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Summer Office Dressing 101: The Dos and Don’ts of Appropriate Work Looks

By Jane Keltner de Valle, Glamour

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(Photo: James Ryang)

Lifeguards have it easy, but what should the rest of us wear to work all summer long? Glamour’s Jane Keltner de Valle lays down the new rules.

Fact: Dressing for the office in my hometown of New York City in the height of summer is an Olympian fashion feat. There’s the 100-degree communal steam bath that is the subway platform, the high-humidity concrete jungle, and the punishing arctic blast that greets you as you come through the revolving doors of an office skyscraper. Like everyone else, I struggle to dress appropriately under such bipolar conditions, but I have learned a few tricks over my decade-plus career in fashion — and can always call on the best-dressed women in the world in the name of research. So with a season of escalating temps on the horizon, I rang up a few of the chicest career girls I know. Consider the following your cheat sheet:

If you’d wear it to the beach, file it under ‘no.’
When I was an editor at Teen Vogue, an assistant once arrived wearing a strapless cocktail dress to a midsummer meeting with our editor-in-chief. Which brings us to lesson one: Resist the temptation to go too bare. “Summer is like a disaster zone,” real estate scion and lifestyle entrepreneur Ivanka Trump told me over breakfast recently. “Hemlines go up, and there are so many minefields for women! Men can wear khakis and a polo shirt on casual Fridays. If I ever walked into the office wearing that?” (One shudders to think what The Donald might say.) Her advice: “Look at the environment you’re working in, and stay within the boundaries of that.” For Trump that means polished dresses, or a blazer and silk tank paired with relaxed pants (she’s loving this season’s culottes and wide-leg styles).

Kate Davidson Hudson, the cofounder of the accessory site Editorialist, adheres to another wise dictate: “I heard this rule once that you’re not going to wear a pantsuit and heels to the beach, so don’t wear something you’d wear to the beach to the office.” She recalls a young colleague at a former job who “wore cut-off booty shorts with pink flip-flops. We had to take her aside and explain what proper work attire entails. You have to be conscious of not letting your professionalism be undermined by your clothes.” Unless your job is lifeguard or swimsuit model (in which case, party on!), rule out cutoffs, flip-flops, sports bras, and anything you’d wear to a pool or a gym.

Find a uniform and go from there.
Last May, when I joined Glamour, I was immediately struck by fashion director Jillian Davison’s unerring ability to be both work- and weather-appropriate. Full disclosure: She is Australian, so she’s been dressing for the heat from birth. But still! Day after day Davison breezed into the office wearing a crisp men’s oxford, sleeves artfully rolled up; a pencil skirt or loose pants; and a flash of gold jewelry. Chic, polished, comfortable. What’s her secret? “A level of tailoring is always going to look professional,” she says. “That’s why I’m a fan of the button-down shirt. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen breathe, and looser fits that sit away from the body feel less restrictive.” (In other words, store your leathers, suedes, and clingy knits until fall; ventilation is key in hot weather.)

Davidson Hudson has a summer uniform too: “I love a suit with a sleeveless jacket or tailored, long city shorts,” she says. Yes, shorts can be appropriate; just keep the fabric structured and the length modest.

My personal go-to is the one-and-done dress (I just ordered a crisp Rosie Assoulin version). Ivanka Trump agrees: “In the summer you can wear a simple sheath, and in the fall you put a blazer on top.”

Know how short is too short.
As temperatures rise, so too do hemlines. So what’s acceptable in terms of length? The general consensus is no more than a couple of inches above the knee; short shorts, miniskirts, and clingy fabrics aren’t appropriate. For her part, Davidson Hudson advocates a “sit test” in front of a mirror before leaving the house. “If the skin of your legs is hitting the chair,” she says, “that’s too short.” Thankfully, fashion designers seem to have gotten the memo; the season’s of-the-moment silhouette is the midi skirt, which hits midcalf.

Embrace the light.
If New Yorkers (myself included) are guilty of one thing, it’s wearing too much black. Not a problem in the winter, but come summer, light colors look and feel cooler. Davison advises replacing your blacks with whites during the warmer months. “White near your face is very flattering,” she says. “It’s a great canvas to add color to.” Pair with navy and gold for a nautical-inspired look, or channel the spring runways and go all white. “I love mixing whites with beiges and blushes for summer,” says Davidson Hudson. Khaki safari-inspired looks are another perennial favorite; I count a sleeveless trench dress as one of my summer mainstays. It reminds me of Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic safari dress. Going strong since 1968…and all the rage right now!

And don’t forget these Dos & Don’ts.

Do layer. I know going from an overheated street to an over-air-conditioned office may be a true #firstworldproblem, but it is tricky. The solution? I keep a cardigan or a blazer permanently draped over my office chair.

Don’t do too-bare shoes. Flats are fantastic, and this season offers a plethora of chic choices, from the gladiator to the mule. But when doing an open toe, consider coverage: “I’m going to sound really finicky,” says Davison, “but looking at the whole foot can be not that attractive. I opt for clever styles, like a d’Orsay, where your foot isn’t entirely exposed.”

Do groom. With bare shoes, consider these three C’s: clean, clipped, and chip-free. My personal go-to pedicure shade is a nude (the Essie classic Ballet Slippers); it’s pretty without being distracting and has the added benefit of being leg-lengthening. Not to mention the fact that nude goes with everything–who has time to change polish every time you change outfits? You might think twice about getting a pedicure during working hours, though. “I see people coming back from the spa during their lunch break with the toe separators still on,” says Trump, tsk-tsk-ing. On that same note, she advises against leaving the house with wet hair. “Tempting,” she acknowledges, but just not professional. Bottom line? Even in summer, “dress for the role you want to assume in your life,” Trump suggests. “It sends a message to people: You care about taking care of yourself. It’s important to feel like you have executive presence.”

More from Glamour:
10 Things He’s Thinking When You’re Naked
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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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The Dos And Don’ts Of Writing An Online Dating Profile

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There is such a lot of conflicting advice out there on how to write your online dating profile. And let’s be honest, it is important to get it right. I’ve found it helpful to think about your profile rather like a cross between a CV and a great piece of PR. Does that sound tough? Well, if you want to stand out from everyone else online then it’s well worth spending some time thinking about what you want to say and how you want to come across to potential dates. It’s not about making things up but it is about thinking creatively. It’s about showing rather than telling. Nobody wants to read yet another profile about loving country walks, watching films curled up on the sofa, having a good sense of humor …. yawn!

With a good few years dating experience behind me and now with the wonderful job of helping people create an Irresistible Dating Profile these are the dos and don’ts of profile writing that I’ve learned.

The Dos

  • Facts not fiction — if you are a couch potato don’t talk about your fitness schedule … unless you’re looking for someone to help you off the couch.
  • Do be happy to stand out — celebrate your unique qualities.
  • Be interesting — what’s the most interesting thing about you?
  • Be succinct — not quite Twitter-like but make your profile snappy.
  • Be specific — instead of saying ‘enjoy Friday nights out in the bar’ say ‘Friday evenings I can be found enjoying Cabernet Sauvignon with my oldest friends, catching up on each other’s latest adventures.’
  • Paint a picture of your life — fitness might be important to you (and 2 million others) so say more — you get your annual skiing fix in Boulder Colorado, you’re working towards the next Ironman.
  • Be different — share your unique hobbies or leisure activities. Stand out. Free diving, growing bonsai trees or burlesque dancing … share it!
  • Be playful with your username and headline — create a hook. You want possible matches curious to know more.
  • Do share some of your values — talk about those things that are important to you in life, you’re more likely to attract those who are compatible.
  • Make sure you’re in a great frame of mind before you write your profile — play your happy music and wear your lucky t-shirt.
  • Give details — If you say you love music, say which band and when you last saw them. If you love cooking say why and who inspires you. If you love gardening say how it makes you feel … You get the picture?

The Don’ts

  • Don’t be shy and uncertain about yourself. Go easy on the self deprecation.
  • Don’t tell lies, however minor because you will be found out! And a relationship that begins with a lie will not recover. If you’re 43 don’t say you’re 38. Just don’t.
  • Don’t make demands on the type of person you’re looking for … this is not a shopping list. Don’t start a sentence with, “you must be…” or, “I’ll only date someone who is…” Get over yourself!
  • Don’t be a victim. Don’t badmouth your ex and don’t talk about dating disasters. It’s not nice.
  • Don’t TELL what a cool person you are. Instead SHOW by sharing some great stories of adventures or a snapshot of your life.
  • Don’t start each sentence with “I” … that’s boring. Mix it up a little. Instead of “I love cycling and went to Paris to watch the final stage of the Tour de France. It was brilliant” How about, “Standing on the Champs Elysée for the final stage of the Tour de France was a dream come true for the avid cyclist I am. Being surrounded by so many likeminded people was inspiring.”
  • Don’t go on about things you dislike. It’s not attractive
  • Don’t go overboard on exclamation marks, emoticons. You’re not a teenager.
  • Don’t be afraid to say what you want. Looking for a life partner? Say it.
  • Don’t be lame — ‘my friends made me sign up’, ‘I don’t know what to write’, ‘my character? Don’t know really but my friends say I’m fun to be around’ … pleease…just don’t do it!

If you use these as pointers when you’re writing your profile you will stand out … that’s a promise! I love that I now get time with amazing people guiding them to creating a stand out dating profile. If you’d like some one-to-one support take a look and see how I could help you.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Do’s and Don’ts

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10 Big Wedding Toast Don’ts

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Photo: Ned Jackson

By Jamie Miles for TheKnot.com

The perfect wedding toast is a work of oratory art. It can’t be too short (cheers!) and it can’t drone on and on. It has to be funny but it also has to be sentimental. So if you’ve been tasked with toasting the newlyweds, prepare to prep — and whatever you do, avoid these toasting faux pas!

Don’t be afraid to roast the bride or groom but know when enough is enough.
There’s a fine line between poking fun and being vulgar. So don’t talk about how drunk they got at college and what trouble they used to get into. For starters it’s unoriginal, but mainly because grandma and the in-laws are in the audience too.

Don’t tell private jokes.
It doesn’t matter how funny you and five other of your friends think something is, if half the audience doesn’t know it, you’re excluding them and they’ll stop listening.

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Don’t dwell on touchy subjects.
Avoid talking about differences in religion, race and especially exes. These topics are totally irrelevant and it will make everyone feel super uncomfortable.

Don’t tell us how your friend is like your sister (Maids of Honor, this one’s for you).
We know you adore each other, that’s why she gave you the job. Tell us why you love her, why she’s so amazing and why she makes you laugh.

Don’t just use adjectives to describe the person you are talking about.
You need to backup your descriptions with stories. The more specific you are, the better the speech. Don’t be overly sentimental.

Try for at least 70% humor and storytelling.
When was the last time you left a wedding talking about an amazing speech that was all tears and ‘I love yous’? If you think back over all the time you’ve spent together you’ll find the juicy details about your friend and the humor.

Don’t speak for longer than five minutes.
It’s always better to leave the guests panting for more than wishing you’d stop.

More from The Knot: 10 biggest wedding blunders

Don’t get hammered at the open bar.
If a glass of wine or a shot of tequila gives you a bit of confidence then go for it. But no more than one until you’re done!

Don’t talk about yourself.
Yes you’ve shared hundreds of adventures with your best friend or sibling, but you are best man or maid because all those stories make you an expert on them. Look through your speech and count the ‘I’s.

Don’t let nerves get the better of you!
You’re about to deliver the best gift to your friend you’ve ever given them – it’s exciting and you should be looking forward to it. If you spend the whole speech freaking out, you’ll regret it afterwards and you only get one chance so enjoy every moment of it.

Special thanks to Victoria Wellman, co-founder of The Oratory Laboratory.

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Wendell James’ Fashion Do’s and Don’ts

Wendell James from OWN’s “Raising Whitley” is the show’s style icon. Watch his favorite fashion do’s… and his biggest don’t.

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