Stride out in style

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - STARSPECIAL WOMEN’S WORLD - By TEE LIN DEE

AS a young adult, look­ing good is of para­mount im­por­tance. Putting your best foot for­ward and hav­ing a sharp out­fit go far in draw­ing at­ten­tion and show­ing peo­ple you mean busi­ness.

Of­ten, hav­ing a nice wardrobe is as­so­ci­ated with need­ing lots of money. But not all of us have deep pock­ets. We need time to get there. How do we deal with it then, in the in­terim? Af­ter all, women want to look smart, pol­ished and chic. It gives us con­fi­dence.

Fig­ur­ing out stylish work out­fits can be dif­fi­cult, and it can be even more dif­fi­cult if your bud­get is small. How­ever, with some cre­ative styling, smart ac­ces­soris­ing and knowl­edge of how you’d like to be per­ceived, a stylish yet af­ford­able work out­fit is easy to put to­gether.

You’ll be sur­prised at how a sim­ple dress can make one look el­e­gant and at­trac­tive. It is even bet­ter if your of­fice wear can dou­ble as a ca­sual out­fit; that’s value for money.

Online fash­ion store White­soot co-founder Es­tee Chong, 27, feels that dress­ing up at the work­place is im­por­tant. “It’s not triv­ial at all. Dress­ing has be­come that un­spo­ken fac­tor in mea­sur­ing a per­son’s com­pet­i­tive­ness. Sales peo­ple un­der­stand this best and we see this of­ten in insurance agents and sales peo­ple. They re­alise that dress­ing up is just as im­por­tant as prod­uct knowl­edge.”

Here are five tips on how you can look stylish in the of­fice:

Tip 1: Go bold

Bright and strong colours ex­ude con­fi­dence. Some­times it doesn’t hurt to stand out and make an im­pres­sion. “I find that each time I wear a red dress, no mat­ter how sim­ple it is, I get a lot of male at­ten­tion, from the taxi driver to my col­league,” says ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive Lisa Tan, 26.

Male at­ten­tion is one thing, but if you have a board­room meet­ing or a deal to seal, wear­ing a bold dress helps. Look at the pow­er­ful women and the clothes they choose when they go on stage. It is never white or a weak brown. It is of­ten a strong and strik­ing colour. Time to go bold, ladies.

Tip 2: Ac­cent up

We un­der­stand that not ev­ery woman en­joys bright colours. No prob­lem. For the colour-averse, there is a way to keep mono­chrome style in­ter­est­ing. A beau­ti­ful mono­tone blouse tucked into a black pen­cil skirt is a clas­sic look, but take it up a notch by adding a brooch, a state­ment neck­lace or an ac­cent de­tail. You’ll be amazed at the marked dif­fer­ence this lit­tle ac­cent makes. You go from plain to wow in a sec­ond. If you worry about your abil­ity to pair your clothes and ac­ces­sories, pur­chase pieces which come with in-built ac­cents. You must have seen blouses with pearl em­bel­lish­ments or gold studs on the col­lar mak­ing waves in re­cent months. Th­ese are won­der­ful pieces to buy be­cause they give you in­stant style. For ex­am­ple, a long-sleeved but­ton­down blouse with pearl em­bel­lish­ment on the col­lar makes an ex­tra­or­di­nary work wear piece. So ac­cent up and go wow.

Tip 3: Power dress

The power of a dress is sim­ply un­de­ni­able. It is also the eas­i­est way to look stylish if you aren’t con­fi­dent about putting to­gether clothes. We rec­om­mend a chic dress that shows off your curves even if you aren’t the typ­i­cal size 6. A power dress brings out the wom­an­li­ness and beauty in you. The im­por­tance of a good dress can­not be em­pha­sised more. A power dress looks good even with­out a blazer. Whether it’s the colour or its elon­gat­ing ef­fect, the right dress can em­power you to go the dis­tance in your work­place.

Tip 4: Belt it

Just like a neck­lace can do won­ders to a plain dress, so can a belt. A belt can flat­ter your fig­ure by cre­at­ing an hour­glass shape and add per­son­al­ity to your dress. You can knot it to give a twist to a flowy dress, or use it to fur­ther en­hance a la­dy­like look. If you are wear­ing a plain dress, a to­tally dif­fer­ent belt colour can add pop and style to it. For slim­ming ef­fects, choose a nar­row belt in the same colour as the dress.

Tip 5: For­get jeans, go for pants and skirts

What? This seem­ingly ob­vi­ous tip is how­ever lost to many. When a com­pany an­nounces ca­sual Fri­days, women dive into their jeans and don’t seem to come out from it. Be the rebel and show off your pretty clothes, nor­mally deemed ca­sual for work­days. Go for coloured pants, flouncy skirts or even skater dresses.

Th­ese are re­fresh­ing and youth­ful choices that sur­pris­ingly many work­ing women stay away from.

White­soot car­ries a range of af­ford­able and el­e­gant women’s wear that have at­tracted many cus­tomers since its in­cep­tion three years ago. It ap­peals to cus­tomers be­cause it takes into ac­count dif­fer­ent body shapes and styles.

“We carry pieces that are af­ford­able but do not com­pro­mise on style. We un­der­stand that not ev­ery woman wants to look sexy or loud. There are many who pre­fer the clas­sic look,” says Chong.

“We bring in pieces to ful­fil th­ese needs while al­ways hav­ing style in mind.

“At the end of the day, it’s what you feel good in. Never wear some­thing you don’t feel good in, no mat­ter how on-trend it is.”

Shop for el­e­gant pieces at www.white­soot. com. It has daily new ar­rivals at 11am and free ex­press de­liv­ery for pur­chases above RM120.

A dress is a great Fri­day op­tion in­stead of your usual jeans and top.

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