How to Bring Your A-Game To The Table
by Helen Perry,
Corporate & Personal Image Consultant
The weather is scorching. You feel like walking around barefoot in a tissue-thin mosquito net instead of a jacket, slacks/skirt and leather shoes. Regardless, you aren't paid to be comfortable; you are paid to be effective. Our world moves at such a rapid pace, and few have time to see your diplomas on the wall, kind works in the community and 1200 friends on Facebook. Four simple steps can significantly up your game...
Dress Up, Show Up, Speak Up, Follow Up
Dress up: Before deeming any garment worthy of wear, there are 8 Must-Knows:
1. Dress Code/Appropriateness-
Nothing detracts from a person's credibility more quickly than an inappropriate appearance. Whether in uniform, business casual or a suit, wear the best you can buy and be impeccably groomed. Execs frequently call upon image consultants to break the news that the proverbial too-tight, too low-cut, too short, ill-kempt infractions need to stop. Resist falling prey to trends, evening garb during the day or the I-just-rolled-out-of-bed look. Unless your employer is Hooter's, cleavage doesn't work. Rule of thumb: Place your hand above your heart. Any lower than your thumb is too low. Skirt length at the top of the knee cap is appropriately professional.
2. Body Type-
Endomorph? Mesomorph? Ectomorph? Know your metabolic body type and dress to flatter it. A good wardrobe stylist can give you a body type analysis.
3. Best Colors-
Our coloring is predominantly cool (blue-based) or warm (yellow-based). Wearing complimentary tones is vital to optimizing your presentation. Color analysis with a professional is a wise investment saving you thousands of dollars in mistakes.
4. Style- Avoid the mundane.
Current, classic style makes a strong statement that you are on top of your game. Outdated clothing, hair, makeup or eyewear may communicate your skills and knowledge are equally behind the times.
If a bug won't eat it, don't buy it! Natural fibers will always surpass anything man-made. Clothing needs to drape beautifully and define the silhouette. Be consistent with seasonal fabrics, wearing light cottons and linens in spring/summer and heavier wools in fall/winter.
6. Quality- Never compromise.
Shop sales, resale shops or buy fewer pieces that will work every time you wear them. Otherwise, you will have a closet filled with mediocre clothing and wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time.
Factor in alteration costs to taper, lengthen, shorten and, above all, clean up the BULK!
A $400 red cocktail dress is not the same investment as a $400 navy blazer. Cost per wearing=Total number of wearings divided by the cost.
Next: How Do You Show Up?