Sizing It Up: My Takeaways from July’s Gurjot Business Fashion Tutorial
WAC’s second-ever women’s fashion event was worth every minute spent by the spirited attendees who came with curious minds and walked away with a new fashion sense….business formal and casual. Gurjot Sidhu of Gurjot New York, designer of top-quality custom workwear, presented the lesson in her Madison Avenue location’s event space. Let me just say that I was planning on being thoroughly schooled at this event; not only were my suspicions correct, but I took away some valuable hints and tips that I could never have predicted.
Gurjot’s philosophy on growing one’s wardrobe has a lot less to do with simply collecting entire outfits/suits than most of us would realize. She recommends choosing one or two staples in your wardrobe and building around them. In this respect, we can begin to think about our wardrobe as an assortment of foundational garments (a great jacket, versatile slacks, etc) wherein the freedom to turn something casual into something semi-formal or elegant plays out in just one quick move rather than from scratch.
Getting Your Wings is Simple
I always assumed that you had to be born with a good eye for fashion to be able to match components and dress yourself with versatility and style. Turns out, converting an outfit from casual to formal or vice-versa is easier to do than I thought. Gurjot illustrated this with 4 different outfits, taking each one through a unique transformation, resulting in outfit reinventions which proved astounding and delightful….no magic involved! Hey, even I can do this. One hint: Accessories make all the difference.
Fabric Quality: The type of fabric a designer chooses has everything to do with the appearance and longevity of the garment. When considering fabric grade, looks don’t always tell the whole story; you must feel the fabric. Gurjot demonstrated by comparing a polyester blend with the preferred “Super 140” quality wool. In terms of feel and attractiveness, they seem to be from two different planets!
Fit & Balance: If a suit, for instance, fits your figure properly in the shoulders and the hips, you’re 90% done. The rest can simply be tailored to perfection. In the words of the late, great Johnny Carson, “I did not know that”.
Posture: The key to feeling powerful when you’re wearing beautiful clothing is less about “what” you’re wearing than “how” you wear it. In other words: stand up straighter and prouder, and you’ll come across as more polished and confident. A slender, taller appearance will follow suit. Even chemically, there will be a transformation: When you practice naturally-confident body language, or power-posing, your testosterone increases, lending even more of a commanding presence to your appearance. By contrast, when you’re hunched over or looking down at your phone, testosterone plummets. Check out this TED Talk for some excellent insight.
A Tool of The Trade
Gurjot’s final words of advice: Invest in a steamer (from Bed, Bath & Beyond, about $20). Unlike most gimmicky home gadgets, you’ll actually get a ton of use from it. It preserves the wool, and cleans as it steams, while eliminating dry-cleaning expenses (except in the event of a stain). The fabric of your garments will stay sturdier, and the unit will soon pay for itself.