Wednesday, May 30, 2012


When you’re given the boot on the job or for that matter in a personal relationship it is easy to at first want to seek revenge, criticize or condemn the person or the organization. This should be the furthest from your mind. I’m a proponent of the old adage, “Don’t burn your bridges.” In other words savvy fashionistas take a stiff upper lip approach, smile and when questioned by peers or friends with inquiries like, “What happened?” They just smile and say, “I really cannot discuss it at this time,” or “It was an amicable agreement.” And don’t let the conversation go any deeper than that.
KEEP RELATIONSHIPS POSITIVE One of the first rules of farewell savvy is 'honey is sweeter than vinegar.'  When it comes time to end the relationship (or you were given the pink slip) try to keep as friendly a relationship as you possibly can with co-workers or individuals. WHY? Okay good question. Because you would be burning bridges with people with whom you may find yourself working with again at another firm. Or when a couple splits you’re bound to run into one of the partners again and their friendship may still be important to you.
REVENGE BACKFIRES Some people just cannot help themselves and criticism seems to be their best revenge, but it is the worst thing they can do. Whenever someone tells me a nasty piece of business or criticizes a company or fellow worker I immediately wonder, “If they can say this and that awful thing about their colleagues, what are they saying about me?” On the other hand when someone departs and is no longer a couple I wonder what they saw in that person in the first place when they criticize with such vengeance and assassinate that partner’s character in such a degrading manner.
NASTY SECRETS Sometimes it gives the ousted person an opportunity to tell nasty little secrets, which they think will align the listener to their sympathies. This shows very poor judgment and besmirches their reputation. People usually react to revealing office gossip, secret affairs or confidential company business unfavorably, and may wonder shy such a jerk ever was hired in the first place. A public dressing down of a company's executives, your boss or the firm itself can actually get you into legal trouble, particularly if you have signed an agreement with the firm that you won’t malign the company’s reputation. On the personal side of the secret compass you're better off keeping mum. Best policy, do not reveal any juicy details of a couple’s personal life that may have been given to you in confidence. Keep your dignity intact and refuse to listen. Such secrets should be kept in the vault and never discussed.
HIGH END EMOTIONS Many people just can’t wait to set the record straight and make the mistake of sending retaliatory emails at the height of their emotions. Okay, go ahead; you need to vent those disappointments or rejection. However, be sure that you don’t press the send button. Save that email or any written communications as a draft and then read it over and over again the next day and see how you can soften the blow and chose words that show that you’re a straight shooter. Remember that you should always keep your communications on a friendly basis because you never know when you’ll need to reconnect with someone at the office or on a personal level.
SAYING GOODBYE LIKE A PRINCE OR PRINCESS Even if you think that you have been wronged, hold your head up high and sail forth on a sea of positive outlooks. Remember, maybe getting fired was the best thing that happened to you, because it forced you to press onto a better situation. If you must communicate then sit yourself down and write an email to your colleagues and tell them what an honor it was to have worked with them, but don’t point anyone specifically out for commendation, just be magnanimous about how much you learned at that great company. On a personal level, think how lucky you are that it is over. Try to remember the good times and don’t have regrets. The flame of love may have died but you still don’t want to burn the bridges of friendship or possible reconciliation.
Last word to the wise. In all situations keep your emotions in check, think before you speak, before you email or write and most of all keep yourself dignified and confidant.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Do you want to stand out in a crowd of geometric and flower prints? Well, nothing is more dramatic or eye-catching than monochromatic fashion, that all-in-one, top-to-toe neutral color scheme that evokes a highly personal style of dressing. It’s fashion’s newest message but it is one that often the average fashionista has discovered to be difficult to pull off with confidence. It takes courage to go the monochromatic route, but it has its unfussy appeal. Monotone beige, washed out pinks, water aqua, pale grey, simple beige and warm champagne are the latest crop of neutrals. Pure white is yet another story. It is challenging to take the leap into top-to-toe white, but it’s dramatic and makes a ‘WOW’ entrance.
DRESSING EFFORTLESSLY The monochromatic look is simple, sharp and totally individualistic. It’s an effortless answer to color-coordinating garment pieces with a singular message that spells chic, rich and iconoclastic. It could also be less expensive on the fashion budget. For the timid, the simple beige would be a good starting off point. Brazil-born designer Francisco Costa’s spring collection for Calvin Klein evoked the clear neutrality of Lalique vases. Diana Vreeland, the famous fashion icon, wore head-to-toe red and adorned her apartment in the same color. A fashion designer I totally admired stood out from the fashion crowd because she always wore simple beige from her beret right down to her matching shoes.
SHOPPING MONOCHROMATIC Shoppers need only keep focused on one color scheme. Nothing looks more modern or chic than a matching trench coat tossed over a matching jacket and pants. It looks couture, it looks like you can afford the dry cleaning bill. Color-coded accessories also figure into the mono look and complete the total image. Just think about it, with such neutrality there are no distractions. People will focus on You, not your clothing. Take White, for example, it is the personification of purity and honesty. These are messages you would want to convey in business. It says you’re a high-minded person with scruples and integrity.
COLOR INTERPRETATION Blue has always been a perennial favorite and even the palest blue monotone evokes a sense of honesty within the core of its coloration. It lifts one’s spirit and says that you are a steadfast and reliable person. Pale pink may be too girly for career women, but its inner strength is red mixed with huge dollops of white. It is warm and inviting and sends out messages of nurturing and love. As for pale grey, it has the foundation of black creamed over with a lot of white and it is a no nonsense color that works well in the office. It evokes neutrality, a peaceful player in corporate hi-jinks. Not every monotone works on every woman. It depends upon your complexion and hair color. Before plunging into a specific monotone evaluate the effect on your total image.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Pantsuits spring into action as a fashionista's stylish expression of freedom and panache. There will be more busy print pantsuits and busy pants mixed in with solid coordinates at retail to let you walk on the wild side of fashion. Geometric, faux snakeskin, aquatic swirls, jacquards, pop-art and abstracts hit the runways at Prada, Peter Dom, Louis Viutton and Jean Paul Gaultier heading the pack. The pantsuit couldn't be more modern, than it is today, coming full circle with a coordinating coat or jacket to set a woman free and to complement a woman's demanding lifestyle:

THE FASHION TREND If you are timid about prints, the key to wearing this print trend is ‘do not tread into uncharted territory,’ stick to traditional solids and throw in a jazzy new jacket to update the look. If you can go full throttle and carry off wearing a matching jacket-and-pantsuit style, in one of those audacious prints, be careful what kind of print you choose to go head-to-toe. You could be perceived as very daring, a ‘take notice of me,’ type of gal and that might work in social occasions, but the office critics might put thumbs down on the look.
FASHION HISTORIAN The pantsuit was introduced in the 1920s, when a small number of women adopted a masculine style, the ‘garcon,” boy look, including pantsuits, hats and even canes and monocles. Seems to me that with such a shortage of men, who were sacrificed in WWI, women just needed to have some semblance of a man around. When WWII came about and Rosie the Riveter and her friends worked in factories it seemed a practical solution to climb aboard in ammunition and airplane building work wearing pants for modest distraction. Fashion designer, Andre Courreges introduced trousers for women as a fashion item for women in the late 1960’s.
YSL’S PANTSUITS In 1966, designer Yves Saint-Laurent introduced his Le Smoking, evening pantsuit for women that mimicked a man’s tuxedo. In 1968, the designer’s line of “Safari” suits, transformed the functional hunting outfit into town wear for women, and by 1970, with the acceptance of trouser suits, the Western woman’s silhouette was assured for career wear. By the way there was a time when restaurants would not seat a woman wearing a pantsuit or trouser. Such an event happened to me at one of those tony French restaurants.I had to run over to one of the department stores to buy a skirt. Nothing like that happens today; because ‘boy’ would they lose business. So uptight was the reaction to pantsuits that until the 1990s, women were not permitted to wear pantsuits in the United States Senate.
A LOOK AT THE PAST Trouser, harem pants, pajama style has been acceptable as an element of Orientalizing ensembles, for sport, as lounge wear and beachwear. Trousers were popularized as an expression of iconoclasm by celebrities like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn. Today, fashionable women opt for the lady pantsuit in bold and adventurous prints with accessories to coordinate. Miuccia Prada, for one, included patterned shoes and purses to match some of her pantsuits in Milan. Such bold and pop-art prints that are offered today are not meant for the faint-at-heart fashionista, but the choice of an individual who can carry off such bravado. Aside from being fashionably correct one great advantage of the pantsuit is that you cannot be a victim of upskirt photography or accidentally expose yourself by leaning over or sitting awkwardly in a short skirt at a television interview or board meeting.

For what it is worth, remember that it was Amelia Jenks Bloomer, who created the first feminine garment approximating pants called ‘bloomers.” The outfit liberated women from skirts, whalebone corsets, petticoats, bustles, and created an unprecedented freedom. Bloomers did a lot to influence the popular feminine bicycling costume of the 1880s and from then on women sprang forward mobilized into the future.

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Polly Guerin