Transitioning Your Work Wardrobe for Spring

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Spring Daydreaming

It’s March! Birds are chirping, yesterday it was 70 degrees, and you’re all ready to bust out your short sleeves and floral patterns…but today it’s snowing sideways and under 20 degrees. That’s right, it’s Spring, and it seems to be the most difficult season to dress for when you wake up and there is still frost on the ground, but by the time you leave work, it is sweltering. Being that we have lived and worked in a multitude of climates, we have picked up a few tips for dressing for this quandary.

Workable layers: Many times LEAF 2 has been guilty of saving a shirt or two that can only be worn with something over it. You know the one I’m talking about-it looks good in the front, but there is a stain on the back, or it has an open back which would definitely not be acceptable in the workplace. In Spring when the weather is variable, you need every layer to work independently. We love this long sleeved, unique lace top for when your heating up in the afternoon. Lightweight and decorative scarves are also a good idea to get you to work in the morning, but easy to shed once you warm up.

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Top: H&M       Similar: Nordstrom

Lightweight blazers or jackets: Blazers can literally be worn for almost any scenario, but your medium and lightweight blazers can be useful in the Spring. In the morning, they add an extra layer of warmth, but they don’t stifle you when the 70 degree day sneaks up on you. This blush blazer is so fun for the season! And you can dress it up with a floral shirt, or chunky accessories.

 

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Blazer: LOFT          Similar: Asos

Heavier pants: When its still pretty chilly outside, but you are desperately yearning for spring, wool pants in a light color can be a great wardrobe piece. LEAF 2 wears this pair year round, but is particularly fond of them when channeling Spring vibes.

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Pants: Loft       Similar: Nordstrom

What are some of your favorite Spring transition pieces or tips! Leave us a comment below.

 

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Wide Legged Pants for Women with Short Torso

The struggle is real. Leaf 1 has short torso and short legs. We are not complaining, we are just stating facts. But we both love wide legged trousers and pants. Most wide legged pants are high-waisted because they are created for women with long legs. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the previous post (here), more than 50% of women are under 5’4″.  So what do we do if we love wide legged pants but our legs are not elongated like models and the torso is just a tad bit too short?

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Pants: H&M; Top: Uniqlo

Here are a few tips we found if you’re on the same boat as us:

  1. Tuck in your shirt so that you can show off your waist! Do not pair your wide legged trousers with a top that has excess material.
  2. Vertical patterns! Vertical patterns such as the striped pants (below) can elongate your legs.
  3. The pants/trousers should sit above the belly bottom (about 1-2 inches). Avoid super high-waisted pants – these can be very unflattering, especially if your torso is short.
  4. Accessorize the pants with heels! Pointed toe heels or any heels can give you 2-4 inches!

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Overall, there are a lot of fashion rules that exist for no reason, such as… if you’re short, don’t even think about walking out of your house with wide legged pants. However, if you follow tips above, you’ll be sure to add at least 2-4 inches to your height AND you’ll look amazing doing so! Culotte pants are your other options, as previously posted here!

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Case Series – Future Leaders

If you read the ‘About Us’ section, you’ll find that both Leaf1 and Leaf2 want to use this platform to encourage everyone to succeed in life. Bloggers/authors are leaders in some capacity. But what is a leader? Since good leadership is vital, this topic has been studied for centuries. After reading multiple sources (one of many is from here), we noted that leaders tend to have these following characteristics:

  • Empathetic
  • Passionate
  • Collaborative
  • Creative
  • Influential
  • Innovative
  • Socially intelligent

If you read business case studies from sources like the Harvard Business Review or special reports from Knowledge@Wharton, you’ll find that leaders come in all shapes and sizes, including characteristics. What works for this environment or scenario may not be applicable to a different setting, and that’s OK. We are all learning together.

Absolutely, we love a good fashion blog. But we are just as excited to share views from future leaders! These two selected future leaders (Christine‘s podcast and Sunish‘s podcast) are student pharmacists from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the first pharmacy  program in North America. The program is truly exceptional with nearly 200 years of experience.

On another note, we have partnered up with a Medical Mission team to sell T-shirts! How cute is that!? We (and a few friends) will be “modeling” these T-shirts for everyone to see next month! All proceeds go towards costs for medical supplies and medications. More on how to order and support in the near future! We are proud to support this group of future leaders as they work to provide health care services in rural communities. Comment below to tell us how you are leading your community or profession!

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Leaf2 and Leaf1: Mission trip participants in 2014; Featured image: Leaf1 and Leaf2 staying hydrated after a long day of serving rural communities.

 

 

 

 

Versatile Dresses

Some work dresses are classics, and some push the fashion envelope, but the fact of the matter is that wearing a dress always makes you feel a little…different. Sometimes they make you feel beautiful, sometimes they make you feel powerful, once in a while they make you really uncomfortable, and sometimes they make you feel like a little kid! Pants just aren’t that emotionally versatile! So while we love pants, we decided to blog about a couple tips and tricks for dresses in the workplace.

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Classic LBD: A nice, conservative, black dress (previously worn here) can be the most versatile thing in your closet. With a pair of tights (previously posted here) and classy low heels, you can be dressed appropriately for a day at the computer, giving a speech, or seeing patients. Or all three! By nature, a black dress is a little fancier than other colors, so if you are on a budget, a cheap black dress is a great multitasker. With heels-it can be dressy enough for going out on the town. With flats, it can be worn for everyday activities, or when you’re on the go. With accessories-it looks like a different dress every day.

Jewel Tones: We’ve always loved a pretty, rich, jewel tone (dress above: Old Navy). They’re flattering on everyone for a reason, they’re beautiful! This green beauty, (found on super sale for $8!) looks good even in the depths of Winter (or early Spring here on the East Coast) because it truly flatters every skin tone. Plus, every time of year is a good time for a pretty pop of bright color. Like the LBD, you can dress this up with glitzy shoes (BCBG), accessories, and bag (Kate Spade), but it can also be dressed down with these boots and functional work bag.

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Non-fitted dresses: A note about dresses that seem to be baggy-if you like the color and overall style, you can ALWAYS cinch the waist with a good belt. This green dress kind of looks like a sack without the belt, but drawing in the waist allows the fabric to fall loosely, but has a tailored look. This is a GO TO for making a dress more appropriate for a dressier work environment. But for casual wear…let the extra fabric flow! More to come on this topic in a future blog!

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How to Wear it to Work: Culottes

I know what you’re thinking..there is no way to wear culottes in a traditional, conservative work setting. However, culottes have gone through a variety of phases, from slouch and casual, to polished and chic. There are even athletic culottes!

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Asos: Here and Featured Image

A structured pair of colored culottes (complete with pleats!) pairs well with a button down top, or blouse with ruffles in the front. Tucking your top in creates silhouette, and adding heels, even a kitten heel, can make culottes work-ready. (Below, a good comparison from a work-outfit to a happy-hour outfit with culotte pants!).

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Wide legged jumpers can also be great for work. They’re one piece and incredibly comfortable…what more could you want? Leaf 1 paired her culotte jumper (from Target) with a belt, blazer, and heels to create a classic look with a very modern piece. Interestingly, colored culottes are almost easier to dress up than dark colored ones, but the key is structure and a high quality fabric to make culottes work appropriate.

Thanks for reading! We would love to hear your thoughts!

Jeans for Women with Short Legs

According to these smart people, more than 50% of women (20-80 yoa!!) are under 5’4″. That makes shopping for some of our clothing tougher than it should be! Leaf 1 and Leaf 2 are both one of them (falling short under 5’3″).  We are not complaining about our height, but we understand that it can be extremely difficult to find jeans that do not require us to get creative and roll up that hem!

We don’t want to pay for Jeans that cost $50.00 and pay for the hemming service at the Dry Cleaner for another $20.00. Definitely not worth it! (Believe us because Leaf 1 has some hands on experience (aka worked at a sweatshop…more on that later)). So, where can we find Jeans for women with short legs? Some women with short legs are not petite (like Leaf 1), so going to the petite section just doesn’t cut it. Therefore, knowing your inseam length is remarkably helpful to purchase accurate clothing sizes. Here are the steps to find your inseam length:

  1. Use a pair of pants in your closet to help you find your inseam length. Choose a pair of pants that fit you perfectly; they aren’t too long or too short, and are just tight enough to be comfortable.
  2. Fold your pants. Fold them in half vertically, so that you can only see a single leg.
  3. Smooth them out. Lay them out on an ironing board or the floor. Smooth them out so there aren’t any wrinkles or bumps, and the fold is evenly lined u
  4. Make note of your measurement. The measurement in inches (or centimeters) from the crotch of the pants to the hem is your inseam length.

If you have any doubts, you can always head to your friendly tailor to get some advice!

Some of our favorite stores with a variety of inseam measurements are as follows: Madewell (love love love!- jeans below are from Madewell!), Banana Republic/Gap (same parent company – hit or miss so make sure to check the inseam measurements), ASOS, and Armani Exchange (although their clothes are a bit petite).

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Finally, keep in mind that lots of stores (such as Uniqlo and Lululemon) offer FREE measurements and alterations. It’s not done on the day of purchase, but it’s a great feeling to get the perfectly sized garment in the mail!

Packing Tips For Work Travel

Traveling for work can be so much fun! Going to conferences or other offices to meet new people and see new ways of doing things can be incredibly insightful and rewarding. However, packing for work trips can be very different than packing for vacation. Whether it is for interviews, conferences, or visits, LEAF 1 and LEAF 2 have done their fair share of business-related travel and have some tips to make your trip a success!
Bring a water bottle: Traveling in general tends to leave us dehydrated, and to make matters worse, water costs about 3-4 times as much in a conference center or airport than it does anywhere else. Bring your own reusable water bottle to fill up after you pass through security and keep yourself from getting parched throughout your entire trip.
Anti-bottle Vapur Eclipse: Here
Be prepared for security: This may seem simple, but LEAF 2 has enough stories about people being non-compliant with the security line to write a book. Don’t be the person who holds up the line because you don’t know the rules, or you want to argue the rules with the federal agent who enforces them. They’re actually laws, so they aren’t changing because someone complained about them today.
To make your process through the line faster, here are a few quick but useful tips: wear easily removable shoes, wear socks (the floors can be a little gross), don’t wear large metal jewelry or a belt, wear as few layers as possible, have your computer (without it’s cord) on top of your bag and ready to put in its own bin, have your liquids in a bag you can remove easily (though this is a rule that is being scaled back, this also keeps your liquids from exploding all over your neatly packed clothes), push your bags all the way into the scanner before you step into the line for the body scanner or metal detector.

Invest in a handy suitcase scale: If you’re planning to bring back souvenirs or go shopping on your trip, this is a cheap and lightweight investment that will help you to make sure you don’t go over the weight limitations for your carry on or checked luggage. You simply hold it up, and hang your bag or suitcase on it and, like a produce scale, it will show you how much it weighs.

Digital Luggage Scale: Here

Use every pocket: When you pack your carry on or your checked bag, use every pocket/zipper you can. It is helpful to spread out your belongings, in the event of theft, but it is also helpful to use all the built-in storage to keep your necessary items safe and protected.

 

Bring business cards: When you are traveling for work, take every opportunity to network and meet people who you can learn from and who inspire you to take back great ideas to your own workplace. While business cards have been around for a long time, many people still carry them and find them helpful to remember the person they spoke with and how to contact you! It’s also a great way to ask for someone’s information in return. But don’t just take the business card and file it away somewhere- follow up! Email people that you meet at a conference or visit a week or so after you get back so that they remember you and you maintain that connection you made. Then make sure to stay in touch.

Last but not least, do have fun! Here are some pictures from our Iceland Trip!

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What are your work travel tips? Leave us a comment below and follow us on instagram for more tips! @ileaf.blog