A Gift of Time for Mom

JORD Wooden Watch in Mint

JORD Wooden Watch in Mint

I’ve heard it many times, “There is nothing greater than being a mom.”  While I’m not one myself, I’m awed by the fact that every time I hear this, I’m watching the words come out of a somewhat exhausted-looking woman’s mouth.  I can tell that underlying those words are hours, days, and years of worry, sleepless nights, and money hard spent.  And I can’t find any other way to describe witnessing motherhood as witnessing a life of complete selflessness.  While these two words can’t ever truly portray that amount of gratitude I have in my heart, I want to say to my own mom, thank you.

Mother’s Day is around the corner and chances are your mom, or your wife, to this day continues to run around the house, checking off her to-do lists, cleaning up after your family, cooking you dinner, and transporting your kids.  Basically, everything you somehow never remember to do, yet she always does.  Because Mom always knows the time and when to be where...

 

 

I came across a totally unique Mother’s Day gift idea to share with you. 

Have you ever seen a wooden watch? 

JORD Wooden Watch in Mint

JORD Wooden Watch in Mint

Now when it comes to shopping, I am one who tends to venture off the beaten path.  If the rest of the world has it, I don’t want it.  So as you can imagine, when I came across such a unique watch I didn’t think twice about getting one.   

If you’re shopping for Mom, here is a link to the women’s watches.  Or, if you’ve already fallen in love with the glowing mint-faced watch in this post, here is the link to this specific mint-faced watch

Now that I own one, I can tell you what I love about it:

1.  Shipping is free and mine arrived in two days! 

2.  The packaging makes for the perfect gift. 

I opened the packaging to find this beautiful wooden keepsake box.  Spend some time looking at this box because you’ll even see it has a little hidden drawer.  Perhaps, the perfect place to store your most treasured rings or earrings. 

JORD Watch Keepsake Box

JORD Watch Keepsake Box

3.  The wood color on these watches is beautiful and so different than the typical metal watches.

And when you finally get past the packaging, you’ll notice your brand new watch resting on its little JORD pillow.   

4. Because it’s wood, it’s lightweight. 

Which means there’s no sweat piling up between your skin and the watch. 

5.  The face color options they have are so springtime and beautiful.

All of the models and colors for women can be found here.

And GUYS, men's models and colors can be found here

BONUS:  Best of all, the company, JORD Watches, will engrave the watch for you.  Honestly, could this timing be any more perfect for Mother’s Day?

If any moms are reading this, I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day.  Whether your kids are with you or far, know that your time is cherished and you are so greatly loved.

~Kristin 

Thinking about a Grad Gift or Father's Day surprise?  Follow @suits.and.sneaks on Instagram where I'm giving away $100 for a JORD Watch on 5/21/17!

The Turquoise Series: Bright. Bold. Becoming.

You guys.  I'm not even exaggerating when I tell you I wore this outfit to work today and got compliments ALL DAY LONG.  They went a little something like this:

1. Nice job on the outfit!

2. You look so bright!

3. Omg, that is so springy and summery!

4. That is a total springtime color, I love it.

5. Omg even your shoes match!

6. I just love that color it makes me smile.

7. Wow I've seen you twice today, I can't believe I've never met you prior!  

See what good outfits can do you??  Can we say #makeyoumemorable??  I mean gosh, who wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of such love every day?  And while at work!  

As such, get ready for an explosion of turquoise on my Instagram feed.  In the meantime, get in on the color pop!  I put together my some of my favorite turquoise dresses and sneaks for you ladies below!  A separate makeup and accessories post will follow. And guys, I have a whole separate post for you hitting suitsandsneaks.com right after this one.  Happy shopping!

Suits & Sneaks Turquoise Chuck Taylors

Suits & Sneaks Turquoise Chuck Taylors

Turquiose dress brings smile and cheer
Suits and Sneaks Turquoise Dress Eliza J

Meet Turquoise Chuck:

My Favorite Turquoise Dresses

When You Can't Change Your Job, Change Your Mindset.

2017 is here and it’s time to finally bite the bullet and make that career change, right? You know, the job you really should be in.  That career you deserve to have.  At some point you determined that quitting your job cold turkey and starting over in a field you love would be the answer to your professional frustrations.  It certainly could be.  Yet, you’ve kicked yourself every day since for not actually doing it. 

But maybe, for good reason, you just can’t change the job situation you’re in right now.  And you know what?  That’s ok.  So here’s how you can find happiness and fulfillment in the job you already have.  Identify your frustrations, then change your mindset.  Let’s walk through some common examples together:

Frustration: My personality and passions don’t fit this job.

Mindset change:  This actually makes me better than my coworkers at certain things.

These differences in your characteristics and traits are what make you unique, so list out creative ways your differences could benefit your company.  For example, I am a corporate auditor.  Yet, I love to design things and write influential articles.  So I asked my boss if he had any side projects that might put my passions to use.  He had me redesign a presentation for senior leadership and update our job postings to be more appealing to the millennial generation.  While my fellow auditors might’ve cringed at these projects, it came easy to me.  And major bonus, my boss loved it.  So you see, you have a unique opportunity to really shine when your differences can be put to use.

Frustration: Professional attire just isn’t my thing.

Mindset change:  I’ll take my personal style and make a brand for myself.

Start wearing your favorite clothing item 1-2 times a week, then balance it with what’s considered more typical attire for your office.  For example, I love cute sneakers but I work in a corporate setting.  When I wear sneakers, I make sure they look damn good, and then I offset their casualness with a blazer for professionalism.  It’s all about balance.  I have an entire article on how to pull this off on my website.  Eventually people will pick up on your new style with enthusiasm.  Not everyone will prefer it for themselves, but they’ll fall in love with your confidence.  And that means the real you can now shine through during your workday.  How awesome is that?

Frustration:  I tried, but the opportunity just isn’t there for me to do what I really want to do.

Mindset change:  Make a game out of your day job and devote one hour each night to your passions.

When all else fails, you might just have to lose the expectation that you’ll be passionate about your current day job.  So make a game out of it to get you through the day.  Have a speed contest with yourself each week to get you through the work faster.  Or, for each of your job responsibilities, write out one thing you’d do differently if it were up to you.  Figure out a way to put a different spin to your work so that you can at least get it done on time and exercise your brain in a new way.           

Now for the important part.  Devote one hour each night simply to do what you’re really passionate about doing.  For example, I started writing at night over two years ago.  I placed no expectations on myself other than to spill my thoughts onto paper as I ate dinner each night.  This did two things for me:  1) It was a healthy outlet for my frustrations, and 2) After two years of doing it, I got really good at it.  And look, here I am writing to you today.

To sum it all up, you ultimately got hired because of who YOU are.  So don’t ever change.   A business cannot sustainably thrive on one set of personalities and skills.  So find creative opportunities for your differences and offer them up to your leaders.  Because guess what?  If nobody else has the skills you have, then that automatically makes you the best at them.

Suits & Sneaks: How to Look Polished Casual

Suits & Sneaks Polished Casual

So you’re one of the lucky ones who got hired into an office casual workplace.  Your brilliant HR department recognizes that productivity, creativity, and innovativeness can be directly correlated with comfort.  I mean let’s be real here, how can you think freely when you’re being choked by your necktie or trying to sit still to avoid wrinkles?  Ladies, how can you run down the halls cranking out work when you run the risk of tripping over your heels?  So much for efficiency.

But now you can breathe a sigh of relief.  Those days are behind you.  No more ironing or dry cleaning.  You get to wake up and throw on whatever the heck you feel like and waltz into work straight up Zuckerburg style.  You’re ready to innovate, produce, and speak freely in your white tee and jeans.  Your productivity has soared.  You feel like a gazelle flying through the Sahara.  Nothing is stopping you now.  At least nothing YOU seem to notice.  But not so fast speed racer. 

Let’s face it.  Work clothes are annoying.  They’re expensive, and they put many of us in a bad mood even before we put them on.  But I think we can acknowledge that, when worn correctly, they make a good employee look really good.  A serious employee look seriously driven.  An all-talk employee look, well, believable.  Basically, work clothes make a worker look legit.  Put someone like that next to the t-shirt and jeans guy and let the stereotype answer the question for you – Mr. Suit-and-Tie surely has to be the other guy’s boss, right?  Not necessarily.  But you must realize, perception is everything.  And whether you like it or not, a HUGE part of one’s upward movement in a company, no matter the size, industry, or location, is based largely on the element of perception.  Perception of your work ethic, your accessibility to others, your willingness to help, and, wait for it, your appearance.  And guess which one is recognized by most people first?  Ding, ding, ding!  First impressions are everything, right?  This still holds true in an “office casual” setting, yet this logic often gets thrown out the window with the dry cleaning bag full of no-longer-needed white collar shirts. 

So let me introduce you to a concept I like to call, “polished casual.”  This is my inspiration, my passion, my main purpose behind creating Suits & Sneaks.  You can dress as casually as you want, exactly to your personality, and still look driven, passionate, and promotable.  So, some tips:

  1. Rock the Suits and Sneaks look (obviously):  I’m not even kidding, blazers are the godsend to the office casual phenomenon.  And yes, I know they can get hot, but listen here, if I can sport this attire in Tampa, Florida’s 100 degree, 98% humidity months, then y’all can too.  The look here is to be yourself, with an added layer of professionalism (blazer), offset with an added layer of hip (sneaks).  Contrary to the full business professional attire, you’ll rock the same fashionable look while appearing as if you didn’t even try.  [suddenly singing Beyonce’s “I woke up like this” song…]  I can’t even tell you how many times people have stopped me and said, “I love the Chucks,” or, “You’re rockin’ that outfit, nicely done!”  So find a few good fitted blazers or jackets, pair with some hip, casual sneakers, then get ready to rock. 

  2. Wear the right balance of fit vs. comfort:  Obviously fitted clothes will always look better than baggier clothes.  But, you can totally mix both!  Gentlemen – Wear that comfy t-shirt with an added sport coat on top.  Add fitted jeans, and finish off with some spankin’ new casual kicks.  I can’t speak for all women, but for those who share my style, gentlemen - you will look HOT (again, that Beyonce song is in my head).  Ladies – there are some awesome linen pant styles out now that finish off fitted at the ankles.  Tuck a loose fitting shirt into these, add a scarf, pull your hair back, finish off with fashionista sunglasses, and voila! You’re totally comfortable, yet look like you stepped right out of a Pinterest board.  Which leads me to my next tip...

  3. Accessorize!  Guys and girls both.  Guys – you can do this by rocking all different watches, belts, ties, and shoes.  Girls – Scarves are the easiest, most manageable, versatile, cost effective accessory you could buy.  Check out some of our favorites on our Shop page.  Accessories will instantly dress up your I-rolled-out-of-bed-and-threw-on-what-I-had look. 

  4. Carry a trendy laptop bag.  This is getting easier as more purse-laptop bag hybrid styles are hitting the market.  Buy a few different colors so you can swap them out with your outfits then get ready to rock your new arm candy.  See some of the styles we picked out on our Shop page.

  5. Look crisp.  This is all about ensuring you look polished in your comfy clothes.  So give them a good starch and iron before wearing them.  Don’t come to work in wrinkly, casual clothes.  That is when you look like you don’t care.

And finally, be yourself!  Dress to your personality.  Make your base truly reflective of you and use some of the above tips to simply polish off your look.  Then, go into work feeling fabulous in your body, because your outer shell better reflects the inner you.  And to have a feeling as fabulous as that during your 9 to 5 workday is truly rewarding.

So you get the concept but need some inspiration ideas?  You came to the right site my friends, because this is what I love to do.  Follow Suits & Sneaks on social media and check out new outfit inspirations weekly!  Want to contribute your inspirations to Suits & Sneaks?  Go ahead and tag us on social media or submit your best kicks here

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The Most Flattering Piece of Clothing You Should Wear Today

While the name “Suits and Sneaks” speaks for itself, I wanted to take a quick moment and share with you why the “Suits” part is so key to your polished causal wardrobe.  Guys and girls, read on for the top four things simply wearing a jacket can do for you.

1.       You can wear whatever style you want underneath.

I love when I see professional on the outside and then something so stylish, trendy, or heck, even downright funny underneath it.  It shows the world that you can be professional and have a totally kick-ass personality shining through at the same time. 

2.       It shapes you where it counts.

How a blazer slims figures

Ladies, the blazer tucks you in on both the waist and chest lines so you can walk into work with clean edges.  Guys, if you’re looking for size, the jacket gives you the broad shoulders and chest you’ve been working towards (with no extra reps needed).  And just as the ladies benefit, it also polishes off your waist line by hiding that little bit of extra you might be carrying.

3.       It hides wrinkly or sloppy shirts.

Photo credit: stylemeblue.wordpress.com

Photo credit: stylemeblue.wordpress.com

Even if your shirts are perfectly pressed in the morning, they’re going to soften up and wrinkle as the day goes on.  The jacket however, being the heavier material it is, will stand strong for you, keeping you crisp looking and sharp for the entire day. 

4.       It shows you care.

Throwing a nice, fitted jacket on top of your outfit is the easiest way to one-up your level of professionalism without actually having to do any extra work.  It gives you an added layer of clout, of stature, and it simply polishes you off.

Suits & Sneaks' Kristin Leigh

Suits & Sneaks' Kristin Leigh

So hold up your jacket my friends, give it a great big smile and say, “Jacket, you complete me.”  Because that’s exactly the look it’s giving you, one of polished completion.  Be sure to check out some of my favorite styles I picked out below.  And of course, follow @suits.and.sneaks on Instagram for your dose of daily Suits & Sneaks fashion posts.

Jackets for the Gals:

Jackets for the Guys:

Sending You Chooka & Cheer

Suits & Sneaks recognizes that sometimes the weather could be a little better, and when moments like that strike, one must save the sneaker from the elements and don the next best thing: The Chooka Boot.

Suits & Sneaks Chooka & Cheer

To start, the brand name itself is just adorable.  But you really haven't seen adorable yet until you've browsed through their collection.  It's large, and it's versatile.  So we took it upon ourselves to pick out our favorites and share them with you here.

For the Trendsetter Who Screams "Look at My Baby Blues" :

For the Timeless Designer Who Loves a Gray Slate:

For the Plaid Lover:

The Horse Rider:

And For the Love of Dots & Designs:

These are the easiest gifts for any girl on your list.  May you send her Chooka & Cheer!

~Kristin, Suits & Sneaks

Orange & Gray: How Cole Haan Kicked Us Into a Color Obsession

Ode to Cole Haan and their attention to detail.  Who would've thought the little orange tag affixed to their Grand Ox lace-up shoe would send Suits & Sneaks into a serious color obsession? 

suits and sneaks cole haan

Not that Kristin's downtown condo wasn't already decked out in orange and gray... 

condo orange and gray
condo orange and gray furniture

...But let's just say this got her really excited.

For starters, this lace-up shoe is so versatile, it can be worn just about anywhere.  To work, to shop, to school, to teach school, to fun gatherings, to...ok you get the point.  To anywhere.  Second, it is SO light and so comfortable.  We dare you to just stop what you're doing and see how high you can jump in them.  And third, the orange accent makes it so fun to pair with other pieces.  And you can do so in such a way it looks like you didn't even try.  Actually, you don't even have to try, it's as simple as this picture below.

suits and sneaks gray and orange outfit

We pulled some of our favorite gray and orange accessories and included here.  The shoes are marked down from $150 and the scarves are, well, just flipping adorable.

Way more to come with this color scheme and shoe so be sure to like Suits & Sneaks on Facebook and follow us on Instagram!

Lose the Template, Have a Conversation: How to Successfully Plan Your Team's Next Project.

Consulting engagements, audits, really any project at hand, involve some sort of pre-set methodology or plan for you to follow.  While a predefined methodology might carry some importance, it can also be debilitating to the most key part of your project – planning.  So if satisfaction of your work engagements in some way involves templates or checklists, then this article applies to you. 

Suits & Sneaks laptop and coffee

But templates are easy, so why should I change?

 1. Templates pre-scribe the way you are to think.  

Imagine someone asked for your opinion, but instead of openly and naturally responding back to them, you had to first consult a template of possible response formats saved on your laptop, pick which one best relates to the question, then reply in that exact format.  Crazy, right?

Now imagine a totally different person asked you a totally different question, but you had to go through that same exercise again and reply in that same format.  Do you really think that person views you as adding any sort of value to their situation at hand?

You must be following me now.  Do not find a previously similar project and simply copy-paste as your basis for this one.  This does nothing for the recipient of your work or for your own professional development.

2. People are more knowledgeable than an excel template, checklist, or work program as recent as even one day ago.  

The world is changing FAST.  So before anything, talk to people!  You'll get the best information this way because not only will your conversation be real-time, the content in it will usually be forward-looking.  This is where you add value – not only caring about what “was”, but what “could be”.

3. Remember the audience, or beneficiaries, of your work.

Recall that template analogy above?  Hopefully the work you produce brings some type of tangible benefit to someone else.  This is critical – bringing a “tangible benefit to someone else” means that they can understand the purpose behind your work and realize the value it will bring to them going forward.  To start, you need to speak your audience’s language, and we all know that every person speaks and listens differently.  So you can see where a template fits in at this point.  It doesn’t.

OK I get your point, so how do I plan from a blank slate? 

 1. Learn the origin of the requested work engagement at hand.

Why did it come about, and by whom?  What were this person's biggest concerns?  What answers are THEY looking for?  I stress THEY.  Not you.  Remember this isn’t about you, this is about bringing value to someone else.  Find an answer to this next question before even moving forward – “How might this work fit into the bigger picture or goals of our company?” 

2.  Communicate these data points to your team.

Even if the answers to the above questions already exist in some unsightly Excel charting exercise, I don't care.  Do not have your team read through any type of file as their primary source to learn the engagement.  If you want to be an effective manager, you need to personally communicate the background and purpose of your projects to your entire team.  Now wait, repeat after me, “I need to personally communicate the background and purpose of my projects to my ENTIRE team.”  Why?  Because this is how value is established on your team.  You want every team member to understand how they're contributing to your greater goal, right?  You should.  

3.  Next, send forth your team to gather information, efficiently.

Allocate your planning research and information-gathering activities out to your team.  You want to develop all levels of your employees.  So rather than saving the planning process for you higher-ups, involve everyone in all key parts of your planning process. 

With this, your entire team will feel they have a purpose and can understand how they each can bring value to the engagement.  Not only is this good for morale, but does wonders for your team’s efficiency.

Great stuff.  Now I have a ton of information, but no template to document it in. 

First, please realize your average person doesn’t actually ENJOY reading through checklists, Excel templates, or pages of words. 

So, apply art.  Use tables, webs, fancy formatting.  Basically anything to grab your reader’s attention and force them to focus on key information.  Accept the reality that not every word YOU think is important will be considered important by someone else.  

So how do you identify important, key points?  Apply the “so-what” rule.  Imagine presenting to your CEO, and at the end of your spiel he looks at you and says, “so what are you telling me?”  This is where he wants you to zero in on those few critical points that have enough impact they warrant some sort of change to his organization, whether it’s now or in the future.  So cut out all the other mumbo jumbo stuff, and deliver one clear, key message that’s easy for your audience to reference, retain, and repeat.

Finally, if Mr. or Mrs. Boss needs a completeness check for comfort that everything that should’ve gone into planning actually went into planning, and a checklist is the best way to give assurance on this, then insert your checklist here.  Saving this for the end will allow your team to think openly and strategically throughout the planning process.  This is key to completing a successful project and ensuring the greatest value emanates from your team. 

Want to contribute planning ideas that work best for you?  I want to hear them so please, share them below!

Suits & Sneaks Goes Two Ways With the H&M Slit Skirt

This just might be one of our favorite fashion features yet.  This slit skirt can be glammed up or dressed down, and both with you in your sneaks!

Suits & Sneaks H&M Slit Skirt Dress Up
Suits & Sneaks H&M Slit Skirt Dress Down

Classy Elegant:

We absolutely love the color of this H&M button-down blouse tucked into their navy blue slit skirt.  Both fabrics are super light, super chic, and super comfy.  Crank the glam factor up a notch with this pink and gold studded clutch held in your fancy Lagos-blinged hand.  Want a true kicker?  Grab these pink and navy Pumas for a match made in heaven. 

Suits & Sneaks Classy Elegant

Classy Casual:

Winter is around the corner and we're just going to say it - the only things missing from this look are snowflakes.  Here is a classy casual, comfortable, yet oh-so-adorable everyday take on this H&M skirt.  We were fortunate enough to snag this simple, light-blue fitted tee for just $5 during an H&M sale, and we found the deal of a lifetime with this beautiful H&M scarf.  Which kick did we pick to finish it off?  Our vote goes to Toms for total comfort.

Suits & Sneaks H&M Slit Skirt Polished Casual

Shop similar styles below!

10 Tips To Have You Walking Out of That Interview Like a Boss

Suits and Sneaks Interview Boss

Suits and Sneaks Interview Boss

Maybe you’re new to interviewing, or maybe it’s just been awhile and your confidence needs a boost.  Let me spare you the stress of worrying about the unknown and give you 10 tips to have you walking out of that interview room like a boss.

  1. Don’t be scared to chit-chat.

    One of an interviewer’s biggest fears is a quiet, minimally-worded candidate.  Sure, we’ve got our list of questions for you.  But if you respond with one sentence answers, and we have 45 minutes slotted for you, we’re going to have some seriously awkward, uncomfortable silence on our hands.  In that case, you won’t be remembered very well.  So erase the notion that you’re the little pea who’s sitting across from a total king.  Of course, show your full respect to your interviewer, but realize that at the end of the day you are just two people.  So give yourself some credit and wipe that reason for anxiety off your chest.

  2. On that note, play yourself up, but don’t be cocky.

    One of the most common things I see are interview candidates who shy away from showcasing their experiences because they don’t think they’re worth enough for the job at hand.  You got a seat at the table for a reason, honey.  We know you have potential, so showcase it for us!  Prep for this by listing out the main responsibilities and accomplishments you’ve achieved in your previous jobs, no matter what capacity or how silly you think they were.  Then, group this list into common experience categories.  Examples could include teamwork, leadership, public speaking, disagreeing with someone, you get the point.  Now when your interviewer asks you, “Tell me about a time when…” you’re ready to respond.  And don’t forget to be enthusiastic.  You should be proud of who you are and what you’ve achieved. 

  3. Here’s what the cliché “We just want to see how well you can handle a difficult situation” really means.    

Basically what we’re trying to say here is that the way you formulate your response holds just as much weight, if not more, than the actual content of your response.  We know you’re not going to know everything.  You’re interviewing for a (key word) NEW job, so we’re well aware that hiring you comes with a learning curve.  The key to your response is to keep smiling, keep showing confidence, and find the right words to say so that when you don’t have the technical answer to the question, you simply portray how eager you are to learn it.  Which brings me to my next point…

4.     Smile!!!

Be enchanting.  Your actions are 100% contagious.  If you go in with uncertainty or uneasiness, which trust me is common, the interviewer will sense this and naturally display the same feelings back to you.  This also applies to phone interviews.  Smiles can, without a doubt, be heard over the phone so make sure you smile at all times.  This is HUGE and will be THE #1 saving grace for you if you bomb everything else.

5.     Offer your faults, strategically.

So many people dread the cliché interview question, “so what are your strengths and weaknesses?”  Here’s how you master this question.  First, put yourself in your interviewer’s shoes.  What strengths do you think they’re looking for in a candidate, and what weaknesses do you think they would be happy to help develop you through?  Then, think about where you fit into this equation.  Play up your strengths that you’d think they’d love, then offer your weaknesses in a positive, forward-thinking way.  For example, let’s say you despise working in teams but you know this job requires it.  You could say something like, “I’m really good at being self-sufficient so I’d love the opportunity to participate in some group projects where I can develop my teamwork skills.”  Wording it like this shows you a) can acknowledge where you need work and b) are eager to improve yourself.  Both of these are wonderful traits to have.

6.     Learn self-awareness.

Probably one of the biggest lessons you’ll learn the hard way in the real world is the concept of awareness, both of others and of yourself.  Self-awareness is being conscious of your own character and how others might be perceiving it.  (Warning – the results might be very different than what you think).  Awareness of others requires being able to step out of your shoes for a moment to best identify and relate to what others are feeling.  This is extremely difficult for people to do.  So if you really want to stand out from the crowd, make sure your verbal and nonverbal responses show the interviewer you understand it takes at least two (not just you) to tango in business, and that you can be trusted to be able to read people and react accordingly. 

7.     Show me how bad you want the job – do your research.

If you really want to work for this company then you need to know its ins and outs.  Read the company’s entire website.  Search recent press so you’re up to speed on the company’s current strategies, industry, and key competitors.  This will give you a ton of fuel come that time your interviewer says, “so what questions do you have for me?” 

8.      Proofread your resume.  Then proofread it again.

Your resume is the biggest piece of ammo you have to attract people to you, so make sure it reflects you in the best light possible.  For starters, there should be no spelling or grammar errors.  Next, it should be formatted in a visually grabbing way.  Google examples for your industry.  Also, bring copies to your interview.  You could end up with the virgin interviewer who didn’t quite think that part out yet.

9.     Email a thank-you note.

Sigh…a common courtesy that unfortunately is slipping through the cracks.  Please, I beg you, send a thank you email to everyone who interviewed you.  It shows us you’re appreciative of our time and you really want this job.  Keep it short and sweet, but try not to be too generic.  Throw in a line or two that’s personalized to the interview to leave us with a good memory of our time spent with you.  All things equal between two candidates, the one who sends the thank-you note wins.

10.    Look good.

Look like you put a solid effort into getting sleep the night before and ensuring your clothes look as crisp as they possibly can.  Be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Our assumption is that this is the best you will ever look should we hire you, so make it count. 

Simple Conclusion: Be poised.  Be prepared.  Be confident.  But above all things, be full of smiles. 

Got more tips for our interview candidates out there?  We’d love to hear them, so please share below!

 

Suits & Sneaks Outfit Calculation: The Monday Morning Meeting

Your alarm is blaring.  You don't want to move.  Yet, you can't hit snooze to fall back asleep because the anxiety of your morning meetings is taking over your head.  Yippee, it's Monday!  And the last thing you want to do is starch, iron, and put on heels.  Here, we've calculated a non-iron, super comfortable, no-heel, yet chic, professional look to get you through your day.

Step 1: The blazer.

Suits and Sneaks Blazer

Suits and Sneaks Blazer

Go to your gray, fitted blazer and wear it over a chic, pretty, non-iron, high-neck, lace shirt. Got professional appeal? Check.

Step 2: Dark skinnies. Gray oxfords.

Suits and Sneaks Polished Casual Outfit

Suits and Sneaks Polished Casual Outfit

Dark, fitted jeans and these Cole Haan Oxfords make it easy to get dressed.  Got comfort? Check.

Step 3: Glam up.

Suits and Sneaks Polished Casual Accessories

Suits and Sneaks Polished Casual Accessories

Gosh we love this part.  Add a little bling for that final touch.  Got the Polished Casual look?  Check.

Now go make it a great day!

Office Talk - When to React, and When to Not React

Suits & Sneaks Office Talk

You may have a select few coworkers who are gods of positive energy.  No matter what’s thrown at them, they grasp onto it, give it their best shot, and keep walking forward with a smile on their face.  My former boss was this person.  And I - the lucky employee.  We constantly had curveballs thrown at us, yet my boss always kept a smile on his face.  No matter how much of what we received could send 90% of most people jumping out of their office windows in frustration, he just smiled and said “ok, let me get back to you.”  He’d then approach me with this new “opportunity” of work to get done.  He always put a positive spin to it.  And you know why?  Because he should. 

When you’re a people manager your first and most important responsibility is to lead by example.    Even if you’re not yet in a leadership position, make this your top priority because that will get you there. 

So let me throw out a few all-too-common office chatter scenes and advise you on whether you should REACT or NOT REACT:

  1. Did you hear so-and-so said such-and-such to Boss-person yesterday?  DON’T REACT.

    There, I started with the easy one first.  Do not spend your time, on someone else’s dime, talking gossip.  We’re all adults here, and trust me, you do not want to be the one seen as the teenage child chatting it up next to the water cooler.  An intelligent person can deduce, that if you’re going to gossip to them about others, you will one day gossip to others about them.  So just stop, it doesn’t look good on you.

  2. Similarly, you overhear rumors that coworkers are talking about you:  DON’T REACT.  

In fact, consider this horrible gesture towards you to be a compliment.  Insecure people spread rumors.  And if you’re the one they’re spreading rumors about, it’s most likely because they’re worried about some quality or skillset you have that they don’t.  Just smile, keep your head up, and strive for nothing more than to be your personal best.  When you do that, the only person who looks bad is most certainly not you. 

     3.  The meeting you prepped so long for just got pushed back:  REACT...CONSTRUCTIVELY.

Accept the rescheduled time as there could be a valid reason.  Then, 24 hours prior to your new meeting time, send the culprit a vibrant email saying, “Hi [Culprit] – Just wanted to thank you in advance for our time scheduled tomorrow.  I’m eager to share my insights and observations on [xyz subject matter] with you as I truly believe this can bring value to your team [or insert some other corporate jargon here].  Again thanks so much for this opportunity and I look forward to tomorrow!  Kind regards – [Victim].”  The recipient will appreciate being held accountable to the meeting time and may even feel a bit enchanted by your enthusiasm.

    4.  You overhear rumors that somebody else is taking your promotion:  REACT.  BUT DO NOT WHINE. 

The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right?  Gosh I hate that saying.  BUT, here’s one thing I’ve learned since managing people – there is no possible way I will know what thoughts my employee is having unless he or she tells me.  Just no possible way.  So if you want or wanted something, make sure your boss first knows it.  (Hint – you have to tell them.)  Second, ask what stand-out qualifications your boss was looking for in that promoted position.  If you do your homework ahead of time to preempt these said qualifications, you’ll have your responses ready as to how you feel your contributions over the last year easily demonstrate you’ve got what it takes to fill those shoes.  Then, ask when the next promotional opportunity will be and clearly state that you want the position. 

   5.  What you were originally instructed to do is completely wrong and you have to start all over.  DON’T REACT. 

Stay positive and in control of your emotions.  Allow me to demonstrate two different reactions to a common situation. 

[Scene: Shitake (not the mushroom) hits the fan] 

Person A says: “Are you flipping serious??  I KNEW we shouldn’t have done that, and I even told him but he didn’t listen!”  (Sorry guys, for some reason the masculine pronoun in this scenario just seems to fit.  But if it helps, you have my full approval to assume Person A is of the female gender, just this once.)

Person B says: “Oh wow, really?  Ok well let’s make sure we all fully understand the task, and no worries, we’ll get through this together.”

My #1 rule of thumb, especially if you are a leader or aspire to be – never ever show your frustration or stress to those around you.  It makes you look like you’re not fit for your role and would have a hard time taking on additional responsibilities come promotion time.  Disclaimer:  Don’t confuse this advice with not saying “no” when you just can’t do something.  If you don’t have the bandwidth to tackle the situation at hand, then by all means speak up, but do so tactfully and professionally.  Cool, calm, and collected will always win in the long-run.

Simple conclusion: People vibes, whether negative or positive, are contagious.  You choose the vibes you want people to remember you by.

Leaders - I’d love to hear from you!  What makes a standout employee look promotable versus incapable when curveballs are thrown at them?  Which of their actions, good or bad, do you store in your memory for a rainy or sun-shiny day?  Please share below! 

Suits & Sneaks: Be Comfortable. Look Polished.

Good morning, it's Monday!  Chances are you enjoyed a few too many football games over the weekend and haven't quite rehydrated yet.  And on that note, we bet the LAST thing you feel like doing is sitting at your desk in an uncomfortable, starched button down.  Or tight-waist pants.  Or cute but painfully, unbearable heels.  Don't worry, we get it, and we got your back.  So, here are two simple outfit ideas to get you guys and gals through your Monday.  Enjoy!

Suits & Sneaks Girls Polished Casual Monday Outfit

Suits & Sneaks Girls Polished Casual Monday Outfit

Suits & Sneaks Guy:  Feel Comfortable.  Look Polished.

Suits & Sneaks Guy:  Feel Comfortable.  Look Polished.

Suits & Sneaks: We Are Live!

Hello friends and welcome to Suits & Sneaks!  Here, we're all about being modern, casual, and straight up simple in an otherwise complex working world.  So here are four things to know about our site so you get the best experience:

  1. First, be sure to check out our About page to learn how we were founded. 
  2. Next, subscribe to our blog where each week we'll post an article on career-related advice and an article on polished casual fashion. 
  3. Third, make sure you follow us on social media so you can be in touch with the entire Suits & Sneaks community! 
  4. Enjoy our site!  Leave comments, share with your friends, AND send us what you got!  Love to write?  Have some killer outfits?  Submit them on our Contact page and we just might be featuring you! 

Doin' it for kicks,

Kristin Leigh, Suits & Sneaks Founder

Suits & Sneaks Advertisement - Polished casual fashion

SUITS & SNEAKS SHOPPER ALERT: Keep the Look of Nautical Summers Alive

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The Season for Red, White, and Blue

Never Ends.

It is seriously impossible for us to get tired of the red, white, and blue combo no matter what season it is!  So prepare yourself to see more patriotic happiness from Suits & Sneaks throughout these upcoming fall and winter months.  There's just something about this combo that no matter when you wear it, you instantly look clean, fun, preppy, and put-together.  And what better Sneak to get you there than Sperry's Top-Sider Pier View?  With the totally unique lace style of these shoes - be prepared to get a ton of compliments.  Grab them now and don't forget to show us your kicks. 

Anchors away!