Image consultant Debbie Ibinola works with busy working women to overhaul their wardrobes and refresh their style.
With the dry Harmattan season coming to an end and the tropical rainy season beginning in Nigeria, what better time is there for you to go your look a new boost!
We are well aware that many BN readers are dynamic career women with an active lifestyle outside work as well.
Here are 7 Looks for 7 Days illustrated via this photo spread by Debbie Ibinola for Demeanor.
Masculinity meets Feminine Allure:
This season’s strong look calls for major attitude and your highest heels. Lighten the masculine overload like we did with bright red lipstick.
A single-breasted, straight-legged black pant suit like this one is one of the most timelessly elegant and useful pieces a working girl can have in her wardrobe. Petite women should choose a jacket that stops right on their hipline. Large busted women can do without the tie and should make sure the first button of the jacket stops at least an inch below their derriere.
To take this look from day to night, lose the jacket and the tie, roll up the sleeves and wear a bold statement bracelet in either silver or crystals. This combination of tailored style and relaxed restraint is a guaranteed room silencer. Fast-forward Sharon Stone at the 1998 Oscar in “the white shirt”.
(Shirt & Tie – TM Lewin & Nara Camici; Suit – Max Mara; Shoes – Christian Louboutin)
Turn up the intensity in pure undiluted poster paint neon colours. Fresh from the runway fearlessly mixed potent hues to lighten up your mood. This trend is not for the Lilly livered!
To pull this off, do not wear not more than three colours at a time. For this look blue shoes would have worked as well (if your work place doesn’t have a strict dress code, then you’re in luck).
Slim ladies can easily rock this trend and colour block; as long as your body parts are proportioned you should be fine.
If you’re a curvy lady or have a large bust, you can choose a dark bright colour in a matte fabric, neon brights like this yellow will only attract attention to the wrong places.
Petite ladies also have to be careful with this trend, if not done right, colour blocking might not complement your frame. A solid block colour dress is perfect, and like this picture use your accessories as the other colour blocks.
To take this look from day to night, pair with silver loop earrings and a gold or blue clutch for your best friend’s after work birthday cocktail event.
(Yellow dress – Grey; Purple shoes – Steve Madden)
Optical Abstract with a Luxe Vibe:
Nothing says sexy like replacing a camisole or shirt with a corset inside a jacket (think Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty). This look is best if your hair is pulled to the back, braided or simply pulled away from the face. The white and black jacket is paired with a black classic pencil skirt, it’s savvy, sexy, asserts femininity and power. The pencil skirt suits most body shapes. However, if you have a large bust and smaller hips, this can make you took out of proportion – In this case, the corset should be replaced by a camisole. The jacket on the other suits all body shapes.
To take this look from day to night. Friday night cocktail party; lose the jacket and accessorise with a bright coloured clutch and bracelet. Don’t forget to let your hair down.
(Jacket, Corset, Skirt – Bebe from Gavy’s Couture; Neckpiece – Ted Baker; Shoes – Charles Jordan)
Native Charm meets Modern-day Chic:
This look is flirty and fun. The skirt and belt is bright coloured so we balanced it up with a white button down blouse and beige shoes. To rock this look make sure the top is either a black or white monotone, even a slim T-shirt and a pair of ballet flats or flat sandals would do if you want to make it less dressy.
If petite, emphasise your waist with a medium sized belt, keep the length right above the knee and pair with heels. Taller women can pull it off with ballet flats or flat sandals. This look flatters most figures from the hour glass to the boyish figure.
Take this look from day to night by pairing the skirt with a black corset top, hoop earrings and bronze or black patent leather would work just fine.
(Ankara skirt & accessories – Ituen Basi; Shoes – Christian Louboutin from Profile Pad)
There’s nothing as refreshing as a burst of citrus either as a cocktail or in fashion. This tangerine orange dress was paired with brown shoes and subtle feminine accessories. This is the perfect dress to wear to work when you know you have a sizzling hot date coming up after 5pm. At work, pair with a fitted black blazer.
This dress has got ribbed horizontal lines from top to bottom and is ideal for ladies with proportionate body parts and hour glass shapes in a more fluid fabric. One of the requirements for wearing this dress is a flat abdomen (This can be achoeved with the help of Spanx or other body defining undergarment)
To take this dress from day to night – wear as it is and pair with gold chandelier earrings and a gold coloured clutch.
(Tangerine dress – Grey; Shoes – Christian Louboutin from Profile Pad)
feminine+minimal = feminimalism. This is the trend that proves less is definitely more. The perfect way to refresh your wardrobe palette this season. It could come in whites or creams. It calls for understated accents, hair, makeup and accessories should be kept fuss free. We used the night time look eye makeup to add a bit of an edge to it.
This shift will suit both tall and petite ladies. Should be worn with good undergarment because of fabric texture. Both hour glass and boyish body shapes can pull it off.
(Dress – Ejiro Amos Tafiri; Shoes – Charles Jordan)
First Lady of Fashion:
Be in tune with this season’s ladylike trend which is elegant luxurious and utterly modern. Channel your inner Michelle Obama. Can be worn with a black blazer at work.
(Dress – Grey; Shoes – Christian Louboutin)
Photography: Oladipo Oladapo
Styling: Debbie Ibinola for Demeanor (image/style consultants, reputation/crisis management)
Debbie Ibinola, CEO of Demeanor, an image/style consulting company. Demeanour also offers reputation/crisis management services.