Styling a dress for a formal occasion


Image via Flickr creative commons from Sarah.F.Bowman

The summertime is wedding season which means that it is likely that you’ll be invited as a guest to many a wedding this year. You may also find that a lot more formal events take place in the summer, such as parties at sports events and the like, simply because the weather is suitable to hold outdoor parties long into the night. I’ve found that many women struggle with knowing what to wear to a formal event. Unless you’re used to attending such events, you’re likely to not have a lot of appropriate outfit choice currently hanging in your wardrobe. A dress is always a good place to start when attending a formal event as it is very ladylike. But how do you turn an average dress into something glamorous and elegant? Here is how to style a dress for a formal occasion.

Formal means black tie

First things first, you’ll need to make sure your dress is appropriate for the occasion. A formal occasion calls for black tie clothing. It can be difficult to know what to wear if you’re a lady as you cannot simply don a tuxedo. Instead, women should wear a cocktail dress or a long length dress. An elegant maxi dress would be ideal for such an occasion. Missguided USA dresses will give you a hot fresh look for any formal event.


As formal wear can err on the plain side, a great way to embellish it is with some sparkly jewellery. However, if you’re attending a formal event, any old jewellery will not do – diamonds, pearls and jewel stones are appropriate. Make sure you always try your chosen jewellery pieces on with your dress before the day of the event, just to make sure that they match. Colour wise, you should aim for silver jewellery if your dress is on the cold side of the colour wheel, such as blue or grey, and gold jewellery if your dress is on the hot side of the colour wheel, such as red or orange. If it is an evening event, a small clutch bag works best – try to match it to the shade of your dress if possible.


Formal events tend to last way into the night so it is advisable to wear shoes that you will feel comfortable in all day. However, comfortable shoes and a cocktail dress are not really synonymous. Many cocktail dresses call for elegant high heels – if its summer, try wearing peep toe heels and contrasting your nail varnish with the colour of your shoes. Always remember to take a pair of comfortable ballet flats with you to slip into when your feet start to hurt – bare feet are not appropriate for a formal occasion.

Hair and make-up

In terms of hair and make-up, you can afford to be a little more dramatic here. If you find it hard to style your hair in any other way than how you usually wear it, visit a hairdresser instead. They usually have a booklet of hairstyles suitable for formal occasions from which you can choose your favourite one. They will also be able to advise you on what would suit your face shape. For your make-up, you cannot go wrong with a smoky eye and lashings of mascara.  A slash of red lipstick will finish the look perfectly.



How to persuade someone to pick up your leaflets


Image via Flickr creative commons from Abi Skipp

Getting customers into your shop is enough of a challenge, but once they’re in there you have to ensure that you entice them to buy as much as possible. These tactics become increasingly important at times when consumers are strapped for cash and reluctant to spend – as has been the case for the last few years. Distributing leaflets can help to provide customers with useful additional information about certain products, so it might be a good idea to distribute leaflets concerning ranges of items you’re particularly keen to sell. However, there’s obviously quite a lot you need to think about if you’re to get the results you want.

Firstly, it helps to think about where and how you intend to display your poems. You need to consider purchasing point-of-sale display items – you can find an extensive selection at UKPOS – and make sure you place these leaflets in positions where they’re likely to catch the eye of the customer. However, you also need to give very careful thought to the actual design of the leaflets for maximum effect. Obviously, you need to strike the balance between having an accessible design and being genuinely informative. This is tougher than it might sound, but with a bit of careful consideration you get the right results.

An article from offers some useful tips in this regard. It points out that as you may not know exactly who your audience is likely to be, you need to keep things simple, short, and to the point. However, you should also remember that shoppers are likely to encounter rather a lot of this sort of material – so unless you find a way of making it instantly interesting to them, they may simply ignore it.

Obviously, you need to give very careful thought to the design of your leaflet. This means that you need to keep the content snappy and also that you need to ensure it doesn’t end up simply looking cluttered. Images can be useful and eye-catching, but if your leaflet looks too busy it may fail to capture people’s attention. It’s also a good idea to print colour leaflets instead of black-and-white ones. The use of colour can really be effective in catching the shopper’s eye, as well as making the overall appearance of the leaflet look sharper. Black-and-white leaflets, on the other hand, can appear somewhat smudged and indistinct.

According to, a call to action can also be useful when you’re designing a leaflet. For example, if you’re promoting a discount then you need to ensure you make this clear. This is far more likely to boost sales. It’s also important to ensure that you check and double-check the design of your leaflet before you go ahead and print. Obvious typographical errors and other design mistakes aren’t just embarrassing; they can also make your whole business appear that bit less professional. This is why you need to go over your leaflet with a fine toothcomb and make sure that no such errors appear.

How To Reduce Your Chances Of Hearing Loss In A Noisy Workplace


Image via Flickr creative commons from Jaymis

Hearing loss in the workplace or occupational deafness is a serious issue and one that affects an estimated 360 million people around the world, according to the World Health Organisation. It can be either congenital or alternatively acquired. One cause of acquired hearing loss can be down to excess noise in the workplace, perhaps because of noisy machinery on a factory floor or maybe loud music in a pub or a club.

What are the impacts of hearing loss?

The condition can have a major impact on the lives of sufferers and at a very basic impair their ability to communicate properly with other people. Feelings of loneliness and isolation are very common, as is the intense feeling of frustration. Communication issues can be tackled through the use of sign language, but the social and emotion impacts of hearing loss can still be very relevant.

Awareness is key

One of the most important ways of minimising your chances of acquiring occupational hearing loss is to be aware of the condition and what causes it. If you know that you are putting your hearing at risk by working in a noisy environment without using any form of ear protection then you will be far more likely to take steps to minimise your exposure and level of risk. Empowerment through knowledge is key.

Safety equipment

Making use of supplied safety equipment and following recommended safety procedures is always going to be essential when it comes to avoiding injury and reducing the chance of acquiring occupational deafness. Personal protective equipment options are wide and varied and include everything from large over-ear ear defenders through to in-ear buds. Of course it is essential to ensure that the equipment is up to the job and that means making sure seals are undamaged and clean, and that no modifications have been made to the ear protection device. It’s advisable for businesses to provide a variety of options when it comes to hearing protection so employees can choose which one suits them best.

Employer responsibility

While it is important that you are aware of the risks of working in a noisy environment and take steps to mitigate those risks, it is important to remember that all employers have a responsibility. Health and safety in the workplace is a major issue today and businesses have a legal responsibility to protect the health of their workforce under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. If an employer is not meeting the required standard and fails to adequately protect workers then the company can be held liable.

Taking action

Workers should feel empowered to take action if they feel their employer is not offering a sufficient level of protection, or if legal health and safety requirements are not being met. Making an industrial deafness claim is a lot easier these days thanks to the number of professional claims specialists out there and there is a far higher level of understanding today about the issue and the impact that occupational deafness can have on a person’s life.

Why Your Business Might Benefit From Switchboard Support


Image via Flickr creative commons from starmanseries

Those people charged with operating a business’s switchboard are very likely to be those with whom a person first makes contact.

As a result, the kind of service they receive really matters, for the following reasons:

– the promptness with which their call is answered can be seen as an indicator of the kind of efficiency with which they can expect to be dealt on an ongoing basis

–  many people feel reassured by being able to speak to familiar voices when they are in telephone contact with a company, or at the very least, someone who sounds authoritative, and so appears to know their way around the business, and to whom they should direct specific enquiries

– those who contact a company by phone expect to be able to speak to someone who does not have to juggle such duties with several others, and so will have the requisite knowledge of how to handle specific types of telephone query, and will not break off their call by having to ask questions of one of their colleagues

– if a call should be directed to a salesperson or the department dealing with such enquiries, it should be passed on as quickly as possible, so that the chance is not missed to capture that sale

–  professional switchboard support will mean fewer abandoned calls, as people will get prompt attention and so gain a more favourable impression of the company which they are calling

– it will reduce the need for other staff to be diverted from their regular duties to deal with telephone enquiries

–  the caller will gain a positive impression of the company as one which sees that initial contact with people outside as a vital step towards a possible sale, or securing new business

– a professional switchboard operator will know the basics of using such systems, such as how to quickly transfer calls, how to handle callers who need to be placed on hold for any length of time, and is likely to quickly pick up a company’s accepted forms of salutation and any prescribed ways of handling calls, and finally

– such people will be totally dedicated to such a task, so a caller will not get the impression that handling their enquiry is merely one of a string of tasks which the handler has to deal with.

It’s important for any business to realise that a phone conversation is a two-way process, which begins from the moment when the phone is picked up. So the ability to sound authoritative and efficient, without being cold and detached, is one of the main attributes of any switchboard operator.

Any business of any size can get switchboard support information easily by going online. Its managers may well also be surprised at the positive results which can thereby be achieved, not least because they will soon see how important that initial contact with an external caller can be, but also because an efficient call handling service will cut down on the amount of time people can waste in dealing with enquiries which divert them from their principal tasks.