Tag Archives: instyle

123RF.com, Copyright: Pablo Hidalgo

Skinny Business, Pt. 1: The Case of the Crop Top

“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.

How long would it take you to find someone wearing a crop top on the street, in the nearest Starbucks or at Target? The answer: a few minutes at most. Straight from the 1980’s, crop tops are invading cities everywhere.

Crop tops are becoming a staple in a lot of women’s wardrobes — from high schoolers to a moms of three. Crop tops have become so popular that there are maybe only a few apparel stores where you can’t buy one.

It’s a versatile piece of clothing. You can wear one to the gym, on a date or underneath overalls. However, that doesn’t mean they’re appropriate for every occasion. So, what about the office?

The answer is yes and no.

When the word crop top pops into someone’s mind, the last thing they associate it with is work attire. It’s true that crop tops were not created for work, but a business fashionista knows the exception. It comes down to knowing what type of crop top to wear so it flatters your figure without revealing too much.

In general, the golden rule is to match the right crop top with the right high-waisted pants, skirt or shorts. If you think that covering your tight black crop top and jeans combo for casual Friday with a blazer or cardigan is genius, you’re wrong.

To be clear, there are various types of crop tops and the skin tight, super short ones you see girls wear to the gym or around a college campus will never be work attire. Other types of crop tops are longer, structured and less fitting. This type of crop top is the kind you can attempt to wear to work.

As a general rule, avoid crop tops in the workplace. Rules are meant to be broken, though, and there may come a time when that gingham crop top is calling your name. In this case, always stick with high-waisted bottoms (no shorts) and you should be okay.

If you find yourself skeptical about the idea of wearing a crop to work, here are some do’s and don’ts.


  • Embrace layering the crop top over a sweater like the one below from Banana Republic.Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 5.12.17 PM


  • Pair box-y crop tops with midi skirts like Keri Russell as seen on InStyle.com.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 5.12.26 PM

  • Wear other color crop tops beside black (spice it up a bit) similar to this crop top from Francesca’s.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 5.12.35 PM


  • Channel your inner 16 year-old self
  • Wear a crop top if your not comfortable
  • Expose midriff
123RF.com, stokkete

These shoes were made for working

“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.

If you’re the type of business fashionista whose outfits revolve around shoes, your coworkers could probably identify you by them alone. While great footwear is much appreciated against that dull office carpet, it also can present a challenge.

Shoe type varies by season and occasion. For example, riding boots are advertised for fall and winter while flip-flops are for the beach. However, like most other things in fashion, one can easily mix and match. Wearing a strappy pair of sandals to a wedding is no longer frowned upon. The challenge comes with what types of shoes apply to the office appropriate category.

In general, footwear choices seem endless from heels, flats, sandals, sneakers and boots. When it comes to work, it often feels like those choices are significantly slimmer. It can be a struggle for any shoe-obsessed women to determine what shoes she can wear for the office. Surely somewhere, a woman is debating between ballet flats and strappy heels.

No worries, though. This list of do’s and don’ts for footwear is your quickest solution.

DO wear something functional. Functionality is key with any style, color or design of shoes. If you can’t walk to and from the conference room without painfully crushing your feet into the toe box of your pumps, there’s a good chance your workday will begin to include everything but work.

DO embrace your inner shoe style. One of the biggest battles among workplace fashion preferences for decades is waged between flats and heels. Ask yourself: Am I a heels woman or are a flats woman? Whichever you are, embrace it by all means. There is no right or wrong choice. It’s all about what your comfort zone is, and if it’s not 5-inch stilettos then that’s perfectly OK. If you are a heels woman but desire a break from your aching feet, choose a pair of flats for an especially busy day in the office. Try oxfords or ballet flats.

DO try to tone it down just a bit when it comes to not only height but also color. Remember, you’re at the office, not brunch or the Kentucky Derby. You’re heels shouldn’t be so high that your walking pace is significantly slower than usual. Maybe those highlighter pink sandals would do your outfit more justice outside of work. A simple pair of 3-inch nude heels is perfect for a busy day of nonstop meetings. They are appropriate in terms of height and color. By all means, don’t take this suggestion too literally. If you’re going to wear a statement pattern or color in the office, heels are the best way to do so. Plus: It’s always fun to mix in a little leopard print. For more ideas, the InStyle collection for Nine West is full of office appropriate footwear.

DON’T be afraid to lace up or slip on your favorite sneakers. If you have been keeping up the fashion week, I’m sure you have seen sneakers everywhere. It’s back to the ’80s for work wear! Whether it’s Chucks or a colorful pair of Reeboks, you can take comfort to the maximum by slipping on a pair with a pencil skirt. This look can be tricky, but with the right balance of textures and fitted pieces in the outfit, it can be a perfect pairing for a workingwoman on the move.

DON’T wear casual sandals to the office. Sandals mostly aren’t office shoes, but especially not the ones you wear on weekends. I’m not sure gladiator sandals is what your clients want to see.

NEVER wear Birkenstocks or Uggs.

Pastel Fashion

The Power Of Pastel Shades

Like Easter eggs, fresh flowers and seasonal allergies, pastel shades are synonymous with springtime. Hues such as light yellow, icy blue, blush pink, light lavender and mint green are key players in this season’s trend-setting color palette.Power of Pastel

Such shades normally reserved for the nursery lit up the spring runways and are now changing the faces of storefront displays across the valley. Designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang have transformed these child-like shades into a wearable and desirable springtime staple.

When revitalizing our closets with these playful colors that scream springtime, its best to avoid the head-to-toe monochromatic look pulled from the runway, as these sorbet shades tend to add unwanted bulk. Although the one-shade look may work for seven-foot models, pastels tend to squash any petite frames.

To avoid this, break up your look with either different shades of pastel or pair with solids, such as a black sweater, white blouse or a nude pump. Another great way to stay on trend without adding bulk is to invest in tailored pieces with clean lines.Power of Pastel

Capable of being a work-appropriate trend, avoid resembling a gelato shop by pairing a crisp black or white piece to help balance the outfit. A well-fitted pastel blazer, blouse or pencil skirt are both stylish and a sophisticated alternative to these playful shades.

Outside of the work area, pastel-dyed denim has been a huge standout for this trend. Without overindulging in looks from the ’80s, pair your sorbet pants with a white tee and black flats.

With the rising temps, enjoy these light and airy shades with loose-flowing dresses and skirts. For a little something extra, pair your look with this season’s hot patterns, such as polka dots, floral or the revitalization of stripes.

Perhaps a daunting trend to get acquainted with, it’s still easy to stay fashionable with the help of pastel accessories. Embrace these light hues in purses, jewelry and even nail polish. Most importantly, have fun with this not-at-all-serious color palette; we’ll leave that up to the dark crimsons, blacks and purples looming over our fall wardrobes.

For more pastel fashion and inspiration, visit: