Skip to comments.Sexy look leaves the office (fashion)
Posted on 09/13/2004 12:09:05 PM PDT by Lorianne
Tuck away those sexy tops. Cover up the belly. Dismiss the short skirts to a dark corner of the closet.The new business fashion for women says goodbye to bare sexiness and say hello to flirty femininity.
``You can't find a suit with a miniskirt anymore,'' said Erin Bianchi, public relations manager at Bloomingdale's at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, Calif. ``I think women have realized that they are prettier when they don't show so much skin.''
After years of outfits oozing sex, it seems people have overdosed on bare bellies, barely-there tops and cleavages so wide and deep, double-sided tape is required to keep the R-rated look from turning soft-porn.
Vogue had a cover story titled ``Naughty vs. Nice. Why showing skin is no longer in,'' where fashion icons discuss the new, more covered professional fashion trend.
Even bare-skin poster child Donatella Versace -- who sent shock waves through the entertainment world when Jennifer Lopez wore her green dress held together by only a clip below the navel -- has a fall collection with humbler suits.
Instead of clothes that scream sex, the new business fashion for fall whispers sensuality. Jackets with nipped-in waists emphasize the female shape. Little puffs on the shoulders add playfulness. Pencil skirts cover the knee but hug the body to hint about what's underneath. Slacks are fitted but flow out over the leg, to distinguish a woman's pant from a man's.
``The nipped-in waist is an outgrowth of a young person going to work and not wanting to look oversized,'' said Ilse Metchek, executive director of the California Fashion Association.
Women can now wear dresses to work too, something Metchek hasn't seen in years. They come with polka dots, or other playful patterns.
``Women know they can make it in the workplace now,'' Bianchi said. ``Everything is very feminine. We've moved away from dressing like men.''
The dresses, or skirts, or pants for that matter, can all be worn with one of fall's most forceful fashion comebacks: the cardigan. Cover two fashion bases by buying cashmere cardigans.
Try to find cardigans that pick up on the explosion of new colors this season. Seafoam green, pink, yellow, the list goes on and on.
Colors are creeping into even the most conservative business wear. Pinstriped suits now have pink or red stripes, said Diana Jennings, a wardrobe consultant in Coto de Caza, Calif.
``It's a classic but updated look,'' Jennings said.
A lot of mixing and matching is going on with that classic suit. The jacket can be worn with a separate skirt. The pants can be worn without a jacket, and with -- gasp! -- a bow blouse. Yes. The bow blouse of the 1980s is back. Its flowy lines and buttoned-up style is exactly right for the times.
Slap a big brooch on the blouse (or on the cardigan) and the outfit is complete.
No, wait. No outfit is complete without shoes.
Heels are a must with the feminine styles of the season, Bianchi said. One option is a round-toed shoe.
``They have to be feminine shoes,'' she said. ``No loafers or chunky heels.''
Some of those new shoes have fur accents. Fur is in again. Faux as well as real. It can be a full coat -- sometimes colored in a bright appley green or cherry red -- or details, such as a stole, a collar or cuffs.
After almost 20 years in the business world, Marla McCutcheon, 40, has seen it all. In 1986, when she started working at a law firm, women wore long skirts and suits. They had some femininity, McCutcheon said, but mostly mimicked men's' suits. Then the pendulum swung to the other extreme. Lacy underwear-like blouses peaked up from cleavages. Skirts resided high above the knee. Then the business casual business wear hit when anything seemed to go. Now fashion is more sexually toned down, yet celebrates femininity.
``I think this is probably the best-case scenario,'' McCutcheon said. ``The pencil skirt makes more sense. You can't bend over in a miniskirt.''
Slacks are ``completely acceptable,'' for women to wear now, McCutcheon said. Today's styles give women pants that are comfortable, practical and yet feminine.
McCutcheon herself often wears slacks with a top or a jacket. She now is a principal of Echo Media, a public relations firm in Tustin, Calif. While her own office is a creative environment with more tolerance for choices of clothing, some of her clients are law firms, where the dress code is usually stricter. It's important, McCutcheon said, to be sensitive to the dress atmosphere of customers.
While a sleeveless shirt could be acceptable at McCutcheon's own office, it would be inappropriate to wear it without a jacket on visits to a client's law firm.
``Women need to think about how they portray themselves,'' McCutcheon said. ``You don't want the attention to be on your clothing, you want it to be on your work.''
How women dress can be function of how long they have been working. Some older women tend to get more conservative as they work their way up the career ladder
I am deeply saddened.
The terrorists have won.
None of this applies to Belly Girl, does it?
Bare arms over the age of 40 needs
to go, too. On some women, over age 25 isn't to soon to quit going bare armed.
I want before and after photos....Not sure about this story
Unfortunately, in California so can men.
Here is hopeing the Fox News Hotties don't hear about this.
Personal observations by this amateur gynecologist suggests less than 1% do NOT resemble female plumbers.
I am deeply saddened not only by this but by the end of summer, with the tank tops &c. I may need to move further south.
It is about time. If I wanted to view pornography, I would get a satellite hookup, or buy magazines. However, when this man is at work, I don't want to be visual assaulted by women flaunting their sexuality. Dear ladies, keep it out of the workplace.
I have always said there are two good reasons why I don't like miniskirts on women:
(1)Many women look really bad in them, and I don't want to see it.
(2)Many some women look good in them, and I don't need to see it.
No admonitions against Velcro, thank goodness.
Kind of remind you of a busted can of biscuits, don't they?
I happen to be posting from a college campus right this second and all I can say is breast implants in teenagers are the rage.
El natural or poll dancer, you have one or the other out here with implants up quite a bit from what I can see.
Hope I don't get an eye poked out!
Skirts are short, lots of tummies featured and plenty of skin around.
I never, ever saw a woman wear a bare-bellied outfit in a business environment, have seen very, very few women who showed any cleavage in the workplace, and very few ultra-short skirts except perhaps in bars. So I don't know what this article is talking about.
They figured out that unless you plan to sleep your way to the top, dressing like a hooker diminishes your credibility.
Whenever I see a woman dressed in low-riding jeans and showing her belly, I think "Britney" and I think "immature." But you'll never see me criticize cleavage.
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