Thursday, February 25, 2010

What Not to Wear at Work: A Night With Clinton Kelly!

Clinton Kelly, stylist and co-host of TLC's hit show What Not to Wear, appeared on February 19th at Livingston Hall in the Livingston Student Center. While not an academic professor, Mr. Kelly gave a lecture on what he knows best: fashion...specifically appropriate attire for the workplace.

Kelly appeared onstage at roughly 8:15P.M. He briefly covered his background--Communications major at Boston College, Masters' in Journalism at Northwestern University, dabbling in magazines before landing a television gig--before talking about fashionable office-wear.

"There are two types of jobs," Kelly argued. "Corporate and non-corporate." While he acknowledged that there is more freedom in non-corporate dress codes, Kelly maintained that one should dress seriously for an interview, no matter the position in question.

Some of his pointers were:

  1. Own a gray suit. Black is often a harsh color for daytime, and can highlight any undereye circles or blemishes on its wearers.

  2. Appropriate suit choices include 2- or 3-button suits for men, and 3-button suits for women.

  3. Jackets should always be buttoned. If you can't button it, you can't buy it.

  4. Shoulder pads are okay only when they are not Dynasty-esque and help to balance sloped shoulders.

  5. Pants should be mid-rise. This means that when you bend over, nothing is indecently exposed.

  6. Socks should be the same color as one's trousers. The whole point is to lengthen the appearance of the leg.

  7. Women's skirts should be knee-length...nothing any shorter nor any longer.

  8. All women, including tall ones, should feel comfortable wearing heels to an interview. This is the opportunity to show off what you have!

After going over these fashion pointers, Kelly went around the room and took audience questions. When asked about the popularity of Uggs and sweatpants among female college students at Rutgers, he paused and thought for a moment. College campuses are a different environment from the workplace, he acknowledged, "[but] no one likes to always be the girl in the 'comfort shoes.'"



Diwant Vaidya said...

Interesting, though I disagree about the gray suit. Perhaps for a techie interview that would be fine, but for a business interview at a big consulting firm it is strictly black suit/white shirt.

Scarlet Style said...

Hmm, I think that's a valid point. However, I feel that the black suit is slowly getting a lot more fashionable competition, and so overall, the most important thing about a suit, in my opinion, is the fit more so than the color.

Diwant Vaidya said...

Hey, this is the guy in 17 again?

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