Winter is upon us, and that means long nights and short days. It’s also the perfect time to get all of your work done and meet deadlines. But when it comes to your wardrobe, winter doesn’t only mean bulky sweaters, warm boots, and scarves. Winter is also a great time to get dressed up—if you know how. The next time you’re looking for a way to stay warm without sacrificing style or professionalism, consider some of these tips for wearing formals in the winter:
Winter Wear on Formals
Winter is here, and you know what that means: it’s time to take out your favorite cocktail dress and get ready for a night out!
But what if the weather is bad? What if you’re stuck at home? What if you just don’t feel like going out?
We’ve got your back. Here are five ways to dress up your winter formalwear even though you’re stuck indoors or don’t want to go anywhere.
Winter is here. While it’s tempting to wear your favorite pair of jeans every day, we all know that winter is the time to invest in some new formalwear.
You probably have a lot of questions about what you should or shouldn’t wear when the weather starts to get cold. We’re here to help!
First, let’s talk about suits. Suits are great for formal occasions like weddings, job interviews, and other black tie events. If you want a more casual look, try switching out your jacket for something more lightweight like a blazer or sport coat. You can also wear a sweater vest underneath your button-down shirt if you want a more casual look without sacrificing warmth.
Next: ties! Ties are an essential part of any suit—they add color and style without being too flashy or loud (which can be bad for interviews). Ties are best worn with solid colors such as black or navy blue; patterned ties can be worn in more casual settings but should be avoided at most professional events unless they’re specifically requested by someone higher up than you (like HR).
Finally: shoes! Shoes are important because they
Winter is the best season for fashion. The cold season is not only a time to stay warm, but also a time to look great and feel confident in your wardrobe.
Business attire in western wear offers one of the most versatile and comfortable winter ensembles for women. When the ensemble is created well, it gives both style and warmth.
Winter Tip 1: Wear winter clothes in dark shades
Winter Tip 2: Layer your western wear with thin inner layers
Winter Tip 3: Buy your winter clothes with a bit of shape to the body
Colors and Shapes
We advise the traditional winter colors of black and navy blue. If you are not in the conservative finance or legal professions, even the dark shades of greens, blues and reds are fine. For a business suit, whether it is a pant suit or a skirt, have one black and one navy blue suit at the minimum for your winter wardrobe.
The color of your shirt depends on the stole or scarf you would choose around your neck. Since we are talking of business formal or the Fully Tailored look of our Style Scale, keep in mind the rule of straight lines and angular shapes. Use small, geometric shaped patterns or even solids in firm fabrics.
Layering lets you handle changes in temperature not just across the entire season, but also works conveniently well while adjusting to day/night or even indoor/outdoor temperatures.
For layering, a slip or camisole in wool or silk is ideal. Silk is perfect since it doesn’t add bulk which comes from improper layering. If you want to go for fabrics blended with polyester, make sure that the natural fibre content is over 60%. This keeps the cold out effectively while letting your skin breathe through the layers.
You can wear a top or a shirt with the suit jacket to go over it. For really cold winters, you can wear a sweater beneath the jacket. Make sure the sweater isn’t thick or baggy, since the multiple layers can add unseemly bulk to your body. Baggy sweaters are ok for a Sunday laze at home, but not to office. Take as much care with these items as you do with the rest of your wardrobe. They have the ability to shape you beautifully or make you look baggy and frumpy. So make sure you try them on for the right fit and shape. Or, you could wear a turtle-neck sweater with a jacket over it, although it brings you down a notch on the Style Scale, with the right color choice you will still maintain the Tailored look.
Just as it makes perfect sense to keep a change of clothing at office for those rainy days when you can get soaked, it pays to keep a sweater at your desk for this cold season.
Below the Belt
Woolen trousers or wool-blended trousers keep the cold out well. For particularly harsh winters, you can have woolen trousers lined with silk. Stockings are a must for skirts, you cannot leave your skin exposed in case of formal business wear and particularly during winters for practical reasons. Invest in a couple of black stockings. If you are wearing socks, they need to match the trouser. A black pair of pumps with medium heels can go with most western wear.
Stoles, Scarves and Shawls
Don’t forget the stole or scarf. Match the colors to complement the whole ensemble. If a business suit, black, navy blue, charcoal grey and white are good, generic options. These staple colors help you create your ensemble without spending a lot on matching these necessary accessories with each individual outfit.
It pays to carry a shawl even when you think you are warmly dressed. You can’t always predict how low the temperature could fall on certain days, at certain times of the day or in some offices. See Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State with a range of colorful shawls to keep her warm in the images below:
Invest in one light jacket for warmer winter days and a heavier one for the cold winter days when the wind blows through you. In both cases, choose the outer coat with care. There are plenty of jackets out there that give you a good shape.
With good, woolen or leather gloves, you complete your winter ensemble. Buy a pair of black gloves to complement all your western business outfits.
So, follow the basic rules, layer your clothing, wear the dark numbers, let your inner layers be thin and buy your clothes with a bit of shape without being figure huggers. Keeps you stylish, elegant and comfortable through the cold, and not so cold winters.
Making a Great Work Impression the Day after a Great Party
Hung over from lack of sleep, excess drink and food! Tired with the dancing till the small hours! What a way to begin a fresh day at work!
Even weekends throw your Monday schedules out of gear. So, when it comes to the day after a great party, it requires some planning to make sure that you continue to give a great impression at work.
The only trouble with weekends is that your sleep pattern goes haywire. Trouble with great parties is that everything goes haywire. We are talking of big, fun parties with dancing through the night and plenty to eat and drink.
But, to continue to give that great impression at work despite a long night at the party, you need to plan ahead.
Day Minus 1
Your planning begins at least the day before the party, giving you two clear days of advance preparation at work. Prepare for the big day just as if you were going off on a holiday. Work on your big projects in advance and don’t leave any big deadlines for the day of the party, nor for the day after the party. They have a way of extending the day when you are least inclined to do it.
Keep your deadlines for at least a day before or two days after the party. Early deadlines might look unreasonable to you, but if you can deliver it the tired day after the party, you certainly can deliver it on day minus 1 even if it means sitting late into the evening.
Take care of the operational things. Maybe you have an event coming up and have plenty items to tick off the list – booking the stand space, power, collateral, display material, advertising, registration and a host of things to take care of. Go through your event plan and complete all the tasks listed up to Day 1, that’s the day after the party. You don’t want to be chasing the printers, organizers, media and others on that day.
Do not commit to a task deadline for the day of the party. Leave the day for emergency work that comes up. Do not schedule any important or long meetings either. They have a way of overshooting their time or for coming up with sudden, urgent demands on your time. If you have international clients or an overseas team, give advance notice to reschedule weekly calls, even for the day after the party. Again, no late evening calls under the assumption that you will wrap up quick and be on your way.
On Day Zero, stick to tasks that are small and not time bound. It may not be the time to initiate a new task, but if you feel up to it, go ahead, particularly if it involves drawing up a project plan or a thing that you can stop any time and continue the next day. Leave early.
Before you leave for the party, keep your things ready at home for the next morning. When you wake up, you shouldn’t have to think more than necessary. That includes your attire, breakfast, lunch and medicines.
Have a great time at the party. Let your hair down for the dance – safe way to relax, yet have fun. Go easy on the drinks and food. A party is the time when we tend to overeat. The combination of drinks and heavy food isn’t good for you the next day.
It’s morning. The party’s still ringing in your ears, if it isn’t hammering in your head. Get up. Drink lots of water. Alcohol dehydrates the body, so get plenty of fluids in. Take a walk or head for the gym for a light half hour of exercise. This is essential to bring your body back under control fast.
Have your coffee or tea but don’t overdo it. Have a light breakfast and get going. Don’t miss the breakfast unless your stomach is really twisting. If you have a hangover, take a medicine, carry some with you and don’t forget carrying your lunch, unless there’s a canteen at office.
Today, you will thank yourself for not having scheduled any deadlines or calls for the day. Even if you don’t have a hangover, the day after a great party isn’t the day when you are bright and chirpy at work. Pushing deadlines to the next day has given you one clear work day before you have to turn that work in.
Don’t schedule any meetings for this day. If you have a bad head ache or your stomach doesn’t exactly feel good, a meeting is the wrong place to be in. It forces you to sit at a table with arguments and discussions flying around you at a time when you find it difficult to concentrate and want to spend time by yourself. You don’t want to snap at anyone, nor can you put your head down. You’d have to focus on what someone is saying when your head is pounding. You may not have access to an unending supply of coffee or tea that is needed to keep you at work. Meetings can overrun and end up in a late work day which you want to avoid today.
Keep a pack of biscuits or a couple of energy bars with you at work, especially if you haven’t carried your lunch. Small meals are better today. If for any reason, the day rushes you off your feet, make sure you have your energy bars during breaks. The day after the party can sap you if you keep your stomach empty.
So, plan first, then party and be back late night at the most, not in the small hours. After all, you do have to get up and be at office at 9 sharp whether you’ve had a party or not.
Years ago, an overweight Anil Ambani was driven to shed the excess weight when foreign investors asked, “How can we trust you with our money when you cannot even take care of your own health?”
Trust and investor confidence in you are the key elements when it comes to handling people’s money. In terms of attire, this translates to predictable, formal clothing that projects dependability, knowledge and capability.
This is the rule to keep in mind for all those working in the financial services industry, whether it is retail banking, investment banking, insurance, advisory services, private equity, angel investment, venture capital or credit rating. Same holds good for government and semi-government financial agencies too.
It is particularly critical for entry and mid-level personnel who are working their way up the ladder, from cashiers to relationship and portfolio managers to analysts, compliance officers, associates and bankers to underwriters and assistants. This is the reason behind corporate uniforms in leading companies like ICICI Bank or at the least in creating the firm’s dress code.
Stay at the very top end of the Style Scale and that translates to the fully formal, Tailored Style. So, wear suits of the two-button, single-breasted, straight jacket variety. Keep the jacket buttoned when standing, except the lowest button. When seated, leave the jacket unbuttoned.
During hot weather, you may discard the jacket and remain in shirt with long sleeves, unless you are in an air-conditioned room. Your visual cues for the attire are uncompromisingly straight lines and angular shapes with not a hint of curves or rounded shapes.
When it comes to colors and contrast, navy blue, dark charcoal and blacks are the ones to choose, with or without pinstripes. Build strong contrast with shirts in whites, creams or pale blues. Leave the breast pocket empty, except for your pen or the company identification badge. This prevents unseemly bulges.
Turn yourself out in crisp, firm fabrics, including gabardines in solids and stripes. When it comes to patterns, they are small and geometric and this rule applies to ties too. The tip of your tie must reach the top of the belt buckle, which should be black preferably.
While Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, dresses right for a typical day in the World of Finance, keep away from beards like his. Senior personnel at his level can get away with it, you aren’t likely to.
Shoes must be clean and polished without scuffs or smudges. Black is safe and goes with the clothing colors we recommend for a job in the Financial Services. Make sure that socks match the trouser color. In turn, socks, shoes and belt should match.
The image you project with this attire is of a formal, orderly work ethic with a polite manner. The perception you leave with people is of high credibility, entirely official with nothing casual about your look or work, authoritative, precise and stable, the very qualities that customers who trust you with their money want to see in you.
For women wearing western wear, the same rule of suits, colors and patterns applies. They could wear a coat dress too which is a tailored dress with buttons and tie closures similar to regular wear and it gives a polished look.
But the more typical wear is a blouse or a dress shirt with long sleeves. Lightly knotted ties or scarves can be worn with this attire. Pant suits or skirt suits look formal and are the appropriate clothing in western wear. Make sure length of the skirt is mid-knee or longer.
When it comes to shoes, go for the medium heel, smooth leather ones with closed toes. Be sure to wear stockings. The idea is to show as little skin as possible. But, take care that stockings are not opaque or of the fish net type.
When it comes to Indian wear, the sari has been made popular by the heads of some of our top banking and financial services companies. Unless your company has a uniform or has a dress code that doesn’t include saris, they serve well at entry and mid-level positions equally well. A range of colors are accepted, but sticking to small prints and dark colors is right according to our Style Scale for the Indian Woman.
Saris worn with neatly pleated pallu are preferable, although Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO of ICICI Bank is seen in draped pallus quite often. We don’t recommend it though. A small border keeps the sari formal.
Understated is the look when it comes to jewelry. It’s fine if you don’t wear any. If you do wear them, stick to the simple stuff with a strand of pearls or a simple chain with nothing flashy, clunky or which jingles. You could wear a bracelet or not, but a watch is a good idea. The rule is to keep to just three items of jewelry or less, finger ring not included. The First and Lasting Impressions you are creating is that you are here to focus entirely on the work.
Hair pulled back or neatly combed and left open gives a good, well-groomed look that is very necessary. A clutch or handbag is right with straight lines and firm shapes. Backpacks for laptops are a definite No.
Keep makeup to the minimum. Just an unobtrusive lipstick will do or if you choose to have it, a basic foundation and mascara.
Some companies have extensive dress codes, like the Swiss investment firm, UBS which in fact has been ridiculed for its length and detail. It is interesting in the minute detail that it goes into, including the shade of underwear one can wear and the precise length of the skirt. So, if you are unsure of your company’s attire, ask for the dress code or observe the executives in your company and follow their example.
Don’t forget to turn off your cell phone and give full attention to the person across your desk. First Impressions mean more in this industry than anywhere else. Do it right and it can pay off well.
Winter is the time when you can use plenty of accessories. When chosen with care, they can bring that welcome break to your dark business ensembles. Now, let’s get straight to the point.
What you wear depends a lot on the industry you are in. Ultra conservative financial, legal verticals require you to stick to staid accessory colors to complement the dark attires that these industries demand. But with other industries, you can bring a bit of color to your ensemble with your accessories. Creative industries and departments like advertising have a lot of leeway.
Shawls, Stoles and Scarves
If you are looking for the ultra-conservative, Tailored look, have your shawls, stoles or scarves in blacks, whites and creams. This will go with most of your outfits. You can use them to bring strong contrast or match the shade of your suit. To add color in other industries, you can choose among deep shades of red, green, blue, but take care to complement your ensemble. To retain the Tailored look, stick to plains, straight lines and angular shapes with small, geometric design on these elements. To get a more casual look, you can go for paisleys and larger rounded designs.
Keep your jewelry conservative with no chunky, dangling stuff. Your jewelry shouldn’t jingle, that’s distracting. Simple gold, platinum, silver jewelry or the perennial favorites – pearls – are just right. But, if you can’t afford them, costume jewelry works just fine. No jewelry around the neck is fine too, but it seems such a waste not to highlight slender necks with a neck-hugging piece or take the attention away from thicker ones with a low necklace.
Keep the ear rings simple – just a pair of studs is the safest bet. At the most you can reach out for a pair of tiny teardrops or hoops. A brooch can come in handy when you are wearing an all black ensemble. As for finger ring, never more than one, definitely not more than two, preferably simple bands.
Stockings or Pantyhose
A few pairs of black stockings or pantyhose are a must whether you wear skirts or trousers. It is a business ‘No’ to show skin on your legs or feet. In any case, you don’t have much choice but to cover up for cold winters. Choose ones without design on them. The pantyhose must be sheer nylon and not opaque. Keep leggings out of business attire. If you are wearing a trouser suit, a pair of socks will do fine, but they must match the trouser and not the shirt.
Black pumps with medium heel, closed toes and heels are part of formal attire and keep you comfortable. Don’t go for the trendy shoes, stilettos or too high a heel. It’s not part of business attire and takes attention away from the work at hand. If you are wearing black attire, wearing shoes of the same color is right. But, if you are wearing a brighter shaded suit, blacks or other neutral colors look good.
A pair of black leather gloves is a good investment. They keep you warm and look sleek. Since gloves come in different sizes, try them on before you buy.
Caps or Hoods
Winter caps have the unwelcome habit of ruffling your hair. So when you buy your outer coat, look for a hooded one. It keeps the cold out, head stays warm and hair unruffled.
There’s a lot more to winter accessories when compared to other seasons. They have the last say in whether you look conservative or bring a spot of color to your winter attire. Choose them with your winter wardrobe in mind and you will spend a lot less. Have fun!
How Much Warmth is Right?
Grooming Retail Executives is a fine art. They are the touch point with your customer and hence are the most critical of all your mechanisms at the point of sale.
But their job isn’t as straight forward as that of a sales executive who meets customers at their premises. When a sales executive visits the customer, the customer is expecting his pitch.
On the other hand, many customers in stores do not want the pitch from the executive. The executive needs to know at a glance who is a “just looking around” customer – the window shoppers, and distinguish them from the serious buyers. Complicating the entire impression are impulse buyers who may have walked into the store to just look around, but end up buying an armload of things.
Today, many of these customers do not take too well to an executive who tags behind them. They want to browse in peace without the executive asking questions and suggesting things unless they are ready for it. So it isn’t entirely uncommon for the executive to hang around in their vicinity while the customer does all she can to avoid his eye. Distance this preference for distance from the executive, customers still have the need for warmth in the store.
Accomplishing the Fine Balance between Warmth and Distance
Typically, when we look at the spectrum of customer-facing executives, finance executives are at the formal end of the spectrum, where the keywords are efficiency with courteousness. For one thing, in most of their cases, the sale is already made. For another thing, customers want reliability and a good bit of distance from the executive since they don’t want prying eyes into their state of financial affairs, only their auditor has the right to that.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the hospitality industry where the executives operate under the keywords of warmth and welcome. Here too, the sale is done most of the time, but the form of handling the customer is entirely different. That is because the customers are looking for a great personal experience and hence look for these traits in the executive. If your executive recognizes the customer, it is so much the better, because the customer wants to feel at home and comfortable at the hotel or resort. Knowing that he is recognized, adds to the touch.
Lying in the middle of this spectrum is the Retail Executive who has to perform a delicate balancing act of efficiency, distance and warmth. Depending on the product and the price range that the store caters to, they can range from close to the finance executive who waits for the customer to come to him, to the hospitality executive who reaches out to the customer and welcomes him and the family.
When to Show Warmth & How Much
The aspects of when to show warmth and how much to show depends on the type of product range and store that you have. The Retail Executive is groomed accordingly. But individual differences exist among customers, so even if you believe that your customers tend towards one or the other end of the spectrum, your Executives still need to understand the nuances.
The First Rule to remember is that, if the executive’s function is to solve a problem, it is time for courteousness and efficiency. Because, when the customer comes to the executive with a problem, no amount of warmth helps. She wants the problem resolved quickly and efficiently. If, on the other hand, it is one of helping the customer make a purchase, it is time for warmth and welcome.
The Second Rule is that in stores that carry the mid to low-priced products, be it clothes, household provisions or any other, where the customer is simply looking for a good buy, the scale tilts towards efficiency and a more neutral attitude, although certainly with a smile.
The Third Rule is related to the nature of purchase. The more routine the purchase, the less the customer wants interference. Customers are fickle and what they want is a good deal and efficiency. In these cases, the only time the customer seeks the executive is when they can’t find an item or there is an issue with the product.
On the other hand, the more high-priced the store gets, the higher the customer need for recognition and thereby warmth and welcome. While this is true for stores carrying expensive items like appliances and high-end gadgets where the customer seeks advice from the executive, things go a step further in case of high-end stores that carry for example, designer clothing or jewelry. At this end of the price and exclusivity scale, the customer seeks recognition and hence your Retail Executive becomes more like his counterpart in the hospitality industry. More importantly, the executive needs to know not just the basics, but also carry in-depth knowledge about the clothes, jewelry, cosmetics, appliances or whatever high-end product he is handling, because his job here is to help the customer make the purchase.
In short, the difference is one between a Big Bazaar and say, a Remanika store offering clothing and accessories. In the former, you need to train the executives to wait for the customer to ask them for help and point her in the right direction, essentially to solve a problem. In a Remanika store on the other hand, the executives are there to welcome the customer, handhold her from start to finish with patience and an ability to help them make a purchase. That is the time when they can display their warmth.
So the bottom line questions for your business are:
1. Does the customer need help to solve a problem or does she need it to make a purchase?
2. What is the price range of the products?
3. What is the nature of purchase?
Answers to these questions help you structure your training program right for grooming the Retail Executive.
What counts for warmth? We shall answer that question in the forthcoming post in Part – II of this Retail Executive Grooming series – What Counts for Warmth? Grooming Your Retail Executive.
Judith Rasband, the first lady in Image Management. She came, she saw and she conquered.
Judith Rasband, the first lady in Image Management. She was in India just about a month ago to meet, greet and teach the students of the ICBI. She came, she saw and she conquered.
Her enthusiasm, effusiveness, vibrancy and energy can put many others half her age to shame. She spoke, nay she performed, and she taught some of her art of image management. In the hour when she took centre stage, she had everyone spellbound as she demonstrated as to how many interpretations could you do to a simple black skirt, a red dress, one pair of black trousers, a printed scarf/neckpiece etc: a whole of 10 pieces of clothing for a variety of over 15 looks starting from very informal to an extremely formal outfit and every stage in between.
Looking at the impact that Judith had with her demonstration of Image creation and management, I was reminded of how my journey to meet Judith was.
It was more than 2 years ago, and like many people, I was at crossroads. I have worked hard for the last many years in the airline business, with my last assignment as head of customer services and grooming besides placements for a large training company. While I wanted to do something worthwhile I did not just want to throw away everything that I had done earlier. Was there anything where I could use whatever I knew with something new to create a worthwhile new burst in my career and hence my life?
My search took me to Judith. Image Management seemed like the next big industry segment, and Judith was the master of this. In the US, where Image Management as an industry was established first, it was Judith’s outline of competencies which was used to certify image consultants. She is thus the Consultant of the Consultants. Her curriculum is basis much research – she has a psychology background and has been able to combine “people watching”, clothes, speech etc to create an art and science of image management. She has authored several books and is seen as the last port of call on what is the most appropriate image in any situation.
One cold winter day we met Judith for the first time. Judith practices what she preaches. One look at her and you can guess how any meeting with her would go. But there was no hiding her wealth of knowledge, her research oriented curriculum, her energy and her enthusiasm. And she was just as interested in getting Image Consulting to India in a big way.
Having interacted with her, I was convinced that image management is a requirement in India right now, and will grow soon both as a career/ profession as well as an industry segment. I could not wait to bring this to India. I could not wait to get Judith to India.
And we have done both – started this business institute based on Judith’s curriculum, as well as gotten Judith to India. She travelled all over the country for over a week, an average of one city a day – a gruelling feat for anyone. And her enthusiasm never flagged.
The students and consultants all were enthralled by her and the few who have opted for a week’s training by her in USA were looked on with envy.
And as I bid her goodbye at the Mumbai airport, I thought: Judith Rasband is indeed the first lady in image management. She came. She saw. She conquered.
What Counts for Warmth?
By the general definition in our lives, a smile, an effusive welcome and showing concern by helping until the task is achieved is deemed warmth. But there are nuances to it that are relevant in grooming Retail Executives. Knowing these nuances helps you create the right training program for them. At the same time, there are elements that you need to put in place as the store owner.
The Subtle Factors of Warmth
Warmth isn’t only about the smile on the face and welcoming a customer into the store. Warmth is also about clothing, grooming, body language, etiquette and vocal communication. Further, it is about grooming the Retail Executive to reflect the store’s merchandise and about making the customer feel comfortable in the Executive’s presence albeit at a distance.
When it comes to Clothing, the Retail Executive’s uniform must be in soothing colors. Choose colors that are relaxing and provide a sense of balance for the executive’s uniform, if possible in the lighter shades of the soothing colors – green, blue or orange. Ideally, your Retail Executives must have a uniform to prevent customers from doing the embarrassing thing of mistaking a fellow customer for the store executive. People don’t feel the warmth in a place where they are embarrassed. No ill-fitting, uncomfortable uniforms, high heels or extra pointed shoes. While they are uncomfortable to the Retail Executive who needs to be on her toes through the day, they also leave a certain discomfort in the customer’s mind. The idea is to keep the customer relaxed. And minimal accessories.
When it comes to Grooming, a well-groomed look is a must to show that the customer is important – no facial hair, washed hair combed neatly back, so that the customer has a good view of the face. This is essential to show openness and trustworthiness, by displaying that there’s nothing to hide. There can be little perception of warmth if the customer is uncomfortable. Clean, neatly pressed clothes are a must in all types of stores. Clean fingernails and hands are critical since the Retail Executive handles the products that the customer would soon be calling her own and carrying them home. She doesn’t want to see even a hint of dirt or oil on the executive’s person.
When it comes to Body Language, at the low to mid-end, keep it carefully neutral, but when the customer asks for help, the executive needs to lean forward with a smile, indicating a readiness to respond and help out. They need to take care though not to intrude into the customer’s space while guiding them. Posture and poise are important elements in grooming the Retail Executive. Further, the movements must be smooth and not jarring to the customer experience. Etiquette demands that the retail executive respect the customer’s notion of privacy and personal space.
When it comes to Vocal Communication, a soft, warm tone of voice is necessary, irrespective of the type of store, whether high-end or low-end, one-time purchases like appliances or regular purchases like provisions. This is particularly important in a high-end, exclusive store where loudness would be deemed boorish and lacking in warmth.
Taking all these 4 Elements together, the Retail Executive’s image must be managed to blend into the store. Clothing must meet the general parameters of the merchandise. So, while he is not expected to wear the high-end clothing, accessories or jewelry that the store carries, the general principle behind this set of merchandise would be of a certain polish and poise that comes with a tasteful uniform, good tailoring and grooming.
Trust is another underlying factor of Warmth. If the customer cannot trust the Executive, the warmth that he exudes is frowned upon as not just superficial, but of covering deceit. Nothing looks more superficial and than a Retail Executive who cannot control his weight, but stands in your store selling fitness equipment.
Guide to Every Wedding Dress
As a bride-to-be, the proposal is not the only thing you will say “yes” to. Since every little detail comes together to create the wedding of your dreams, there are plenty of decisions to be made—and saying yes to the dress is high up on that list, right after finding your partner.
Your wedding is your day to revel in the spotlight—all eyes will be on you, whether you’re walking down the aisle, having your first dance, or mingling with the guests. So, naturally, this defining moment deserves a dress worthy of the occasion. But the sheer magnitude of options out there can make the process overwhelming. This is why a quick understanding of the silhouettes that best complement your personality and body type will make the choice easier.
As you prepare for your bridal appointment, keep these general rules in mind.
- A fitted sheath, mermaid, or trumpet gown will accentuate your curves (or create the illusion of them).
- Pleats or gathers around the waist can magnify it. A well-fitted high-waist and loose skirt will combat this.
- When in doubt, consider an A-line gown.
This is a universally flattering favorite. Complementing all body types, it remains fitted until the waist from where it flares out into a soft A-shape, hence the name. Berry feels this is a silhouette that hugs you in all the right places and is a great choice for pear-shaped or curvy brides: “An A-line gown hugs the waist area, creating a slimmer waistline while flattering the bust,” he adds. “It can make a petite bride look taller with its overall slimming effect.”
This silhouette contours the body from the chest to the knee and is flared thereon. The style is known to emphasize the waist and hips rather than narrowing them, especially if you’re apple-shaped. Berry adds that choosing the right shapewear is important with the mermaid dress: “Considering how fitted it is, you’ll also want to make sure that you can move freely in it, and can sit down easily too.”
The trumpet is a more toned-down version of the mermaid—straight bodice to the hips and the flare starting mid-thigh—but it is crowd-pleasing nonetheless, considered a particularly good match for an extravagant celebration. “A trumpet silhouette is ideal for slender frames and hourglass body types,” explains Bajaj. “Brides who want to flaunt their curves often pick this outfit.”
Vaz feels that the shape of the top draws attention to the midriff and hip area, making it a winning go-to for brides with slender waistlines and delicate figures.
If you want to glide into your happily ever after like a princess, this fairy tale-ready gown is for you. Volume? Check. Drama? Check. Classic? Yes, of course! Vaz suggests this fit-and-flare silhouette if you’re slim-hipped with a fuller bust. “The voluminous skirt balances the fitted top,” Bajaj adds. “The fuller silhouette accentuates the waist and hides the lower body. However, a bride who is conscious of her hips may want to keep in mind that the skirt can make you look larger.” It’s easy to drown in swathes of fabric, so another pro tip is to keep the embellishments minimal and tonal.
Minimal, sophisticated, and impossibly chic, the slip dress makes a case for a ‘less is more’ bridal repertoire. The slip dress’s simplicity is its real virtue, as is its fits-like-a-glove tendency. It’s best advised to have this design made to measure with elements like a cowl neck, bias-cut, or back detailing for more character.
“A sheath gown boasts a snug fit and contours the body from head-to-toe,” says Bajaj. “It gives a petite bride an elongated look which helps her appear taller. As for a tall bride, it gives her body definition.” Those with a boxy body, can opt for a sash or embellished belt with it to create the illusion of a more defined waist. The end result is modern and comfortable. Moreover, if you were looking for a style that works well without a train, here it is!
Are column and sheath silhouettes interchangeable? They are similar but definitely not identical. The key difference is that the latter is lighter and more seamless. The column gown is often given structure using fabrics like taffeta, brocade, or corded lace. The silhouette is tailor-made to flaunt a sleek and slender figure. So if you have an hourglass or athletic frame, don’t think twice before picking this one.
If you’re searching for a style that has a ‘something old, something new’ quality to it, then this ankle-grazing silhouette is for you. The tea-length wedding dress is the perfect middle ground—a marriage of fashion-forward and traditional sensibilities. Its characteristic vintage charm lends added appeal. Bajaj feels that a tea-length dress is an unconventional choice, so it says a lot about the bride’s personality: “Brides opting for an intimate ceremony, a brunch wedding, or a simple-but-beautiful registry should choose this length. The beauty is that it can be easily recycled long after your wedding, too.”
It’s a silhouette that you can dictate rather than the other way round—choose a length and flare that best enhances your body type. An added bonus is that you get to play up your accessories so that those crystal-studded stilettos can make it to your wedding album!
- What is the best wedding dress silhouette for plus-size brides? A-line wedding dresses are the most universally flattering with a nipped-in waist for shape and flared skirt for comfort. Trumpet styles offer the same benefits with a more body-skimming approach for those that wish to flaunt their curves.
- What is the best wedding dress silhouette for pregnant brides? Trumpet and mermaid-style wedding dresses are great for showing off a growing baby bump while still supporting the belly. Silhouettes with an empire waist (think A-line styles that nip in right under the bust and flare out from there) are great for concealing the bump.
- What is the most popular wedding dress silhouette? Historically, ball gown and A-line silhouettes have been the most popular wedding dress shapes.