Saturday, August 15, 2009

How to Dress Like You're the Boss

You’re the boss so you need to look the part. Your clothes should express your position. The days of demure are done. You want to project a powerful image. How you do that depends on your profession, but here are some tips to set you apart from your staff.

DRESS LIKE YOU ARE THE BOSS: You should dress better than your staff. You make more money and your clothes should reflect that. Wear natural fibers like cashmere, silk, and linen and invest in good leather shoes and career bags. A business suit is an easy way to dress for work, but you do not have to clone the dark suits of your male counterparts. Your image should be that of a polished and professional woman.

WEAR CLOTHING THAT IS AGE APPROPRIATE: As a female executive you may be older than your staff. Wear what is appropriate for your age group and avoid adopting younger trends. You do not want to look like one of the gang.

ESTABLISH YOUR PERSONAL BRAND: Be conservative and creative in establishing your personal brand and dress according to the standards of your profession. Acquire your "look" and stay with it on the job. Whether you prefer monochromatic outfits, power sweaters, jackets or dresses, be consistent. Do not keep changing your hair style or hair color. Keep your nail color neutral for work.

USE ACCENTS: An accent can become part of your personal brand. Maybe silk scarves are your trademark, or a red briefcase or career bag. Maybe it is your glasses. Think of a signature accessory that you can use or wear daily.

CHOOSE BUSINESS COLORS: Choose colors that flatter you. If you can, take advantage of strong business colors like dark reds, navy and burgundy. Leave the black and grey to the men. Stay away from pastel colors like pinks, lavenders, and light blues.

CHOOSE TAILORED CLOTHING: Tailored clothing is more powerful than either trendy or feminine styles. Oversized clothing, ruffles, short hemlines and low necklines do not project an image of power

ALWAYS LOOK WELL GROOMED: As the boss, your personal appearance should always be maintained at the highest level. You cannot look like you are having a bad day. Your hair should be neat, make-up fresh, and you should make sure your shoes are polished and your clothes pressed. Be prepared by keeping your work attire for work.

REMEMBER IMAGE COUNTS: Your abilities and performance are why you have your position as the boss. If you want the next job on the career ladder, take the time to work on your appearance and professional demeanor as another skill set.

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