At a networking event this morning, a male gave me a compliment on my appearance. He not only said I looked lovely but added a short explanation as to why, what I was wearing was very effective. I replied with a simple ‘thank you’. A minute or two later, I realised that I had been given a wonderful insight that I would now like to share with you.
I was wearing the LBD – the little black dress.
LBD – from a Woman’s Perspective Every woman knows that the little black dress is our fall-back option for any business networking event, conducting business and for formal and semi-formal occasions. The theory is that ‘you can’t go wrong wearing a black dress’. We are taught from an early age that black will suit every women (more on that later). Black is often our safe choice when we can’t find anything to buy in a colour that we like and that suits us. As a result, we wear the little black dress and think nothing more of it.
LBD – from Paul’s Perspective Paul is very smart. He has learnt from his daughters a secret benefit of wearing the little black dress. Paul is in marketing. This may have helped him remember what his daughters told him. Either way, it’s now your secret.
Paul complemented me on wearing a simple, modern classic style black dress and commented that because nothing stood out on it, his attention was immediately drawn up to my face where I had added colour. I was wearing a simple dramatic necklace in colours that complimented my hair colours and thus, drew attention to my face (as in this Mc Calls pattern 5890 on the right).
Smart Dressing Tips to Make the LBD work for You
Here are four modern dressing tips for business women over 40 to make you shine in your little black dress.
The first tip is to choose black or a colour close to an all-black colour. A solid black dress is not the most flattering colour for every woman. It can be harsh and draining on many women, especially as you age and your skin colour lightens. There are alternatives. Grape which is a black/purple, rich dark chocolate brown, red/black, dark deep grey, french navy which is a black/navy, dark green or a dark teal green are colours that may be more flattering for you. These colours are not always easy to find but when you do notice one, try it on.
The second tip is to choose a simple, modern classic style that suits your body shape and personality and that leaves some skin space below your neckline. You want your face to shine rather than be drained by a very dark colour.
The third tip is to choose your little black or dark dress in a matt fabric and with minimum distractions. Pleats, frills, lace, buttons etc take attention away from your face.
Lastly, add an accessory (necklace, scarf, brooch, flower or earrings) large enough to draw attention to your face. A fine gold or silver chain won’t do the job. Black or any of the dark colours above are a perfect neutral background to add a light or bright colour to give a medium or high contrast effect that draws people and compliments to you. Wear something in one or a combination of your best eye, hair or skin colours and you will shine and stand out from all those other women in their boring LBDs.
Paul was smart enough to not only say ‘you look lovely’ but also to add an explanation. Those types of compliments are the best ones to either give or receive. They are a personal acknowledgment of the other person’s strengths and pride in themselves. Listen carefully to those compliments because it is more enjoyable to develop your strengths than be deflated by criticism.
Thank you Paul and Paul’s daughters. Wisdom does not always come at an older age.
We can all shine. You must want to do it and then seek those who can teach it to you.
(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 5 April 2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)