Ask Belle Roundup: Short Answers on Work Attire

Feb 10, 2015

Hi Belle,

It’s a given to wear a camisole under a sheer blouse, but what should we be wearing under an otherwise-opaque blouse with a sheer yoke? I wouldn’t wear a camisole, but it seems to me that something like this Ann Taylor top would call for a strapless bra. I see them worn with traditional bras and it comes off a little gauche to me, but maybe I’m being overly critical. What do you think?

Love the blog, thanks!

You don’t need a camisole under a sheer yoke blouse.  If you think your work place is conservative enough that you would need one, then it’s probably too conservative for a sheer top.

Also, when wearing a sheer yoke, please wear a strapless bra.  The bra straps trend to ruin the sleekness of the look.  Need a good strapless?  I like this Wacoal Convertible Bra.  It offers good support but isn’t uncomfortable, even after 8+ hours.  They also offer a “full figure” version that goes up to size 40F.

Love sheer yoke tops?  I love this Claudie Pierlot top with a dotted yoke.

Hi Belle,

I’m starting my first job in a truly professional environment soon after years of working in a very casual area of my field. I switch between glasses and contacts and right now I have pretty trendy, but not completely outrageous, glasses. Do you think that certain frames will be seen as unprofessional? What would you recommend I stay away from or look for if I get new ones?

Thanks, Liz

I think glasses are a great way to show off your personality.  Especially if you’re wearing very conservative clothing, glasses that are a bit unique add punch to an outfit.  I just bought these teal Warby Parker glasses, and I think they’re a chic way to change up my look.  Unless you’re talking about wearing bright pink glasses with plastic roses glued to them, I think you’re fine.

Belle,

I’m gearing up for a big move, which means I’m doing  a job search from out of town. I already have two Skype interviews set up! However, I would appreciate advice on what best to wear when interviewing digitally. Are there colors or patterns to avoid? How about accessories?

Thank you! ESD

First, don’t wear solid white or solid black.  Also, avoid red.  Second, small prints, stripes, herringbone, etc. can bleed on video, so skip them.  I like jewel tones, navy, or grey.  Lighter neutrals and pastels tend to wash out.  If the interview would require a suit, wear one.

Third, if using a laptop, raise it up on a large book or small box.  It helps frame you so you aren’t looking down.  Also, check the background of the shot. Make sure there are no liquor bottles, messy shelves, dirty dishes, etc.

I also recommend wearing a little more makeup than usual.  It helps your features show up on camera.  If you don’t usually wear makeup, I recommend a double does of dark mascara, blush and concealer.  Avoid big jewelry or jewelry that makes noise.

Do your best to make sure there won’t be any interruptions (put your phone on silent, close the windows to stop street noise, put pets in a crate, etc.).    And if you want to ensure you hear the interviewer properly and are heard clearly, think about using headphones with a microphone (iPhone earbuds work well).

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  1. Heidi says:

    Regarding skype interviews: I second Belle’s advice about layering more makeup. Also, I once had a bad skin day and really harsh daylight, so I closed all curtains and placed a few lights, so that I was clearly visible but with good skin, and the background fuzzy enough to not be distracting. (And I was totally wearing short shorts with my collared shirt 🙂

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