SPECIAL FOR THE AJT
I work in a business casual office and now that we are in the middle of summer, I am struggling to find things to wear to work that are stylish, will keep me cool and are work appropriate. I sometimes meet with clients and vendors so I would like to look professional and put together. Please help me!
Hot In Business Casual
Dear Hot In Business Casual,
When dressing for work, you don’t want to cross the fine line of showing too much skin and looking put together for work, but at the same time you don’t want to sweat to death in the heat. For women, in summertime, I recommend skirts or dresses that hit at least the knee (or fall even longer). If your work environment allows it and you feel comfortable doing so, wearing a sleeveless top or dress should be fine. For work, it is always important to make sure that you do not show any cleavage and that the arms are not cut too low. It is not necessary to wear nylons or pantyhose. Another option is pants that are made out of a lightweight material.
As far as shoes, a dressy sandal is acceptable. Even if you are fortunate enough to work in an environment with a relaxed dress code, you should never wear flip flops or shorts. J. Crew, Ann Taylor (or Ann Taylor Loft), Anthropologie, Gap, Banana Republic, and Nordstrom’s all have a variety of great pieces for business casual attire.
For men, I suggest wearing khakis and either a button down or polo. If your office allows it, you can wear colored khakis –blue or orange tend to be more popular colors this season. While this may be considered too “out there” there for some offices, if you work in the type of environment where it would be okay, choosing colored pants will definitely help keep your wardrobe exciting.
As far as shoes, loafers or wingtips are likely the way to go, but NO sandals. While there may not be as many options for men as there are for women, there are many examples that will help keep you looking more stylish and polished – to see some of these, please check out my blog at www.nicoleborsuk.com.
Last but not least – for men and women – don’t forget to accessorize your looks with belts, watches and/or jewelry. Accessories always help make the outfit!
I was invited to my first Modern Orthodox wedding and I am not sure what to wear. I have only been to Reform and Conservative weddings. Please help me!
First Time Guest
Dear First Time Guest,
Going to a Modern Orthodox wedding is a very special experience. You will have the privilege of seeing a different, and very special, ceremony. As to be expected, the dress code tends to be a little bit more conservative than that of a typical Reform or Conservative wedding.
For starters, you will want to make sure that you don’t show any cleavage. Most guests will have their collarbone covered, so if your dress has a higher neckline, that would be very appropriate. If you don’t have anything that fits that bill, just remember not to show cleavage. It is also another rule of thumb that your dress has sleeves instead of being sleeveless. Since it is more difficult to find a fancy dress with sleeves these days, it is also acceptable for you to simply bring or wear a shawl or some sort of jacket, especially during the ceremony. You can then determine for yourself whether you can remove it for the reception based on what other women seem to do.
Traditionally, Orthodox women will wear long dresses, as opposed to short ones, or at least as long as the knee. While, as a wedding guest, you don’t necessarily need to follow this rule to a tee, you should definitely not choose this occasion to wear your very shortest dress. It would also be considered proper to wear nylons or pantyhose if your dress is not maxi-length. Have fun at the wedding!
Editor’s note: Have a fashion question of any kind? “Chai Fashion With Nicole” will be published in The Atlanta Jewish Times. Send Nicole your question at firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information about Nicole, visit www.nicoleborsuk.com.