I recently gave a talk to one of the networking groups I belong to on the topic of dressing for success or in other words how to present yourself to your best effect when at work. One comment that kept coming up was how difficult it is to buy suits if you were very short or very tall or plus size….. This set me to thinking about why we as women often feel that we have to wear a (often dark) suit to be taken seriously in the workplace?
I’m a firm believer that in 2015 there is no need to wear suits to present yourself with authority and confidence and to look capable of doing the job you are employed to do, or run the business you have set up yourself. The key thing to looking good whilst dressing for work is to look groomed, elegant and confident. This is easily achieved without having to don a suit – after all we are women so why should we be attempting to dress like a man does to be taken seriously?
The poster child of chic and sophisticated but always appropriate work dressing is Amal Clooney. A human rights lawyer based in London but travelling all over the world for her job – she always looks stylish, elegant and polished and very rarely wears a standard two piece suit, let alone a black or grey one. She’s a big fan of shift dresses and heels or trousers and top and flats always paired with a statement bag and gorgeous shoes, glossy blow dry and bright lips. She looks professional, in control, stylish and feminine. How could wearing a dark two piece suit improve on this?
Too often, women tell me they feel like they must wear a dark suit when dealing with men at i.e. a conference or seminar or networking event where men will be in the majority, and that if they don’t they will not be taken seriously. I understand a lot of women see putting on the dark suit and getting work ready like putting on a uniform and mentally being in work mode, but have they considered that a dark suit makes them often look frumpy and tired and unapproachable…. the last thing you want to wear if trying to network or build relationships with potential customers?
In terms of wearing suits, for both sexes the corporate world has definitely softened and women in particular should revel in all the the different options we have to wear for work that men mostly definitely don’t have… dress and cardy, trousers and shirt, trousers and cropped jacket, jumpsuit and jacket, knee length dress, midi length dress, flats, heels, sandals, a killer bag… The list is endless and as long as we are wearing what suits us in terms of colouring and body shape and look appropriate for the job we are doing and look current and groomed we can’t really go wrong. So ladies go and throw off that black suit and ditch the grey trousers, embrace your femininity and have some fun with your work wardrobe.
A quick checklist of what to have in your wardrobe to look gorgeous, feminine and more than able to do your job would be:
- Shift dresses (no shorter than 3cms above the kneecap)
- Cropped cardys
- Heeled court shoes in a neutral colour ie black, navy, tan, cream, white, camel
- A statement bag in a neutral colour ie black, navy, tan, cream, white, camel
- Cropped jackets that will co-ordinate with shift dresses, trousers, shirts and tops
- Lots of accessories in a rainbow of colours to lift even the simplest shift dress i.e scarves, costume necklaces and bracelets and to help change your look on a daily basis
For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could revolutionize your work wardrobe please call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook page.