must be doing something right, I say, follow your own instincts when it comes to professional fashion as long it follows the dress code guidelines that is all that matters, you always look great to me and very professional.

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  29. I agree with your assessment. I think "The Suit" is so unapproachable. I always like to wear a cardigan with a dress or skirt. It looks professional, but soft. But not too soft.

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  30. I love your work style! You are so right about the boxy jackets. You look sleek and professional. Your sewing inspires me not to look like I feel most days!

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  31. Carolyn, you know your style and you know how to work it. You always look so well put together.

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  32. I love your style and it is inspiring to me to look for my own but I have to say I was watching Drop Dead Diva last night and thinking about how much I love her style and clothing. It's not for everyone obviously but it is so cool to see a bigger woman still looking sexy and confident in her clothes. On another note, the skinny blonde lawyer on the show (think her name is Kim) was wearing a high-waisted pencil skirt and she looked like she had a baby bump going -- so even the thin and beautiful look dumpy in that one! :)

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  33. I think the black linen with Burda cardigan is absolute "work style" perfection for you. It looks amazing, very professional. You are truly an inspiration.

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  34. Carolyn, I'm 'late to the party'--this is a very articulate post, and your professional wardrobe clearly reflects your professionalism and your sense of style.

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