Need to spiff up your professional image? Check out these fashion tips from Mary Lou Andre, president and founding editor of Dressing Well On-Line, a Needham, Massachusetts-based wardrobe management and fashion-consulting firm.
Articles in This Feature:
Not ridiculously thin like Ally McBeal? Jackets camouflage a lot.
Your wallet a little thin? Buy one black pants suit and wear the pants three days a week. Pair them with less expensive tops from discount stores. Buy the matching skirt and dress when you have the money.
Following trends? Twin sets (shells with a matching cardigan) are hot for the winter.
Need to hide a potbelly? Wear tunic tops. (Hint: They have slits on the sides.)
Need to hide a beer belly? Cover it with a jacket or wear collared shirts to draw the eye up to your face.
Minimum number of shoes needed for work? Three for women: dress pumps, loafers and ankle boots. Two for men: dress shoes and loafers.
What's the best coat length for women? Three-quarter, or knee-length, to go with pants or skirt.
What's the best coat choice for everyone? A trench coat with zip-out lining or a wool coat if you're in the Northeast.
How do you clean your closet? Get rid of the 80 percent of clothes that you don't wear and keep the 20 percent that you wear 80 percent of the time.
Are man-made fibers really OK? Don't be a polyester snob. High-quality polyester travels well without wrinkling or wilting.
How do you draw the eye up to your face and away from your (fill in your worst asset here)? For women, gold or pearl earrings can draw attention to your face. Men can wear collared shirts.
Do details matter? Yes, shoes and belts must match, please.
If you have money to spend, what's the key to looking good? Shop twice a year. Buy the whole outfit and get it tailored. Stop buying mix and match.
Does size matter? Yes. If you're a perfect size 8 woman or a size 34 man, you can buy cheaper clothes and they won't pull on you. If you're bigger and don't have much to spend, get one great suit