Shopping with a client recently for her winter wardrobe, I asked her before we started, what she was doing for a living.
“I am the president and part-owner of a medical supply company” she replied. It was hard to hide my surprise, because in her skirt and ill-fitting blouse nobody would have suspected her to be a successful business woman. Don’t let that happen to you. Everyone can learn what the appropriate look is for a particular job or line of business.
The image you project is like a passport, it tells at a glance what you are all about. Today I take you through the first four steps that lead to the look YOU need. The other four I will give you tomorrow.
1. DECIDE ON YOUR IMAGE. Your first and most important consideration is: “What type of industry do I work In? What is the mentality of the company? What does the company represent? How do others see our industry?”
So if you work for:
– AN INSURANCE COMPANY, here you must look prosperous and serious, conservative, good quality clothes are needed.
– A FASHION ORIENTED BUSINESS – cosmetics, textiles, retail of apparel – a fashionable look is needed. A sales help in a boutique must look up-to-date. How can she sell successfully the latest fashion when her dress says that she is conservative.
– A CREATIVE FIELD – advertising, home decorating, painting, designing – needs an original image. Wouldn’t you doubt the creative talent of a person that looks like a bank clerk?
2. LEARN FROM YOUR CO-WORKERS. This is another way to understand what exactly the look is for the business you are in. Study the people you work with and who you admire. No, I am not suggesting that you copy them, but if you see your (lady) boss or other women always wearing skirts it will be a good idea to get out of your pants. Or if everyone wears jackets, don’t wear only a skirt and blouse. I must warn you however, not to do the same in reverse. I have bed women tell me, “In our office nobody wears jackets, nobody cares” Even if this appears to be so, it should never be a reason for you ‘not to care.’ Dressing appropriately will tell others, especially your boss, that you are ready for a better position and your chances for a promotion will certainly be better than for someone who does not care.
3. TEST THE CLOTHES YOU OWN. If you want to know how appropriate are the clothes you have now, you must do a little research. Write down each day what you wear and in the evening write next to it how your day went and what reactions you got. This record should look like this.
MONDAY – brown skirt, rust blouse, beige blazer,brown pumps – Reactions: somebody held the door open for me. I was served immediately in the stationer store.
TUESDAY – navy dress, black shoes -Reactions – none, dull day
WEDNESDAY – black pants, black shirt, beige blazer, beige short boots – Reactions – I was complimented on my look by my superior.
Testing the effect of your clothes in this manner will tell you how suitable they are and what they do for you.
4. MAKE A CLOTHING BUDGET. As you now realize your clothes are an important part of you, an indispensable need which you have to provide for in your budget.
And knowing how much you pay for rent, fares, telephone, food etc. will give you an idea what is left for clothes per month. You don’t actually have to spend the allocated amount monthly, but it will guide you to know what you can afford. For example, if your clothing budget is $150 per months it means $1800 per year. Realizing this, a $300 suit will not look quite as expensive or unaffordable.
Please come back tomorrow for the other 4 steps to achieve your professional image.
STAY WELL AND LOOK YOUR BEST
If you have any questions – for FREE advice contact me at email@example.com