Skimming through Talbot’s March 2012 flyer and I saw this pairing. As you know, I am always looking for items to suggest for clients to wear to work. This caught my eye as something that is appropriate for the office . . . or is it?

At first glance, the pencil skirt and the leopard print top look very professional. Note the length of the skirt is just above the knee, which is the shortest it should be. The blouse is soft and has buttons. Then I hit the first snag–I would recommend buttoning it up one more button. (A loose blouse that is unbuttoned this low will surely show cleavage on even the flattest chest when one bends over. Those with ample assets will surely show cleavage with this low of a blouse.) Ever mindful of details, I read the description of the blouse. It comes with a “detachable cami.” Warning! Anything that comes with a detachable cami is probably more sheer than is appropriate for the office. Make sure you test it because sheer says “sexy” rather than “successful.” Find this blouse in something that is not sheer and you’ve got a winner!

The suiting pieces are another great item for the office. Wear it as a suit or use them as separates. The jacket would go great with the a pencil skirt or pants; the skirt would mix well with a sweater, blazer or silk blouse. And don’t get stuck in black and white just because the suiting is black and white. This suit would look great with just about any color blouse–as long as the color is flattering to your skin tone. Do note that the top shown here might be a bit too low in a professional setting. Remember when the indentation starts to show, you know the top is too low.

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, Certified Total Image Consultant