What to wear to a colleague’s big event

I’ve had a good friend in Fren ever since my first day on the job almost two years ago in July 2010. Since then, I’ve left my first job, but the relationships with old friends from work hold strong. I do think that some of the great friends to be made are colleagues; there’s just something special about the way they understand day-to-day nuances in the same line of work.

Back when Fren and I worked in opposite cubicles, I was often witness to much of the hard work and skill that went into planning this event, the launch of give-toblerone.com. Though I’m no longer her officemate, I could not miss the chance to come out and support Fren (and her brand, Toblerone) on her big night!

Fren is an assistant brand manager, so for this particular evening she had to be on her feet most of the night, checking on details, going through the program, and even working the stage. Her maroon long-sleeved shift dress with diagonal stripes was the perfect choice for a festive but firmly work-related event. The statement necklace, featuring oversized pendants with a stone pattern, really anchors the look and pops against the muted red. Nude sandals add height, not fanfare, to the overall effect.

As a spectator and guest, I opted for this fun blue dress polka-dotted dress with a sheer yoke, which is a closet staple. As this was a corporate event, I threw on my favorite white blazer, which immediately balanced the dress’ casual feel. A bright blue-and-pink bracelet and matching fuchsia heels add some much-needed color to the look, but my favorite accessory was this Imperial Stormtrooper bottle cap ring, a recent acquisition from a trip to this year’s Art in the Park.

I was especially happy to see my former bosses Andrei and Cyn at the event, which gave us some time to catch up with each other! Taking this photo took me back to some great times.

Note: Fren’s dress is actually the maroon twin of this gray dress I’ve featured before. It’s a great option for any occasion that calls for comfort  and subtlety.

Read more about different ways to wear the blue dress above right here.

Read more about some ideas on what to wear with a white blazer here.

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Big Meeting Attire

I’m always surprised by just how much better I feel when I’m wearing something that makes me feel extra sharp, like a pair of shiny new shoes or a lucky ring with a great backstory. So when I found out that I would be co-planning and attending a big meeting with some people who were flying in from abroad, I knew that I would need to wear something that would boost my confidence and make me feel like I was at my best, while still looking professional and understated.

This diagonal-striped gray dress did the trick. It’s very simple when viewed off the rack or on its hanger, but it actually has a great fitted silhouette and offers great coverage by skimming gently over most problem areas like the tummy or arms. It’s also at a great length; I come across many dresses that are often too short to wear to work.

When the dress has a great shape, I believe it needs little else to complete the look so I just added a bright aquamarine pendant to draw in the eye and finished with black strappy sandals and simple eye make-up.

I need to mention that on the day of my big meeting, I had a million things on my to-do list so I was very grateful that I didn’t have to deal with a fussy, uncomfortable outfit. On days like these I almost always settle for a no-fail dress that needs minimal accessorizing.

Holiday Business Festive: Corporate Christmas Party

I really liked my officemate Fren’s outfit to our corporate Christmas party the other day. Here she is with me and my boss, Andrei. With many superiors in attendance, it was important to look polished and festive but still professional. Fren chose this simple white dress from Tyler and dressed it up with luxe ivory accessories. The modern cut and the sheer sleeves really flatter her petite frame and provide much coverage for a work party with many superiors in attendance. A simple updo and her usual sunny smile complete the look.

As a proud outfit repeater, I’m unashamed to admit that I wore the same dress to our Marketing Department Christmas Party and last weekend’s corporate event at Trinoma mall. The teal dress’ strategic draping and modest length make it a perfect go-to outfit for business/pleasure occasions. This time, I polished the overall look with a deep berry lip and a sleek, low ponytail. As long as you won’t be seeing the exact same people, I believe it’s perfectly fine to repeat a good dress for two different occasions (or more).

Attire Required: Festive Holiday Fun, but Professional

Last weekend, I recently experienced the thrill of having a work project come to life, after being there in its infant stage. It took three months, long discussions, and an entire team of creative people to get this up and running, so we were all incredibly excited for the all-day event. While strictly a working day, the occasion still called for festive holiday attire with just a touch of glamor. In addition, it needed to stand up well next to our celebrity endorser, model Georgina Wilson. Below, I share my top tips on choosing the perfect look for a working (but festive) event:

  1. Choose both form and function. I chose this soft, stretchy dress, which allows for a lot of movement. The dress offers a lot of coverage, which is critical for a work event, while still retaining a modern silhouette. The flattering draping covers most problem areas, too.
  2. Rich colors and shiny accessories. Clothes in jewel tones are a holiday staple because they are so bright and festive, and look beautiful in photos. This teal dress is no exception. Thin gold bangles and a small necklace do a lot to lift the simple outfit.
  3. Go for heels, but cheat with wedges. These shiny sandals in a benign nude shade are my new favorite. I stayed upright in them for the whole day without breaking a sweat, too.

Me (and the dress) in action, alongside Kiten (foreground) and Georgina. Photo courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/cadburyph

I was lucky to meet Georgina Wilson at the event, who was really nice and told me that she swears by denim shorts to stay comfortable while navigating her packed schedule.

4 Different Ways to Wear Your White V-neck

The single most worn item in my closet is my white v-neck t-shirt from Giordano. Work, casual Friday, weekend, and vacation looks are all achievable with a plain white tee. The trick is to use the appropriate accessories to dress it up or down as needed: Keep Reading

Two Looks, One Outfit: Blazer of Glory

Today I specifically needed an outfit that would look polished at the office, and relaxed enough for dinner with a friend. For situations like these, I like to build the entire outfit around a single office-worthy garment that can be removed after work to blend in with a more casual environment. In this case, this no-nonsense navy jacket with a fitted, tailored silhouette and sleek lapels anchors an otherwise casual ensemble for a solid day at the office. After work, I simply took off the blazer and showed off a more grown-up take on a jeans-and-t-shirt combination; as is usually the case, accessories, hair and make-up are key. Because the blazer serves as a structured anchor to the overall look, it’s possible to have fun with the rest of the pieces, like this old white v-neck and soft, stretchy gray pants. Keep Reading

Wear Different Ways: Skirt-ing the issue

At the time of its last sighting on this blog, this skirt had just been reborn from its previous identity of a dress that had seen better days. In its renaissance period, the skirt is now one of those rare versatile pieces that can take you from weekday to weekend. Below are my ideas on wearing the same skirt 9 different ways for 3 different occasions.  Keep Reading