Wow! I can’t believe we’re full-on into the Holiday Season already. Time is flying and we are all moving fast. I’ve been telling friends that my errand running has turned up some wonderful opportunities through what I call accidental networking — you know, when you’re on line at a check-out somewhere and you strike up a conversation with someone, etc. I’ve been running into all kinds of friends and former colleagues, and meeting some fascinating new people as well. My mother was right when she told me “you never know who you may meet.”
With that in mind… “tis the season,” everyone is out and about – and – we should all be taking a quick once-over in the mirror before leaving the house, no matter how small the errand or how busy we are. I’m not saying we have to dress to the nines every time we step out the door, but think “upscale casual” when you’re putting yourself together. This way if you meet your client, your boss, or a potential new business contact, you’ll be comfortable and confident.
For men, this means a shirt of sweater that fits – no XXL football jerseys, track suit pants, or ratty sneakers. If you need comfortable shoes, Cole Haan has Nike Air footbeds, Puma and other manufacturers are doing great European-inspired athletic street shoes and driving mocs, and for that blast from the past, Clarks relaunched the ultra-comfortable desert boot. As far as pants, you can be comfortable and still look and feel great. If you prefer denim on weekends, as I do, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the way Levis 514 low-rise slim jeans fit men of many different builds. They are flattering, reasonably priced, and come in a dark wash and black wash that can even work for casual Fridays with a sportcoat over a crisp shirt or cashmere sweater.
For women – follow the same mantra – be comfortable, look and feel great. Are you ready to see that friend from eight years ago and feel good about it? Believe me, it is just as easy to pull on a cute top and jacket with casual pants, nice jeans, or a cute skirt, as it is to look like you’ve been out gardening. A quick swipe of lipstick, a couple strokes of mascara, and a brush or two of blush brighten your entire face. If you’re not a lipstick girl, try Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer – it is great for your lips and comes in soft shades that give you just enough color to know you have something on. I also find a spritz of my favorite seasonal fragrance puts a bounce in my step and I’m out the door feeling energized.
Although it takes is a little planning, if I can do it, so can you. Here is your Accidental Networking assignment: go into your closet and put together at least two or three upscale casual ensembles that make you feel great. Once you have these go-to outfits in your arsenal, weekend dressing dilemmas will be a thing of the past, and you’ll be able to get out the door, ready for anything and anyone, in no time at all!