Civility by Diana Olson:

There is a definite difference between clothing choices for casual occasions and clothing choices for dressier occasions. I will define some choices in comparing casual vs. dressier clothing.

For example, a sweater (single layer) vs. a sweater set (double layer) means that the choice on the left is more casual than the choice on the right.

1 .Application of layers: Single layer; 2 + layers (sweater vs. sweater set)

2. Feel of fabric: Textured; smooth (tweed vs. satin). Tweed is more casual than satin.

3. Details; no tie or scarf: Ties and scarves dress up clothing.

4. Outer details; heavy outer stitching: No outer stitching (denim vs. silk)

5. Matched separates; unmatched: Matched (blazer and slacks vs. suit)

6. Jewelry; rustic: Refined (ethnic, large accessories, leather, wood vs. fine metals, gold, pearls, gemstones)

7. Soles of shoes: Thick soles; thin soles (wingtips vs. sneakers)

8. Accessories: more;less (Simplicity can be more elegant)

9. Fabric of shoes: Textured; smooth (cork vs. patent)

10. Men's shoes: Penny loafers (excluding sneakers); wingtips (formal)

11. Women's shoes: Heavy; light (heavy voots vs. high strappy sandals)

12. Fit of clothing: Unstructured; structured (sweatshirt vs. suit)

13. Men's shirts: Plain cuffs; French cuffs (buttons vs. cufflinks)

14. Collars: No collars vs. collars

15. Colors: Light bright colors; high dark contrast (pale pink vs. electric blue)

16. Appearance: Casual, relaxed, friendly; formal, stable, credible, business-like (jeans vs. blazer)

17. Lines: Curved; straight (Peter Pan collars vs. angled collars)

18. Fabric design: Prints; solids (paisley vs. solid silk)

19. Industry related: Blue-collared industry; corporate industry (jeans vs. suits)

20. Vests: Vests; no vests (vests will dress up a blazer or suit).


DIANA OLSON, MA AICI CIP, Image and Etiquette Consultant, is available for consultations, workshops, and seminars through EM diana@dianaolson.com or www.dianaolson.com or (626) 584-9761.

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