You've got to guess that any girl who can hold her own on camera next to Ryan Seacrest is ... well, she's not just any girl. And E! News anchor, Giuliana Rancic, is far more of a powerhouse than anyone might have initially realized. The Italian bombshell is touring to promote her second book, 'I Do, Now What', tackling serious personal issues in the third season of her Style Network reality show Giuliana & Bill, and still makes time to appear for as the Trop50 spokeswoman for women-in-the-workplace non-profit Dress for Success.
Special contributor Lena Katz, editor of travel pop site Zingi caught up with Giuliana after a recent fundraiser, and got some excellent tips on how to stay stylish and keep your confidence levels up even when you're strapped for time and cash.
What are three inexpensive (under $20) accessories that can take a black pants suit from 'blah' to sophisticated?
1. Skinny Belts: Metallics are very in right now in terms of trends, so I would suggest picking up a silver skinny belt. Silver is classy and absolutely appropriate for an interview. One tip: When you sit down for your interview, unbutton your suit jacket to show off your belt. It will add the perfect flare to your outfit while keeping it classy.
2. Double strand Necklaces: While it is important to make sure your personality shines through in an interview, you don't want to come across as too loud. You can get a double strand of faux pearls or a simple metal double strand fairly inexpensively that will add a little pizazz to your suit, without being too over-the-top. Simple sophistication is the way to go at an interview.
3. Satchel Brief: One of the most important parts of any job interview is preparation! To really look polished, yet prepared, everything you need for your interview - resume, portfolio, cards, pens and paper - should be neatly stashed in a satchel brief. There are so many different cute styles and varieties, too! You can really have fun with this and select a bag that suits you and your personality. I guarantee you will get a ton of compliments on this accessory!
What's a trend this season that can be incorporated into professional dress and look good?
Kitten heels, a la 'Mad Men', are one of the biggest trends for Spring/Summer 2011. Luckily for us ladies, they look fantastic with slacks or skirts! Plus, the lower heel is definitely appropriate for any professional environment, not to mention they are much more comfortable than the platforms heels I€™m usually wearing! I can get away with sky-high shoes on the red carpet, but in many professions, wearing too high of a heel might not go over so well.
For girls without money to spend on all the latest trends, what's a wardrobe essential that wouldn't necessarily be obvious, but that has worked magic for you over the years?
I absolutely love big, chunky bracelets. I have a large collection of bangles that are all very inexpensive. When I€™m in a hurry in the morning, but need to add a little punch to my look, I throw on a stack of bangles and instantly my outfit goes from an 8 to a 10!
Please give us a trick you use to boost confidence for an important job interview.
Confidence is every woman's most important accessory. Yes, wardrobe is important, but no article of clothing is as important as exuding confidence. Applying for jobs is one of the most stressful things a person goes through and it's easy to get in a rut and lose confidence. When I'm feeling stressed out or like I'm losing some confidence, I always find that staying active helps. Walking is an easy and affordable way to exercise, and I know from experience that it helps! It's also important to be mindful about what you eat. I'm a big advocate of healthful eating and I am always reading nutrition labels to make sure that what I'm putting into my body is good.
Please tell us what Dress for Success is, and how you are involved, and why this charity is important.
Dress for Success is a fantastic organization that focuses on helping disadvantaged women become economically independent by providing them with professional attire, a network of support and career development tools. I'm so excited to be working with them through a partnership with Tropicana Trop50. We're really empowering women to help each other look and feel good. In fact, right now, if you visit Tropicana's Facebook page, share a free online gift with your girlfriends using a Facebook app and Trop50 will make a $5 donation to Dress for Success (up to $25K).
I also just spoke on panel in NYC with Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide, on tips for achieving career success. This is a topic that is hugely important to me, and, as women, I think it's important that we support and empower each other in the workplace. You can check out some of the tips shared during the seminar - including ways you can get involved to help Dress for Success - right here!
For those of us who aren't quite broke enough to qualify for Dress for Success, how would you suggest using the resources we have to re-invent our wardrobes (i.e. clothing swap with friends, renting dresses for special occasions, etc.)?
Yes, yes and yes! I recommend investing in a few key pieces and then adding inexpensive accessories to change things up each season. I love clothing swaps - although sometimes it's hard for me to find things to part with - and definitely agree with borrowing dresses on special occasions, whether it's from a friend or dress rental. Chances are your girlfriends are dying to swap for something of yours too!
For more style-on-the-go tips from Giuliana, plus info on her upcoming book tour stops, check out the Zingi interview here!