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The Big Bling Theory: Keep jewelry practical in the office

“The Business Fashionista” is AZ Big Media’s fashion blog for the business-minded. It examines the dos, don’ts and musts of the modern fashionista who wants to stay in step with the latest trends in the workplace.

Bangles, bracelets, necklaces, wedding rings, midi rings, toe rings, studs, hoops and cuff earrings. Just admit it ― when it comes to jewelry, you love it all.
Jewelry is probably one of the easiest ways to personalize your outfit. Each piece you select has a reason behind it. Some women are the queens of jewelry and always have on at least three rings, two necklaces and a pair of earrings. Other women are more simple.
No matter which side of the jewelry spectrum you’re on, all business fashionistas need to know the guidelines for office-appropriate jewelry. While you may be thinking the obvious, “I know how to wear jewelry,” everything you wear to the office should be carefully considered.
It may not be as difficult for you to pick out a necklace as it is picking out what top you should pair with that pencil skirt, but there are problems jewelry can present in the office. For example, we all know that one girl at the office who sounds like a ring full of keychains every time she moves her arms stacked with silver bracelets.

Rule No. 1: Your jewelry shouldn’t distract or disturb others.
A great test to see if your jewelry is office appropriate is to move around. If it makes a lot of sound, don’t wear it. Or, just look in the mirror. In the words of Coco Chanel, “Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

Rule No. 2: Sometimes less is more.
You want your jewelry to complement your outfit, not mask it. The smartest business fashionistas embrace the signature piece of jewelry. A signature piece is something you wear almost daily, and it could be just to work or all day anywhere. Often, a simple necklace or ring with your initial on it looks much better by itself. Not only is personalized jewelry fun, but it’s also an easier way to incorporate jewelry into your outfit if you skew toward the simpler. Watches are perfect, too, by themselves. Keep in mind to mix function and fashion. It can be annoying if all your decorative watch does is sit on your wrist and look pretty, as opposed to giving you the time.

Rule No. 3: Don’t go too crazy with the bedazzled, bling-y, rhinestone adorned jewelry.
This rule goes along with the first rule. You may not realize it, but your favorite bedazzled necklace can be distracting for your coworkers. The purpose of rhinestones is to attract attention to an object, but this is not the attention you necessarily want when giving a presentation at a meeting. Instead of focusing on you, everyone is looking at your bling-y jewelry.

Rule No. 4: Size does matter
The theory of the bigger the better doesn’t always apply to the jewelry you wear to the office. Tone it down a few notches. Huge hoop earrings might not be appropriate for the office. Unless you’re flawless like Beyoncé with an 18-carat diamond wedding ring, wear practical jewelry.

Ban Bossy1, WEB

Local business owners weigh in Ban Bossy campaign

The Ban Bossy campaign led by Facebook COO and Lean In founder, Sheryl Sandberg, and the Girl Scouts of USA works to help empower girls and women. The campaign partnered with celebrities and businesses to share quotes, stories and tips for girls, parents, troop leaders and managers to help women become leaders. The basis of the campaign comes from statistics that show that when boys assert themselves they are called leaders, but when girls assert themselves they are labeled as bossy.

The Ban Bossy websites shares leadership tips for girls, parents, teachers, managers and troop leaders that contain statistics and tips for difficult situations. Some examples include allowing boys and girls to work together in groups, pausing after questions so that all students have time to answer, asking questions without right answers so students can answer without the fear being wrong, reading books and watching movies with heroines and heroes, differentiating between competence and being well-liked in the workplace and eliminating language that contains gender bias.

The site also displays favorite stories and resources that “encourage girls to flex their leadership muscles.” These range from PDF activities for girls and parents to complete, to troop activities, to media choices and information, to stories of real girls breaking stereotypes and being leaders.

So how can we expand upon the Ban Bossy campaign? Two Arizona businesswomen speak up about what it means to be a woman in business and how to break the glass ceiling.

Lisa Pino, an ASU alumna and former Deputy Assistant Secretary at USDA, and Kimber Lanning, an Arizona business owner and founder of Local First Arizona, both talk about women needing to take the initiative and use their voice.

Pino explains that she first took the initiative when she worked at a small, private college. She pitched an idea about how to help women enter and stay in college through difficult socio-economic situations such as teenage motherhood, financial struggles and cultural differences. Through this idea, Pino implemented the first minority retention program at the college. “I was fortunate to have a woman boss, and this gave me the initiative to empower myself and do work other than what I was assigned,” Pino states. After this first critical step, Pino states that she later realized that she could be the leader because she learned how to exercise new muscles in creativity and leadership.

Lanning takes a similar position when she states, “Don’t use ‘I’m a girl’ for an excuse for anything – good or bad.” She continues to explain, “I don’t spend a whole lot of time dwelling on what I can or can’t do,” Lanning states, “I just leap. Fear of failure is not a reason to not try.”

Lanning took the initiative at a young age. She explains that she was passed over for a manager position at a record shop because “no one would listen to a 100-pound woman.” So, Lanning opened her own store, Stinkweeds, instead.

Both women also agree that women need to speak up for themselves in the workplace. Pino explains, “As a woman, it’s necessary to be able to exercise your voice.”

She continues to explain that there is a recent shift in the workplace. Previously, she says, women needed to act like men in the workplace, but now there is an appreciation for the qualities that women tend to have and how those can be regarded as strengths.

“Women tend to have the likelihood of listening, negotiating and handling situations. They work on challenges with a longer view, and are not just forced by the short-term pressure,” Pino explains, “Women tend to be more ambidextrous because they are used to doing it all – work and family. Juggling many things is part of the norm.”

Lanning agrees that women need to show what they can offer in the workplace. She states, “I try to take the time to be conscientious about what I can offer to other people, but if I need to, I have a big toolbox and boxing gloves if needed.” However, Lanning also points out “if women come to work with their boxing gloves every day that is not helpful either.” She suggests that women find ways to collaborate and show their worth.

Pino also speaks directly about Ban Bossy, Lean In and other women’s campaigns. She explains that, even with some of the criticism, all of these campaigns are successful because they start the dialogue. She claims, “It is not as simple as identifying one word – it is a much more complex subject – but, nevertheless, we are talking about it.” She explains that through the extensive coverage from mass media, social media and other women that now people who are not women have to talk about it as well. “Let’s continue the dialogue, let’s see what measurable actions we can take together, let’s create some sort of coalition of support and collaboration,” Pino states.

Finally, Pino states that she is excited and proud of the millennial generation. “It is so exciting for younger women today. It is fantastic that they are growing up in a culture where they won’t tolerate challenges that women had in the past. Also, male millenials are much more progressive in believing in equity for women. I am inspired by younger women and their courage in speaking out about these issues. The culture is changing.”

As women are still underrepresented in board rooms, in business, in the STEM fields and in politics, the discussion needs to continue about equality in the workplace. Ban Bossy attempts to confront the stereotypes and double standards that women face and show girls and women how to lean in. As Beyoncé states, “I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.

Check out part 2 of this article discussing the Paycheck Fairness Act and President Barack Obama’s Executive Order.

London May 1-PhotoCredit_Yosra El-Essawy

The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, Starring Beyoncé, Coming to Phoenix

The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, starring Beyoncé, is extending its successful global run with additional dates – Phoenix included, of course. The tour dates will include performances in Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and over a dozen US cities including a stop in Phoenix at US Airways Center on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Put on your alarm and time your phone for Ticketmaster alerts, because tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m., NEXT MONDAY, July 1 at ticketmaster.com, the US Airways Center box office or at 1-800-745-3000.  The North American tour, promoted by Live Nation Global Touring and produced by Parkwood Entertainment, kicks off on Friday, June 28 in Los Angeles.

With its explosive special effects and intricate, strobe-laden light show, The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour is an artistic triumph and the entertainer’s most ambitious undertaking to date. It is bigger in scope than any of her previous shows, fittingly designed for the vastness of arenas and stadiums. For an exclusive look at this spectacular live show featuring footage from the European leg in broadcast quality format click here.

Huge fan? A special pre-sale for registered members of Beyoncé’s BeyHive Blog will begin at 10:00AM/EDT in select markets on Wednesday, June 26. Fans can go to Beyonce.com to sign up for the chance to be the first to purchase tickets. In addition, MasterCard pre-sales start Thursday, June 27 at 10:00AM/EDT in select markets.

And yes, we’re excited.