How is your image in the workplace? Do you feel heard and seen for your professional contributions? Is your visibility at its peak? We’ve all heard about people who got passed up for promotions when it seemed they had all the necessary qualifications. Don’t let this be you! Stand out, get noticed, and get acknowledged when you dress smart for the workplace. Here are my top ten tips for professional presence.
- Choose quality fabrics. Cashmere, tropical weight wool, silk, and Pima cotton will hold up through a hectic business day.
- Look for structured garments. Blazers rather than cardigans. Pencil skirts rather than flowing skirts.
- Find a good tailor. Perfect fit is essential for looking professional. Clothes should skim the body.
- Remember the jacket. Whether it’s over a sheath dress or pants and a top, a jacket always makes you look more authoritative.
- Check your colors. Dark colors are more professional than lighter colors. Like bright colors? Use them as your accent colors, not for the whole outfit.
- Solid colors are more professional than prints. If you like prints, stick to small, traditional ones—checks, small florals, paisley, plaid.
- Moderate heeled pumps. Flip flops are for the beach and strappy sandals for the dance floor. But a little bit of color can be fun.
- Show your personality with your jewelry. Make it classic. And avoid pieces that jingle and jangle like multiple bangle bracelets.
- Moderate makeup. But keep the bright red lipstick for night. Women who wear moderate makeup are perceived to have higher interpersonal skills.
- Well-cared for hair. Wash and wear styles can be easy. But make sure you get regular trims so it doesn’t look unkempt.
Pat Gray, Ph.D., AICI FLC, Pat Gray in Color Image Consulting. Certified Image Consultant
Certified Universal Style Consultant.
Co-author of “Inspired Style.”
VP Communications AICI SFBA