5 Mistakes Made in the Name of “Professional Attire”

5 Mistakes Made in the Name of

“Professional Attire”

Lately I’ve seen a lot of stuff being passed off as professional attire.  I don’t know what else to call it ( hot mess, maybe?) but it’s not good.  There’s this morphing taking place in the professional world which is blurring the line between professional, casual & club attire.  What do I mean?  Well, let’s look at 10 things that are going to decrease some of the office stress.

1.  Just because it’s down to the knee doesn’t mean it’s professional.

mega splitAs you can see, this lady has on a very nice basic business suit in a dark tone with hose & modest heels.  The problem?  The color?  No, black, navy & charcoal are great for a professional, especially corporate, workplace.  The cut?  No, it’s the proper fit.  She’s not being pinched or cut by the garment or spilling out anywhere.  Then what’s the issue?  The thigh high split in the skirt.  If you wear a split, be sure that your mid thigh or higher is not visible when sitting, standing or bending.  If it is, you’re not professionally dressed!

 

 

 

 

2.  Skintight is NOT alright!

 

sausage casing legs Wearing slacks or jeans to the office?  Be sure you are wearing your correct size.  This lady has on pants that are too tight.  How can you tell?  The “sausage casing” around her thighs.  That tell-tale puckering is a surefire indicator that she needs to go up a size or more.  Another way to tell if your dress slacks are too tight is by looking at your pockets, button and/or waistband.  If your pockets stick out like your hands are in them (but they’re not), your pants are too small.  Finally, if your waistband rolls down, your button leaves an indention in your belly or if you have to jump, yank, shove, stuff or manipulate your body in any way to get into your pants, they’re too tight.  P.S.  This message is not just for ladies.  Skinny jeans and skinny slacks, no matter how fashionable, are not professional if they’re displaying your assets.

skin tightNo matter how cute it looks in the club, the workplace is not the place for skintight attire.  If you can see your panty seams (where the crotch is sewn together) your pants are way too tight.  If your blouse is so tight that your bra seams, design or bow on the front are visible, your blouse is too tight (or too thin).  Don’t go to work “high beaming” people & then get offended because someone makes a snide remark or corrects you.  The workplace is for work, not flashing people.  I’ve had to jump in for too many men who wanted to tell a coworker or employee to correct their blouse because they were exposed.  They don’t want to appear to be a pervert, they just don’t want women to embarrass themselves!  Ask yourself, if a guy said something about you fixing your clothing, would you think he was trying to help you?  Ogle you?  Ask you out?  Employers are tired of having this awkward discussion & are concerned about lawsuits for sexual harassment and/or hostile work environment.  So ladies, make it easier on everyone & cover up anything that that’s between your collarbone & kneecaps.  Don’t forget to leave enough room to breathe! 😉

3.Dress down day isn’t code for pajama day

pj'sIt’s never appropriate to wear sleepwear to work.  Well, if you work in a professional environment (or if your office does theme days for some reason).  Even if your workplace says it’s ok, you may want to reconsider where you work.  No one takes a person seriously if they’re in their jammies & footies walking around at work.  First, you don’t look clean, no matter how clean your jammies look!  Most people wonder if you showered before you came to work.  Here’s a word for the wise:  if people are posting pics of people in Wal-Mart with pajamas on in public & dogging them out, what do you think that same public is saying and/or thinking about you?  Take your workplace seriously.  Students, that goes for you, too.  Your teachers & professors observe your behavior & take mental notes.  When you approach them for recommendation letters, applications or referrals for jobs, your cupcake, superhero or kitty cat pj’s probably spring to mind.  Think of it this way, work clothes are for work & sleep attire is for sleep.

4. Underwear should be under your clothes-ALWAYS

When I was a kid, underwear was called “underclothes”.  Now I see why.  The word underwear is gethong gone wrongtting misunderstood!  Your bra straps, panties, thong straps, boxers (yeah guys, I’m not leaving you out either!), etc. should not be visible at any time.

5.  Make sure “the girls” are covered & in the right place

When wearing a blouse, it shouldn’t come down further than the top of your cleavage (the line where your breasts separate from your ribcage).  Even if your blouse is in good taste, be aware that you may be revealing too much if you bend over or if someone taller stands beside, over or in front of you.  Wear a necklace that has multiple strands to cover up the area.  Many women think wearing a simple pendant is enough, but pendants attract more attention to the area that they’re trying to divert attention from.

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Try strap tamers, bra clips, safety pins & double sided tape to keep your blouse in place over your visible-bra-strapsstraps.  Another thing to look out for?  The jiggle.  Be sure your bra is the proper size.  Go get fitted by a few different stores and a few different people.  It may take five fittings at 4 different places to get the right fitting.  Keep in mind that different styles of bras fit very, very differently!  So your size may work for a lace bra, but cut into you with a padded bra.  Don’t think if you’re not bountiful up top that it doesn’t matter.  For one, YES, YOU HAVE TO WEAR A BRA TO WORK!  Second, your body will not look proportional if you’re not wearing the right bra.  You don’t want to look like the examples on the left of each photo:

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r6GGERGAE

One thing to notice about each of these pics:  see how much flatter their tummies appear?  See how much curvier they look overall?  Bonus for a proper fitting bra!!!  When your bra fits properly, it allows your clothing to hang on your form the way the designer intended.  Try shopping after you’ve found your correct size & be pleasantly surprised!

Here are a few more visual aids that’ll help you keep it classy at work.

too much cleavage

  Size doesn’t matter-keep ’em covered!

top_sheer_wht_blousevs-sheer-top

Sheer clothing isn’t appropriate for the workplace

too tight

If your top is puckering between the buttons, your top is too small, so go up a size or more.

 

The Best Decision I Ever Made

I have people in my peripheral who are constantly pulling on me.  Pushing me.  Swearing they have my best interest at heart.  Some do.  Some think they do.  Most are just attempting to shove me in a box whether they know it or not.  I love them all the same, but I know by now who’s really in my corner & who’s not.  In business, I have learned that people are interested in what you can do for them more than the reverse.  I don’t mind.  As long as you’re real about what you want.  You’d do better to come out & tell me what you want & not waste each others time.  I’ll either say yes, or direct you to someone who can help you.  It’s a win-win!

However, there are those who insist on trying to put up a false front.  You know the ones.  The oh-too-chummy people in your life that are just there to collect headlines to display behind your back.  They don’t even care if they’re true!  I have a mischievous streak.  I’ve been known to tell a lie about myself just to see how quickly it gets back. Or the ones who are in their words, “trying to groom you” to do better, shine brighter, make more money, polish you.  All the time, they’re sharpening their talons.  Pray for them.

I digress.  The point of this post is to encourage you, no matter what your station in life or your perspective on it, to be yourself & value those in your life who allow you to do so.  I decided a long time ago not to try to replicate anyone.  It’s pointless.  It’s a waste.  It’s TIRING!  I used to want to sing just like Tamela Mann.  I can, but I realized that I just loved to hear HER sing the way SHE was designed to.  It made me wonder what was in me.  I finally stood still long enough to hear the Father say, Don’t you want to know what I put in you?  Don’t you want to hear the song I put in you?  Don’t you want to see what I’ve expressed through your creation?  Take time to release that sound, that song, that praise.  So I did.  Now I do.

Don’t get me wrong.  People think I “waste” my voice by not singing like others.  They feel that “I could do so much better if I sang this way”.  But what a dishonor to the Father if I never gave voice to the sound He placed in me!

So no matter what it is, decide take time to find you, be you & do you!!  It’ll be a tribute to the YOU He created.

 

God bless,

Tonya

 

Abba, My Father

Have you ever been excited for no “tangible” reason?  I am having a great day.  I really hope you did, too!  Please share about yours below!  It started with new experiences, meeting new people & doing new things by making new efforts.  I decided to take my two youngest to VBS.  No big deal, right?  Well, it was to a church I’d never seen, heard of or experienced.  I decided to trust.  There were several reasons that were pushing me to do this.  The Father keeps showing me that the more I trust Him & step out, the more I’ll get out of life.  The more I stay in my bubble & pout about what I haven’t accomplished, the more I won’t accomplish!  So how do you experience life?  GET OUT & EXPERIENCE IT!

Anyway, back to the story.  So I take the kids, sign them in & say a prayer & leave.  I come back, write a ton, chill out & spend time with my oldest.  Go back to get them & they’ve had a good time, learned about Japan (they sure won’t gonna learn about Japan from me that day!), made new friends & reconnected with old ones.

The big deal?  This is the hundredth time this month He’s shown me to get a grip & let go!  I did my first book readings last week because I decided to go to a different library & also into the library for once.  The funny thing is, as a young adult, I was pretty adventurous.  Not afraid of much of anything.  Somewhere along the way I became unnecessarily paranoid.  I think it was when we had the kids, but they are not to blame.  I thought about when I finally get to meet the Lord.  What would He think about how I spent my life that He had his Son die for?  Had I treated it like a credit card & maxed it out, or like a miser & hoarded it in some vain effort to preserve it?  The answer was obvious & grim.  I don’t want my life to be a slap in the face, wasted because I was afraid.  It actually went deeper.  I didn’t trust Him to be true to the promises in the Word.  He has a spotless track record.  Never left me, forsook me, left me hanging, told my business, abandoned me while I cried, left me hungry, naked or alone.  None of that.  What else did He have to prove?

Nothing.

So, I choose not to treat Him like a myth.  He’s here.  He loves me.  He protects me, leads me, guides me & best of all, knows all about me & CHOOSES TO CONTINUALLY LOVE ME!

I love my Daddy.  My Abba is awesome.  I will honor Him with my life…

by living it.

 

How to Steal Time to Write (and an update on my new book)

Just an update:  I’ve been working on this book (Are We There Yet?  How NOT to Kill Your Kids Before They Turn 18) for about a month & I’ve come across some really interesting requests!  I’ve met moms of boys who want odor removing advice, moms with eye-rolling kids who want advice & parents who just want me to hurry up & get this book out!

One of the questions I get the most is when do I have time to write?  Well, it’s not always a constant thing.  It can be 10 minutes here, 30 minutes there & sometimes one or two hours.  The biggest thing I’ve discovered is how to snatch time.  It may mean dictating to my cell phone (I use an app called ColorNote to take down & email material for the book) as I’m waiting between appointments, putting a few paragraphs down while the kids are napping or between household chores.  It can be challenging sometimes, but it’s more than worth it.

If you’d like to get my first book, you can find it here as well as on amazon.com and on Kindle.UntitledSo what are your questions about how to find times to write as a mom?  Do you have any tips you’d like to shout from the rooftops?

Writers: Neck Sore? Try These Methods of “Writing”

The keyboard can be killer!  Even though I can type really, really fast (I used to key mail for USPS-need I say more?), sometimes my neck just screams at me to take a break.  The problem?  The words are still coming & I need to get them down!  My solution?  Whip out my handy dandy cell phone!  I have an app named ColorNote which I use for a ton of things (grocery lists, reminders, random thoughts) but most importantly, writing books.  ColorNote allows me to use my speakerphone to compose a note to myself & I can email it, save it, put a timed alarm on it, etc.  You can even color code them (green for groceries, red for writing, blue for blogs) to keep it all organized.  Now, I could also use the speakerphone to compose an email & send it to myself, but my phone takes many more button pushes to write an email than the 3 taps required to start a new note.  ColorNote also auto-saves so if you back out accidentally, it’ll be there when you go back!  This app has been a life saver & a neck saver!  It is on the android system & I’m sure they have something comparable for the iphone, ipad, etc.  Now if you already knew this, don’t dog me out.  Just give me a pat on the back for catching up to the rest of the technologically savvy world!!  What cool app or other item have you discovered that really makes your life easier?

Thanks for listening & happy writing!

Tonya

 

Does Your Business Need a Bad Guy?

I’m Not Afraid to Be “The Bad Guy”

I help business owners clearly define & express their company’s culture to new & existing employees so that apparel is no longer an issue in the workplace. Consider me your HR liaison.  Let me be “the bad guy” & while you reap all the rewards of having a professional looking staff that’s a true reflection of your company’s ideals.

Workshop & seminar topics:

Dressing for Success
Fashion That Should NEVER Happen
Untold Secrets of Interviewing

Audiences:
Corporations, colleges & universities, small businesses, women’s organizations

I work with corporations who need their current employees dial their professional dress up a notch, with campus career services to help students with interviewing & apparel & at women’s organizations to help women re-entering the workforce. With years of hiring, educating, training, recruiting & people management under my belt, I’m not afraid to be the “bad guy” when it comes to having those hard conversations about workplace attire.  So if you need a bad guy, contact me.  I’m the nicest & most effective “bad guy” you’ll ever meet!

I’m working on book #2!

I’m very excited that I’ve published my first book, Mostly Sunny…With a Chance of Clouds & Rain, and now I’m off & running writing book #2.  My first series is:  Are We There Yet?  How NOT to Kill Your Kid Before They Turn 18.  I decided to write a series on parenting (& how to successfully live through it) & now that I’ve started, I can’t seem to stop!  I thought the series would only have 4 books, but now I have so many ideas that I’m finding the need to consider another series after I finish the first!  So I guess a spoiler at this point isn’t a bad thing.  The next series I’m considering will be for professional (corporate, work at home & entrepreneurial moms).

I found that as a mom of 3, there are some hurdles that can be daunting, if not crippling!  Lack of nap time was a major one when my kids were younger.  Now that they’re a little older, I’m finding that it hasn’t changed!  I actually had a sit down discussion with them about how they behave when they don’t get a nap.  As much as I wanted to tell them they acted like some real jerks, I thought better of it & decided to use a nicer approach.  Anyway, I got the point across, but I realized I wasn’t always doing my part.  Was I taking the proper steps to be sure they were even prepped for a nap?

Now, by this point in your reading, you may be wondering, where is she going with this?  Or, is she seriously blogging about naps?  Before you make a snap judgement, hang in there with me for a sec and keep reading.

After giving this topic some thought, I realized that I was just as much at fault as they were.  I wasn’t doing what was necessary to make sure all of us got some down time.  Whether my goal was to write, sit & listen to the rain or catch a snooze myself, the foundation hadn’t been laid for them.

As an adult, why do you get tired?  Usually it’s physical, mental or emotional exertion.  Let’s stay away from the last one because we’re not trying to rack up any therapy bills.  The first two however, are prominent in our society.  You work & you get tired (whether moving boxes or reading reports).  It takes its toll & you need a refresher.  As adults, our bosses deem nap requests a bit unwelcome (& means for termination-you must be nuts to ask for one, right?).  But we all know that if we could get a good hour or two to wind down, we could just about put in another full day’s work.  And be chipper about it!

Unfortunately, our nap ship has sailed (if you work with that kind of boss).  But our kids, well they can (& are in some cases expected to) shut down so those little bodies and minds can defrag and get up feeling (and behaving) all the better!  I remember someone’s mom saying that they all needed to take a nap so no one would get hurt.  That statement is so true!  How many accidents are caused by lack of good sleep?  But I’m sure that’s not what she meant.

Ok, so anyway, I feel I’m digressing and that you’ve most likely arrived at my point.  Also, one of my kids just woke up.  My point is, in this next book, I’ll address some of those things that we wish we could just figure out about parenting.  And I get the info from the pros.  Those parents whose kids have gone on & been successful & without their parents getting a rap sheet (an officially documented one, anyway)!  I also get a few who have experience with REAL LIVE KIDS!

In case you’re still not interested, I’ll let you in on some of the topics that’ll be demystified:

  • Tips for getting chores done, ways to get your child to see the bigger picture, getting your child to take naps, how to keep your kids motivated without being agitated, etc.
  • Ways to eliminate whining, fits/temper tantrums, slamming doors, breaking house rules, etc.
  • How to Instill Self-Control, good character, responsibility, honesty & more…

All of this is presented in simple, non-technical language that’s not only practical, but easy to use!  This second part of the series will be in print & available as an e-book by September 1st.  So, if you’d like to order your copy of, Are We There Yet? How NOT to Kill Your Kid Before They Turn 18, just shoot me a message below or use the contact me page.  They are intro priced at $14.99 (reg. $19.99) for paperback & $7.49 (reg. 9.99) for the e-book.  Shipping is only $1 for paperback.

Thanks for “hearing me”!

Tonya