Copy This: Keisha Knight Pulliam at ‘The Butler’ Premiere

Photo: Getty Images

Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam rocks the red carpet at Monday’s ‘The Butler’ premiere at NYC’s Ziegfeld Theater. (Photo: Getty Images)

by Jackie

Stumped on what to wear? Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam shows us how to pull of a simple, yet stylish look. The great part is, you probably already own a black blazer. If you don’t have a black and white color blocked sheath dress, get one. Strategic color blocking is flattering on every figure and black and white is a classic combo. Complete the look with a gold necklace and red lipstick, and voila!

(Photo: Getty Images)

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Casual Friday Inspiration

by Sherria

I usually wear jeans, a plain shirt and blazer on “casual Friday”. I try to jazz it up a bit with statement jewelry. If your office doesn’t allow you to wear jeans, you can wear a pair of slim slacks.

I think my whole outfit is from Forever 21. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to look professional. However, please keep in mind that not everything from Forever 21 is appropriate for work. So, remember to try on the clothes in a fitting room before making a purchase.

If you have questions about work appropriate clothing, please feel free to ask Jackie and I anything. Email us at Lookacute@gmail.com

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I always take a pair of ballerina flats with me to work even when I wear heels. They are great to walk in when you are running out the door for lunch or just walking home from work.

I love Kate Spade! 

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Pastel Jeans for Spring

by Sherria

Photo credit: Skinny H

Two  years ago I wore a pair of purple jeans and one of my friends told me that colored jeans were out of style. If you know anything about me, then you know I don’t care too much about what people think. But, I thought to myself “man, I wish colored jeans would come back in style.” Now my time is here! Bright, colorful, pastel jeans are back in style! Gap, Old Navy, and J.Crew are heavily promoting colored jeans for the spring. I particularly like them because you can almost pull them off as slacks on a casual Friday. This spring, I encourage everyone to be bold and try mixing patterns (i.e., shirts and shoes) with colored jeans. I love the floral pattern on Skinny H’s blazer. Mixing up colors and patterns shows that you aren’t afraid to be yourself and have fun with your look. Happy Spring Everyone!

If you have any suggestions on how to wear colored jeans, please comment on the post. We’d also love to see how  you wear your jeans, so send us a picture at lookacute@gmail.com.

Blazing Professionals with Cool Careers

Yvonne

Yvonne’s career:

“I’m from the UK and work for an international firm that provides best practices research and advisory services to businesses. My title is  Account Management Associate. I support two Account Managers directly with their member organizations. We work with a wide range of organizations based across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“My day-to-day responsibilities consist of responding to member requests, scheduling meetings with members and looking for new business opportunities. I am usually the first point of call for our members and prospects, so member requests could range from logistics to creating reports for annual board meetings.

Challenges

“Our busiest time of year is during the fourth quarter. At all other times things can slow down and become monotonous.

Rewards
“Having the opportunity to research an organization and find alignment between the top priorities of the CEO and the services we offer.

Where to start

“I went to London School of Economics and Political Science. In the UK, we don’t have majors and minors like universities in the States. However, I obtained a bachelor’s of science in International Relations. My current position is a graduate position and my networks from university played a significant role in me even being aware of the opening. My degree and my continued interest in foreign affairs helps me understand many of the business decisions both my organization and our members make on a daily basis.

“If anyone is looking to apply for the type of role in which I’m working, they should look online for resources. In any job search, you should have a genuine interest in the organization and its work. That tip seems obvious, but sometimes recent graduates are so interested in getting a job that they don’t think about if the company is a good fit for them.

Style in the Office

“The dress code is business casual. However, if there is an external meeting, we dress in business professional attire.

“I express my personal style in the office by  using shoes and accessories to put a spin on my traditional work attire. I am a big fan of blazers, chinos and loafers- which are my overriding work wear theme.”

As told to A*cute editors by Yvonne. Special thanks to Yvonne for sharing her story with us. If you have any questions for her, please email us at lookacute@gmail.com and she will answer you as soon as possible.

Blazing Professionals with Cool Careers

by Sherria 

A*cute has added a new section to the blog. “Blazing Professionals with Cool Careers” will feature a young professional each week. The purpose of this section is to showcase young professionals who are making strides in their careers, tell readers how to break into the prospective industry,  provide insight into different dress codes for various work environments and challenge readers to express their personal style in the work place but still maintain a professional image. Our first feature this month is Fadesola from the Washington, DC area.

Fadesola 

Fadesola’s career

“I work at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. I am a Project Officer working on the Regional Extension Center Cooperative Agreement program, a provision made under the guise of the HITECH Act that was signed into law under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009. I work with 9 centers over 13 states and territories, which include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“My day-to-day responsibilities vary, but I typically am running in and out of meetings with Program Directors and State Leaders. I am responsible for monitoring over $100M in federal funding, so ensuring compliance with federal regulations is an essential component of my job. I also provide technical assistance to guide our programs on how to accelerate adoption of e-technologies in physician offices and meaningfully use them to help achieve the outcomes they desire for their patient population. From time to time I present information either on panels or at meetings on leading practices and data that we’ve collected from the experience thus far.

Challenges 

“Work-Life balance is what I find most challenging. When you have a work-provided blackberry and laptop, it seems as if you are working 24/7. Sometimes I have to treat myself to a standard 9-5pm day to ensure that my sanity remains in tact.

Rewards

“I’m participating in a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the delivery of health care. The government has provided billions of dollars in funding to assist health care providers with the adoption of e-technologies to improve health outcomes and the delivery of care among their patient population. To say that I played a role in that, I played a role in improving and impacting the health of a population, that’s inspiring.”

Where to start

“If I could give advice to anyone trying to get their foot in the door, I would tell them to be visible, leverage your alumni network and join a professional organization. I applied to a government fellowship, and that is how I was hired at my current job. However, a number of my colleagues that work in my office or along similar veins have heard about their jobs via alumni listservs and events sponsored by a professional organization. Even now, I make sure I keep a decent pulse on what’s going on in the field– my membership and participation in several professional organizations has helped.

“My college education significantly contributed to where I am today. I attended a well-known university in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. Their involvement in policy, especially health policy has added to the value of my degree. The career database at the university’s career center was pretty helpful. As an undergraduate student, I always had an internship or a well-paying job, and these internships and jobs were ones I found via the career database. Also, to be quite frank, my university has some prestige in the Public Health industry, so having them as apart of my resume helps.

Style in the office

“The normal work attire/dress code at my place of employment is business or business modified

“I’m very trendy with most of my business ensembles. Being a female helps, so I’m always finding trendy ways to maintain my business attire. I definitely hopped onto the Michelle Obama bandwagon when I decided to begin pairing my cardigans with a cute waist belt. I’d consider myself somewhat of a trendy person, so I maintain a lot of my “trendyness” and personal style the stilettos and accessories I wear.

Love for African prints

“I don’t necessarily wear my ankara (the african print usually worn for special occasions) to the office. Well, I’ll take that back. I do have some ankara blazers, so I’ll pair that with a business skirt or business slacks from time to time when I come into the office. When I have a seamstress sew my ankara, I typically have them sewn into styles for every day wear. So a cute little cocktail dress for an after 5pm event or a nice gown for an evening gala.”

As told to A*cute editors by Fadesola. Special thanks to Fadesola for sharing her story with us. If you have any questions for Fadesola, please email us at lookacute@gmail.com and she will answer you as soon as possible.

Urban Outfitters Makes Recycling Fashionable

by Sherria 

I recycle plastic water bottles, but I haven’t recycled clothes in the past. The closest I have ever come to recycling clothes is buying second-hand clothing or exchanging clothes with other professionals during A*cute’s Annual Clothing Exchange (2012 date TBD…stay tuned). Although I frequent Urban Outfitters clothing store, I didn’t notice they had a line of vintage and recycled clothing. The Urban Renewal Collection from Urban Outfitters features clothing, accessories, and jewelry that are vintage, recycled, or recreated from old fabrics. Below are a few stylish pieces.

A*cute picks:

Urban Renewal Vintage Tweed Blazer (Urban Outfitters, $49)

Urban Renewal Wool Sleeve Eternity Scarf (Urban Outfitters, $29)

Urban Renewal Vintage Cropped Camo Jacket (Urban Outfitters, $49)