Creating The Right Corporate Casual Wardrobe Look To An Online Children S Clothing Boutique For Fun Classics How To Care For Lingerie The Rise Of Social Conscience In Art Inspired Fashion

What is Not Corporate Casual?

There are casual clothes and there are corporate casual garments. Not all casual clothes can be worn to the office as part of a corporate casual dress code, even on casual Fridays. What anyone should remember when dressing for the office is that even on casual Fridays, one should look like a professional, a person with authority and a person who can be trusted to do the job well.

What does not count as corporate casual? Sneakers and sweatpants have no place in a corporate casual wardrobe. They are casual and very comfortable to wear, indeed, but they are too laidback to be worn to the office.

Counting jeans as a corporate casual garment depends on the dress code of the particular office. Some offices allow their employees to wear jeans while some do not. Some, however, do let their people wear them on casual Fridays.

Garments that are too tight, too short and too revealing should not be worn to the office either. So, very short mini-dresses, very short miniskirts and short pants cannot be counted as corporate casual garments. Tube tops, halter tops, spaghetti-strapped blouses and any top made out of sheer, see-through fabric cannot be worn to the office either, unless one has a jacket, a blazer or a cardigan to wear over the blouse.

Wearing flip-flops to the office should also be avoided, even on casual Fridays. It is acceptable to wear flip-flops at home, when going to the mall or when going to the beach, but not when going to the office. It is far too laid-back and emits the wrong vibes at the office.

T-shirts and polo shirts are staples of casual Fridays, but even those have limits. One should avoid wearing faded T-shirts or T-shirts with big logos on the front to the office. They look too unprofessional.

Building a Corporate Casual Wardrobe

When shopping for garments that will be used for corporate casual or casual Friday outfits, the shopper should make her choice just the way she would when she is considering career outfits. Even if they are casual clothes, they should still show her as a competent, professional person who knows what to do and can be trusted to do what needs to be done.

For the sake of practicality, one should buy corporate casual clothes in the five basic colors that can be mixed and matched together. For those who do not know, the five basic colors used in corporate attire are navy blue, maroon, dark green, brown and black. One does not need to have a lot of corporate casual clothes as long as what she has are of good quality and can be mixed and matched.

Some staple garments in corporate casual attire are:

* T-shirts or polo shirts. They can be plain or patterned. They can have subdued or bright colors. They could be of any style or sleeve length. The important thing about choosing the right T-shirt as part of a corporate casual get-up is that it does not have loud, attention-getting logos or messages, and that it does not have a hem that is short enough to bare the waist or bellybutton.

* Jeans. Jeans are the ultimate in casual comfort and style. Bootleg cuts are the best because they never go out of style. One should check first if it is acceptable to wear jeans in the office.

* Dresses. Some dresses are nice and fresh to wear at the office. However, if one is to wear a dress for casual Fridays, one should choose a dress that has sleeves, does not have a low neckline, is not made of sheer fabric, and has a hemline that is around an inch or two above the knee and not another inch more. If the dress is sleeveless, it should be paired with a flattering jacket or cardigan.

As for shoes, sneakers and flip-flops should be avoided at all costs. Flat shoes or low-heeled shoes are great casual Friday footwear.

Accessorizing a Corporate Casual Outfit

The accessories one wears as part of corporate casual dressing or as part of a casual Friday outfit should match the intended overall look. For example, a sporty watch may look better with a casual Friday outfit rather than a dress watch. Sparkly baubles and expensive, eye-catching jewelry should also be worn minimally or left out totally.

Taking Care of Casual Clothes

It is natural to take care of career outfits because they are the clothes worn to work. But casual clothes need the proper care and maintenance as well. Shirts, jeans and other garments that are meant to be part of a corporate casual or casual Fridays get-up should be clean, mended and ironed properly before they are worn to work. Shoes should be clean; if they are made of leather, they should be given a polish.

Corporate casual clothes and casual Friday outfits may be a little more laidback than the usual career garments. Nonetheless, even when one is wearing casual clothes to work, one should still maintain a look that bespeaks of professionalism, capability and trust.

Unless you’ve shopped for baby or toddler clothes lately, you’re probably unaware of the growing frustration that many women face. After all, we take pride in our appearance and are careful to select quality clothing and accessories. Even if we don’t completely revamp our wardrobes each season, we keep our fingers on the pulse of fashion trends and do our best to create our own personal styles with a combination of timeless classics and seasonal pieces.

Although it’s easy to find both classic and trendy styles in women’s clothing, the same can’t be said for children’s clothing. Although children’s designers and manufacturers create a wide variety of traditional, whimsical, and fun clothes for infants and toddlers, you wouldn’t know it from shopping at most retail stores. Instead of superior fabrics that wear well, most retail children’s clothing is made from fabrications that simply don’t hold up. Likewise, the craftsmanship in most retail children’s clothing is sorely lacking. Simply put, when you go shopping for children’s clothes, it’s hard to find a store that carries higher end clothing.

Thank goodness for the Internet! After experiencing so much frustration in shopping in retail stores for high-end infant and toddler clothes, I finally managed to find quality, a fair price point, and style through an online children’s clothing boutique. It was absolutely refreshing to find classic styles made in whimsical patterns and colors and a selection that was so clearly superior to what I saw in stores.

The styles that I most adored (for both my children and as gifts for friends’ baby showers) were smocked baby clothes and smocked dresses. The hand smocking by Remember Nguyen, Vive La Fete, and Anavini was exquisite. The Vive La Fete bloomers were perfect for any time of the year – one had an adorable ladybug, another had a Christmas tree, and a third had a toy parade.

I also loved the bright colors from Mulberry Street. Their fine wale corduroy royal blue jumper was perfectly accented with Kelly green polka dot ribbon at the hem and the straps. And the Mulberry Street poodle sweater was adorable in fuchsia, and was even cuter because the front of the sweater featured the face of the poodle while the back of the sweater was adorned by the back of the poodle.

A friend of mine had twins (a boy and a girl), and I loved the fact that I could find brother and sister outfits. I discovered gorgeous green long sleeve smocked dresses adorned with apples by Le Cirque, along with matching Longalls. Adorable!

Aside from well-known, quality brands like Peaches ‘n Cream and Le Top, I really appreciated that the children’s clothing boutique offered a monogram on many of the items they carried. The smocked baby clothes that I ordered, each of which had a monogram, absolutely delighted my friend.

It’s reassuring to know that high quality, fashionable baby and toddler clothes are available – you just have to know where to look!

Fine lingerie is an investment that can last – while not a lifetime – at least for a long tim.

By caring for your lingerie properly, you will extend its life and enjoy it for many years to come.

Always check the label sewn into your lingerie.

Manufacturers understand their product and how to care for it. The label is always right. If the label indicates dry clean only, please take this advice seriously. Machine or hand washing a dry clean only garment can ruin it.

If you have removed the label from your garment follow these general guidelines:

Most lingerie may be hand washed in cold water using a mild detergent (such as Ivory Snow). Be sure to rinse completely. Always drip dry lingerie or dry on a flat towel. Never put lingerie in the dryer. You may use gentle steaming to remove wrinkles.

LingerieDiva recommends that you wash your lingerie in a lingerie wash bag. These bags ensure your fine lingerie does not become twisted and stretched in the wash. You can purchase wash bags from most lingerie and drug stores.

Caring for Silk – Special Instructions

Silk lingerie is strong but very delicate – so extra care must be taken when washing it. Use only a mild soap or silk wash. Never use detergent on silk. Soak the lingerie in warm water for about five minutes. Agitate gently, but do not twist it. Rinse well using cold water (you may add a teaspoon of vinegar to the rinse to remove all traces of soap). Roll the linger in a towel and lay flat to dry. Iron while slightly damp or you can hang the lingerie in a steamy bathroom to remove wrinkles.

Silk Don’ts

* Don’t expose silk lingerie to direct sunlight as it will fade

* Don’t attempt to clean a spot on silk lingerie with water

* Don’t spay perfume on silk

Art can be a means of reconstructing experiences, communicating emotions or echoing the sentiments of individuals or the masses. From the ancient to the modern, artistic works have run the table from simple observations on life to biting social commentary. The growing segment of contemporary artists who bravely showcase their displeasure with the current state of affairs using creation as an inspiration for positive social change are turning up in the strangest of places, even the world of fashion.

While the fashion industry is often viewed as an institution of pretentiousness, demand is still the driving force behind the successes and failures of it’s resident elite. Just as consumability regularly forces the hand of design, or rather post runway re-design, growing discontentment and the desire to express the need for a higher social conscience is driving the union between revolutionary art and clothing.

The fashion world is not unlike the music industry, where most are willingly force fed the flavor du jour while a much smaller segment of others will seek out what suits their individual tastes. Shopping mall entrenched retailers are the “contemporary hits” formatted radio stations of the fashion world, where the top ten play list is decided on long before anyone has a chance to consider the merit of the work for themselves. Individualism in society is testing the boundaries of this formula and the effect can be seen in the increased demand for apparel that not only separates itself esthetically, but progressively as well. As more segments of society begin to understand the power of clothing as a mechanism of expression, the natural merger between avant-garde art and fashion will continue to grow. With a great multitude of artists continuing to communicate the need for changes in the way we view ourselves, our relationships with each other and the environment we live in, it seems only natural that the canvas of the human body is next in line as the foremost bearer of this message.

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