Watching the 75th Golden Globes earlier this month was a feast for the eyes. With guests and honorees all wearing black, it was very easy to pick up on and study individual style preferences. It also reminded me of why I love the color black as a tool of style and influence with my executive coaching clients. Here are 4 timeless style concepts that struck me as I viewed the program. I hope a few resonate with you:
Color Aside, Necklines Matter
Oprah's big personality was well suited for the wide portrait collar dress she chose. Her noteworthy speech seemed to come alive even more as the neckline invited us in to really hear what she had to say. We coach private clients all the time to “clean up their neckline” in order to be heard on a whole new level. I smiled seeing Oprah, arguably one of the best communicators of our time, use this style of neckline to either intuitively (or strategically!) enhance her speaking style. Her makeup and earrings brightened her dress in just the right way, also adding to the eloquence of her message. The appropriate amount of make-up and well scaled accessories placed at or near your face is another key element to wearing black well, especially on the big stage. For men, necklines matter on formal attire too. Ties (both standard and bow styles) need to be paired with just the right shirt collar and the overall fit of the shirt should be impeccable as well. Too big, your message can drown. Too tight and you look uncomfortable and thus less confident.
Black Can Help You Arrive Big
For whatever reason, my eyes were drawn to Saoirse Ronan for the entire show. Maybe it’s because I loved Lady Bird and Brooklyn, her two breakout films. Yet the stylist in me could not help but follow the long and elegant lines created by her classic, narrow column dress. Black has a way of building presence and height and this dress certainly did just that. I had Saoirse winning Best Actress long before the envelope was opened. I often tell my executive coaching clients preparing for big speeches and appearances, that while black is not the only choice for attire, it can help sooth nerves (most people feel comfortable in black) while helping you arrive bigger than you might feel you are. For men, a black tux is a no brainer when you need to arrive in formal attire. When you are not required to wear a tux, we often suggest dark navy suiting. It has the same impact for men donning it at formal events that are not black tie as black attire has on women.
Black Can Be Masculine & Feminine
While inherently more masculine than dresses, many of the black pantsuits worn at this year’s Golden Globes were as feminine as the elegant gowns. The celebrities that wore their pants well (think Clair Foy) paid attention to the interplay of cut, silhouette and fabric and arrived looking powerful, modern and sexy all at once. I often call pantsuits and jumpsuits the fashionista's answer to formal attire and those worn at the 2018 Golden Globes did not disappoint. I love working with highly accomplished executive women and having them own their power in unique ways with style and wardrobe. Evening pantsuits and jumpsuits are often their answer as well.
When in Doubt Wear Black
Finally, over the years I have heard myself uttering this simple phrase to clients trying to make just the right statement after 5. After all, color can be downright scary to navigate when trying to land on the right look for an important event. Black hides weight better than brights and whites and accessorizing is much easier too. Most of the time you already own a shoe that will work! As illustrated at this year’s Golden Globes, black is an easy choice that helps you fit in yet stand out if you choose to do so.
When it became clear that attendees at the 2018 Golden Globes would likely be wearing all black, we have to admit, it was hard to predict what would happen to the red carpet. To our delight a show of solidarity morphed into one of fashion’s biggest moments in individual style.