Many women who work in a business-casual environment may
just wear a blouse and dress trousers to work for ease and comfort. But the
truth is that when you wear three pieces you always look more professional and
credible than you do with only two. So a great tip for this time of year is to
layer-up to add confidence and distinction while taking away the winter chill.
I know that many of my female clients will balk at this
advice. Why? Because they fear that
layering will add more bulk to their figures – but follow my tips to solve that
You want to layer up with lightweight fabrics and
streamlined silhouettes, which add warmth without bulk. Go with ultra
lightweight merino wools or fine knits and cotton and cashmere blends that lie
close to your body. Leave those large chunky knit cardigans for the slender 20-somethings
with petite body types.
Keep the details simple. Don’t add a lot of bulk to your
layered looks by having too many ruffles, oversized buttons, large sleeves,
pockets or embellishments. The KISS rule applies here: Keep It Simple and Slim.
Too many adornments on garments add the appearance of unwanted pounds.
Here are a few suggested warm layering looks for work to
keep you looking polished, credible, and incredible – even in a business-casual
- Add a fine-weight cardigan with drapey sides and
wear it over a light blouse or dressy tank. Then belt it on the inside,
allowing the cardigan to drape vertically around your hips. Wear with a great
pair of light wool trouser or skirt.
- Try a fine waist-length colorful cardigan worn
over a dressy blouse with a little ruffle detail in the front, belted on the
outside and worn with a great lightweight wool skirt and opaque hosiery and
tall suede boots.
- Transition your fall wardrobe into winter magic
by adding a dressy whisper-fine cardigan worn over your wrap or shirt style
dress to layer it up a step beyond the one-piece dressing.
is a great way to expand your professional wardrobe investment by giving you a
better cost-per-wear for your core pieces, as you extend their use throughout more
seasons of the year.
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Sarah Hathorn is a professional image
consultant, certified personal brand strategist, speaker, and author.
Her company, Illustra Image Consulting, works
with high-achieving future leaders and large businesses by enhancing their
corporate and personal brand image to take their businesses and careers to the
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Copyright 2010, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS