Dress for
Successful
Employment
Nancy Arnett, Extension
Educator
Family & Consumer
Sciences/4-H Youth
Development
Adair County
The “Suit”
 Should
compliment your body style
 Should fit (not too small, not too big)
 Choose neutral colors (black, navy, grey)
 NEVER WEAR RED!!!!
 Jacket – not too low cut
 Skirt – not too short
Other Suits
 Some
Good Examples:
Bad Choices
 Examples:
Accessories
 Don’t
overdo it
 Should wear a ring (wedding ring on your
left hand) and a flat type of ring on the
right hand and nothing more.
 Simple necklace (if needed), may want to
use a scarf
 Simple earrings
 No bracelets
Bad Choices in Accessories
 AVOID:
Shoes
 No
sandals
 Should be pumps
 Should have a 1 ½ inch to 2 ½ inch heel
 Should be worn with panty hose
 Should be comfortable
 Should match the suit
Bad Choices in Shoes
 AVOID
these choices:
7 Handy Tips for Buying Used
Clothing
 Tip
1
Shop on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
The choices are better on these days.
 Tip 2
Ask yourself why the clothing is here. Is
something wrong with it? Look at it
carefully.
Tips Continued
 Tip
3
Does the clothing need repair? Look for—
rips, holes, worm, buttons, ripped hems.
Do zippers, snaps and buttons work?
Check knees, elbows, collars, and cuffs
for spots. Are balls of fuzz on the clothing.
They make clothing look worn. Do you
have the time and skill to fix the clothing?
If not, do not buy it.
Tips continued
 Tip
4
Is the clothing clean? Look for spots and
stains. Can you get the stains out? Can
the clothing be washed or bleached?
 Tip 5
How do you clean the clothing? Can it be
washed? Does it need to be ironed?
Does it need to be dry cleaned? Read
the care label.
Tips continued
 Tip
6
Would you really wear the clothing? If not,
do not buy it. Ask yourself – Is the clothing
in fashion? Does it fit? Do you feel good
in it? Do the styles and colors make you
look good? Where would you wear it?
Tips continued
 Tip
7
Make sure the clothing fits
 Try it on. Wear light weight clothing. Try
on used clothing over your clothing where
there is no dressing room.
 Take clothing that fits with you. Put it up
to used clothing and measure against it.
 Take a tape measure with you. Measure
clothing where it fits the body.
Final Tip
 Plan
ahead.
 Do used clothes go with other clothes you
have?
 Know your size.
 Buy clothing you will wear.
 Enjoy your new outfit.
Proportional Dressing
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To lengthen and slim silhouette
To shorten and widen silhouette
To shorten or widen a neckline
To lengthen or slim neckline
To lengthen waist
To shorten waist
To minimize waistline
To add width to waistline
To slim a heavy lower torso
To widen lower torso
To lengthen leg line
To shorten leg line
To minimize top heaviness
To broaden & add bulk to your upper torso
To emphasize slim lower torso
To lengthen and slim silhouette
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Vertical lines
Horizontal line higher from floor
Long diagonals – asymmetrical lines
Small paisleys, patterns, plaids, prints
Monochromatic dressing
Soft lightweight fabrics
Duller matte fabrics
Narrow gores
Accessories and belts in matching colors
Match hosiery and shoes to outfit
Blouse with no cuffs
Jacket hems that don’t fall at widest part of hips
Skirt hems above or below widest part of calves
Gently fitted, non-bulky clothing
No cuffs on slacks or shorts
Short or upswept hairstyles
Long, slim jackets
To shorten and widen
silhouette
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Horizontal lines
Horizontal line close to floor
Short diagonals
Large paisleys, patterns, plaids and prints
Shirt fabrics
Bright color contrasts
Heavy and bulky fabrics
Wide gores
Accessories and belts contrasting with outfit
Contrast hosiery and shoes
Jacket hems at widest part of hips
Skirt hems at widest part of calves
Fuller pleated skirts
Blouses with full sleeves and cuffs
Slacks or shorts with cuffs
Shoulder length hairstyles
Short wide jackets
To shorten or widen a neckline
 Hairline
ending just below ears.
 High necklines and collars such as:
turtlenecks, jewel, mandarin, rolled.
 Wide necklines: boat-neck.
 Wide collars
 Scarves or bows at neck.
 Choker-style necklaces
 Collars turned up or buttoned.
To lengthen or slim neckline
 Hairstyle
upswept or with neck showing
 Vertical necklines: V neck, scoop
 Narrow collars
 Long necklaces
 Scarves tied low
 Open collars
To lengthen waist
 Princess
lines, unbelted chemise dresses
 Long jackets, vests, and tunics
 Narrow belt or no belt at waist
 Dropped or pointed waist
To shorten waist
 Bloused
bodice; midriff; shoulder or hip
yokes
 Bomber jackets
 Short vests
 Wide, contrasting belt or cumberbund
 Peplum
To minimize waistline
 Accent
at neck
 Single breasted closing
 Narrow, vertical panels or gores
 One-piece outfits
 Over-blouses
 Minimal bulk at waistband
 One-piece bathing suits
 Dark values, dull colors
To add width to waistline
 Accent
at waistline
 Double breasted closing
 Wide gores or pleats
 Bikinis
 Light values, bright colors
 Large scale, bold pattern
 Full gathers at waistband
To slim a heavy lower torso
 Shoulder width, neck intense
 No full gathers at waist
 Vertical draping, slightly bloused bodice
 Semi-fitted style with minimum bulk
 Gently-fitted A-line, circle, or narrowly
gored skirts.
 No trim, accent or horizontal repetition at
hips
 Muted, dark colors
 Smooth textures
To widen lower torso
 Over-blouses or vests ending at
 Tightly fitted blouses
 Hip wraps
 Drop waist, peplum
 Full skirts, wide hemlines
 Shirring, smocking or bulk at hip
 Heavy, stiff, or shiny fabrics
 Bright or light colors
 Large pattern at hips
 Extreme bagginess or fullness
hips
area
To lengthen leg line
 No hip accent
 No pockets below waist
 No cropped pants
 Slim trouser leg with no cuffs
 Long skirts or pants
 No ankle straps on shoes
 Sleeky styled shoes
 Vertical pant or skirt stripes
 Medium to firm textures
To shorten leg line
 Full
jackets or coats ending at hip or
midhigh
 Full or tiered skirts
 Short skirts, knickers
 Pant cuffs
 Chucky shoes, ankle straps
 Horizontal pant or skirt pattern
 Extremely bulky, stiff textures
 Light values, bright intensities
 Short hemlines
To minimize top heaviness
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Small shoulder pads
Simple, loose-fitting lines
Minimal bulk or gathers
Dark or muted colors
No pockets
No ruffles or tucking
Raglan or dolman sleeves
Long jackets
Softly bloused tops
Over-blouses and tunic tops
Small patterns of solids
To broaden & add bulk to your
upper torso
 Shoulder pads
 Boat-neck
 Horizontal stripes
 Dolman sleeves
 Patch pockets
 Ruffles, tucks, gathers
 Bulky fabrics
 Simple, loose-fitting lines
 Light colors
 Large patterns
To emphasize slim lower torso
 Softly
bloused tops
 Straight skirts
 Slim pants
 Hip wraps
 No pockets
 No full skirts
References
 Dress
for Successful Employment; Brenda
Miller & Edwina Douglas – Extension
Educators
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