The Elegant Executive Blog

Inside Scoop on Personal Stylists

In today’s Wall Street Journal there’s a pretty good article on personal stylists, highlighting Chris Sharma who works out of Nordstrom’s Tysons Corner store in Northern Virginia. While I was at Nordstrom, Chris’s book of business was legendary. “How does he do it?” we would ask ourselves as yet one more customer came in on our day off to return everything she said she loved. Ah, those were the days! If you want to learn better shopping strategies and/or how to work more effectively with a personal stylist, you need to read my e-books, I Hate to Shop! But Still…

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Email Etiquette Teleseminar – a hit!

Our FREE monthly Elegant Executive Teleseminar Series started with a bang yesterday with over 100 registered listeners! Email Etiquette was the topic and it’s clear that many people wanted to learn how to make their email messages stand out with courtesy and clarity. If you haven’t already signed up for our Elegant Executive series, please do so today! Not sure if it’s worth 30 minutes of your time? Here are some testimonials from yesterday’s program: “Excellent  teleseminar, Gretchen, I hope I can join the next one.” “I loved your teleseminar. Very informative, clear and concise. Exactly what you advised listeners…

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Direction from a Diva

Professional poise and a dose of diva is a great blog post from colleague and friend, Caroline Dowd-Higgins available here. While you’re at it, take a look at Caroline’s new book, This Is Not the Career I Ordered, chock full of stories of successful career reinventions. A former opera singer, Caroline has transformed herself into a career coach, author, speaker and media host. This book is perfect for those of you wondering if 2012 is the year to take that leap of faith and reinvent yourself.

What’s Worse than Flip-flops?

I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, where flip-flops were what we kids wore to the beach, pool and around the neighborhood when we weren’t wearing our roller skates. These plastic, quasi-disposable “shoes” were merely a means to avoid blisteringly hot sand and black-top, otherwise we were happy to be barefoot. No adults ever wore them past the swimming pool parking lot. Whenever I see professionals wearing these play shoes with skirts, dresses or pants, I cringe. The message they are sending is “I’m really a kid at heart and frankly, would rather be barefoot.” I’m not so sure that’s…

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Q-1 Style Update (Corporate Dress)

Now is the time to take advantage of post-holiday sales and add some color to your wardrobe. In many parts of the country, January is cold and dreary. If you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California or Florida maybe this post isn’t for you. But for readers from Maine to Minnesota and clear down to Memphis, read on to learn how to give your wardrobe a little lift that will help transition from the winter doldrums to the first hints of spring. Gentlemen The easiest way to punch up your wool suit is with a colorful shirt and tie…

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Post-Christmas Shopping

While electronics and toys are the items of choice for Black Friday shoppers, softer goods, such as clothing and luxury handbags, shoes and other accessories are what shoppers want after Santa’s departure and the stores are full of great deals. Neiman Marcus, for example, has taken an additional 25% off clothing already marked down 30-50%. This is the perfect time to add something special to the basics in one’s wardrobe: a cashmere sweater, a silk scarf, a pair of wool trousers, an expensive dress that’s not so expensive with the discounts, etc. Just remember to make a list and a budget before…

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Bare Legs Are So 2010

Researching an article I am writing on pantyhose, I found a piece entitled “Kate Middleton brings back pantyhose. Bare legs are so 2010,” and I laughed out loud. After, of course, sighing in great relief. Finally, a young, hip chick like KM is bringing back something most women over the age of 25 should be wearing in a corporate setting: hosiery. Did I hear someone just call me a fuddy-duddy?? Well, go ahead. The fact remains, very few of us have been blessed with perfect legs, especially yours truly. As I have said before, I could sleep in my Donna…

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Tim Gunn’s “Quality, Taste & Style”

Tim Gunn of Bravo’s Project Runway fame has written an excellent book on creating and maintaining your personal style. It’s got plenty of fashion advice of course, but it’s the chapter entitled “Shoulders Back – Style from the Inside Out” that made me sit up, straight, and take notice. In a nutshell Mr. Gunn says all the fashion advice, clothing, make-up and positive self-talk won’t help a bit if your posture is out of whack. Instead of the standard advice of putting one’s shoulders back, Gunn instructs the reader to “pull the shoulders away from the ears.” Try that – doesn’t…

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Upscale Women’s Wool Suiting – Lafayette 148 New York

Yesterday I attended a very fun and festive Lafayette 148 New York fashion show at Nordstrom’s Pentagon City store where there were many great looks for stylish working women. I especially like Lafayette’s stretch wool garments for their drape, ease and wearability and recommend them highly to new professionals and seasoned execs. You’ll pay a little more upfront, but believe me when I tell you this wool suiting is very comfortable and will last and last. If you are going to invest in a suit this fall, buy a jacket (pictured is the Gavin jacket for $548) and matching skirt and…

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Elegance Defined

Welcome to The Elegant Executive! I’m very happy you’re here and I hope you’ll enjoy the information, advice and suggestions put forth to make you a more elegant executive.For this first post, I’d like to share a definition of “elegant” that I like very much:Very choice, and hence, pleasing to good taste; characterized by grace, propriety, and refinement, and the absence of every thing offensive; freedom from blemish, and the like; graceful; tasteful and highly attractive; as, elegant manners; elegant style of composition; an elegant speaker; an elegant structure. (Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1913.) The information in this blog…

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