We were fresh out of school with that newly minted diploma and took our first jobs… We learned that to “dress like a man” was to be taken seriously, fashionable business attire didn’t even exist then.
Remember the ’80s and ’90s when corporate clothing for women mirrored that of men? Suit, bow tie at the neck, starched oxford shirt, sensible shoes. ICK! But in case your head (and your wardrobe) is still there, take what I’m about to say as a lesson in love…
As women, we simultaneously want to be unique and profoundly want to belong. This state of mind creates a conundrum in the closet. Pile on top of that the psychology of social norms such as dress codes, executive title expectations, and salary structures.
Being bold is having the panache to defy your “position” and dress yourself in a way that makes others take notice and respect you even more. It’s all about perception.
Your CEO isn’t going to want you to join them with the 5-star restaurant client if you come in with a drab, ordinary appearance day-in and day-out. When you dress for success in fashionable business attire, your employer and your clients will take notice of your effort to look the part, and you’ll be given a greater level of respect and responsibility.
In short, it’s time to shine!
A glance at these top-of-the-org-chart looks below and you can’t help but get the boss-lady vibes…
The recipe to dress differently is simple. As Clairee from “Steel Magnolias” says:
“The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.”
Start with your CLOTHES:
Then, select your SHOES:
And, the main attraction… Your ACCESSORIES: Here’s where you capitalize on your femininity.
Even though you’re in a conservative industry, your outfit should reflect the intelligent, hard-working, confident person you are while displaying your own personal style. For more ideas on what to wear, read How to be Fashion Forward, Yet Age Appropriate, This Fall.