Suited for Business Fashion Show

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013
Corey offers her advice on the latest style trends.

Corey offers her advice on the latest style trends.

I recently hosted Suited for Business, a fashion show at the YWCA of Greenville. It marked the culmination of an entire week’s worth of educational and social events to celebrate National Women’s Business Week. Several area women’s organizations joined forces to offer an impressive list of programs ranging from a luncheon with reigning Miss South Carolina to a presentation on the key characteristics of a successful entrepreneur.

I embarked on this ambitious project with three goals in mind: to recognize the accomplishments of women in business, present an array of stylish outfit options for the workplace, and raise money to support the programs of the YWCA of Greenville. My models, successful business women in their own right, walked the runway as confidently as they do business every day. They wore peplums and lace, sleek motorcycle jackets with dresses, plaid blazers and pops of cobalt. Dillard’s, Haywood Mall, provided the fashions, predominately from the lines of Antonio Melani, Gianni Bini and Vince Camuto. Event partners and sponsors such as Events with Amore, Grand Central Entertainment (DJ EmWy), Clay Daniel and Tara Ricci of Hair Bella Salon, and Upstate Event Services, offered their time and talents to create a glamorous girl’s night out for Greenville women.

DJ EmWy of Grand Central Entertainment created the right musical mood.

DJ EmWy of Grand Central Entertainment created the right musical mood.

No fashion show can go on without a photographer! Greenville’s own, Will Crooks, captured the essence of the evening’s entertainment. A current Furman University student,he is also The Guy Behind the Lens for the prominent Greenville, SC street style blog WAC AVE Street Photography. Will’s “…photographic perspective is focused on creating a positive dialogue and image of personal style in Greenville, SC. Will does not focus on capturing the latest trends but rather seeks out strangers who dress in a self-expressive manner while simply going about their daily lives. His snapshots provide personal style inspiration and expand the viewer’s appreciation of varied individual style”. Here is what Will saw through his artistic lens.

Cobalt blue jacket by Gianni Bini enlivens wardrobe basics.

Cobalt blue jacket by Gianni Bini enlivens wardrobe basics.

The ultimate power dress by Antonio Melani

The ultimate power dress by Antonio Melani

Corey talks fashion with Toni Chapman of Sheen Magazine.

Corey talks fashion with Toni Chapman of Sheen magazine.

The Gianni Bini double breasted blazer sweater makes a professional statement.

The Gianni Bini double breasted blazer sweater makes a professional statement.

Leopard print appeared on and off the runway.

Leopard print appeared on and off the runway.

Suited for business fashion basics

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

As soon as I walk into Dillards, I head directly to the Antonio Melani, Vince Camuto and Gianni Bini sections of the store. If you peeked into my closet, you would see a variety of dresses and separates from these three exceptional lines.

I’ve often written and spoken about my winning formula for a powerful professional image. Quite simply, I advise men and women to always wear B.E.S.T clothes and accessories at the office – basic, elegant, simple, and tasteful. These three lines offer all four elements at a reasonable price point. I swear by Antonio Melani dresses and jackets because they offer classic, well tailored styles in practical neutrals. I own two Vince Camuto blazers that suit both South Carolina summers and winters. Last month I purchased a stunning cobalt blue Gianni Bini fitted jacket which makes my neutral separates come alive. I especially like the the ruched detailing on the sleeves as well as their cropped length. These design details automatically make me look taller.

I chose to showcase these lines at an upcoming fashion show entitled “Suited for Business”. I along with Dillards, The YWCA of Greenville, Business and Professional Women, and Events with Amore are hosting this free event to celebrate National Women’s Business Week. The evening includes a networking reception and silent auction to support the programs of the YWCA. So, if you live in the Greenville, SC area, I invite you to sip wine, mingle, and see fabulous working wardrobe fashions. Here is a sneak preview of some of the styles you will see on the runway on October 24.

Suited for Business

Antonio Melani dress / Vince Camuto tank dress / Antonio Melani blouse / Gianni Bini blouse / Vince Camuto jacket / Vince Camuto t-strap pumps / Antonio Melani handbag / Vince Camuto earrings / Vince Camuto stone pendant necklace / Vince Camuto dressy scarve / Antonio Melani

Seven little secrets to good grooming for busy professionals

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Among the pearls of wisdom penned by basketball great John Wooden is this gem: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” When it comes to image management, many folks naturally credit clothes, accessories and interpersonal skills for the parts they play in shaping a pleasing image. According to a 2006 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers however, much of the credit for a powerful image should go to good grooming.

In 2011, I interviewed human resource directors and managers of companies in Greenville for an article I was writing on what to wear to a job interview. They unanimously agreed that grooming ranked high on the list of data points they consider when interviewing candidates for employment. Little details like shined shoes, clean clothes, and manicured nails matter more than you think. Your good grooming habits may very well give you an added professional advantage over another less well groomed individual.

Wherever I go in my job as a wardrobe stylist and personal shopper, I always need to present a polished and attractive appearance. I rely on these seven tried and true grooming secrets to keep me looking my personal best:

Create fashions for five – Reserve 20 minutes each Sunday to create five entire outfits for the week. Hang all of your selections in one section of your closet. Always base your clothing and accessory choices on your work and after work commitments for each day. Make necessary edits as your schedule changes;

Always XYO “Examine Your Outfits” – Look for wrinkles, stains, lint, missing buttons, and loose threads, and take steps to restore your outfits to a grade of A+;

Discover steaming – Steaming garments saves time and is gentler on fabrics than ironing;

Plan for Emergencies – Keep a first aid apparel kit in your desk and in your car containing items such as these: Tide to Go pen or an equivalent stain remover, lint roller, extra pantyhose, sewing kit, small rag, spray on odor neutralizer for clothes, and shoe polish;

Have backup – Always keep an extra outfit at work in case your lunch lands in your lap;

Use a mirror – Check yourself out in a full length mirror before leaving the house each day. At the end of each bathroom break, glance at your clothes, hair and face in the mirror. Also look at your teeth for any telltale signs of the spinach salad you ate at lunch. Brush your teeth or use mouthwash after eating spicy or garlic infused food;

Be kind to your clothes – Follow recommended washing instructions. Wash your clothes inside out and on a cold, gentle cycle, with like colors and fabrics. Use the dryer sparingly, and always select a gentle setting. Remove clothes promptly from the dryer and place them on hangers.

What are your good grooming secrets?

Groom Yourself for Success

Women’s working wardrobe trends

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

I dedicate this posting to National Career Development month and all those who take bold steps to advance in their professional careers. Quite simply, image matters in life. It remains a mystery to me why individuals overlook the fact that presenting a pleasing image is a key strategy for success. Studies confirm that people base their first impressions of others largely on appearance. Opportunity knocks more loudly for individuals who look their best and present a positive personal brand. I include the results of additional revealing research on image in my book, The Power of DRES: Dres System’s Guide to Building a Professional Image and Working Wardrobe. I co-authored this book with eight other stylists from across the country, and my chapter explored “Our Relationship With Clothes”.

Current women’s professional styles definitely reflect the preferences of confident women who embrace their femininity. Gone are the nondescript power suits of the past that made women look like men. The new dress for success wardrobe includes distinctively designed separates with surprising sartorial details like asymmetrical collars and peplums. Attention getting textured wool and jacquard fabrics combined with flowing blouses and bold accessories send a self-assured message. This modern look also epitomizes the preeminent formula for the working wardrobe, which is expressed by the acronym B.E.S.T. (Basic, Elegant, Simple, and Tailored). Trends suggest that women want to buy B.E.S.T. work clothes. Although today’s longer hemlines, classic blazers and understated dresses resemble yesterday’s classics, they also capture the here and now. One might very well find these three pieces from the innovative Spanish clothing company, Zara in a fashion forward working woman’s closet:

Modern Women like  B.E.S.T: Basic, Elegant, Simple and Tailored.



Working Women's styles from Zara

Today’s trends reflect a confident and accomplished woman














The Power of D.R.E.S. Book Cover

























How to tap into your personal style

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Are you searching for a distinctive and genuine style but you just don’t know how and where to find it? Do you consider yourself style challenged?  Don’t despair.  Style is innate.  It incubates in our subconscious and emerges under the right conditions.  Anyone can gain style clarity by following these basic steps: (more…)

Put style on your mind in 2012

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Is style on your mind in the new year?

It is not too late to amend your New Year’s resolution list. Enhancing your image goes hand in hand with other worthwhile personal improvement goals, such as losing weight, eating healthier and getting in shape. A favorite quotation of mine by Jim Rohn explains simply and powerfully the importance of self care. ” Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Staying healthy, fit and attractive requires a daily dose of effort as well as a lifelong commitment to feel and look your best. When you are tempted to push the snooze alarm instead of keeping your appointment at the  gym, just think about the fact that your body houses you. Since you will hopefully reside in it for a very long time, does it make sense not to keep it in good condition? If you invest in your house, it will truly become your home.

I just wrote an article entitled “How to lead a charmed style life in 2012“. So, style has definitely been in the forefront of my mind more than usual. What does style mean? How does one capture one’s individuality through one’s image? What makes a style icon? I arrived at a formula called C.H.A.R.M. that incorporates the who’s who of wardrobe styling concepts: color, harmony, accessories, right fit and “my” style. I invite you to read it and would love to hear about how you plan to add charm to your style this year. (more…)

Today’s Fashion Affirmation

Saturday, October 1st, 2011
I am suited for excellence.
I understand the critical role that my image plays in my professional and personal relationships.  I take pride in my appearance and want to appear well groomed and polished at all times. My daily dressing “to do” list includes cleaning and pressing my clothes, and shining my shoes.  Each evening I plan what I will wear the next day, and lay out all my clothes and accessories. This habit helps to ease my morning ritual so that I start the day feeling calm and ready to make a winning impression on everyone I encounter throughout the day. My practice is rooted in the belief that a pleasing appearance represents personal power. By making an effort to look my best, I send a strong message that I am confident, capable and strive for excellence in all areas of my life.

How to Dress for a Job Interview

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

In today’s economy, individuals need more than a strong resume to land a job. Employers consider a number of critical factors when making hiring decisions, and appearance is one of them. Both business professionals and style experts offered the following tips on how to dress to impress any interviewer:
·      Do your research: Individuals should determine an industry’s standard for attire and then dress accordingly. It pays to ask questions; observe what employees are wearing, and read as much as possible on appropriate workplace attire.
·      Stick to the b.e.s.t. (basic-elegant-simple-tailored):  A candidate’s performance and not their appearance should take center stage Expressing one’s individuality through clothing, while encouraged, should never be done at the cost of appearing unprofessional, says Rachel Yeomans of The Working  Avoid bold prints, loud ties, strong perfume, oversized and excessive jewelry, and too much makeup. Generally, experts recommend wearing well fitting, tailored clothing in colors like tan, grey, black and navy. Investing in good shoes is a must. An attractive watch and a sleek briefcase or proper handbag help to achieve a polished look from head to toe.  The beauty of a classic look is that one can can modernize and add personal flair to it by adding a few tasteful accents, such as a subtle print silk blouse, scarf or understated jewelry.
·     Suit up for success: Dress in formal business attire unless you receive instructions otherwise. This means a suit or trousers and a sport jacket with a tie, for men.  Men should wear oxford or loafer style shoes with dark socks. Acceptable formal business attire for women includes knee length or longer dresses, tailored suits (pants or skirt) or coordinating separates with closed toe shoes of medium heel height.
·     Groom yourself for a position:  Results of a national survey showed that the status of a candidate’s grooming makes a huge impression on an employer. Carefully pressed clothing and shined shoes score big with recruiters, as does nicely styled hair, white teeth and manicured nails.
·     Don’t be a saboteur: Many corporate cultures prohibit certain style trends such as tattoos, multiple ear and facial piercings, and revealing clothing because they believe that these practices are not aligned with the image that they wish to project. So, if you show up with uncovered tattoos, you may be immediately eliminated from consideration for a position.
·     A pleasing appearance projects power: A person’s appearance provides others with a snapshot of their self image. An impeccable presence displays self confidence, attention to detail and readiness to assume professional responsibilities. What is your image saying about you?

A positive image projects personal power.