In my position as the designer of Bluesuits Collection a line of women’s professional attire, I also have the privilege of meeting and communicating with the most accomplished professional women around the world, from young professionals who have just graduated and are embarking on a new path in their career or women who are rising the corporate ladder to women in career transition as well as CEOs and CFOs.
Apart from the usual complaint and one that I have been shouting out since starting Bluesuits regarding stores not offering business attire to professional women with proper style, fabrication and fit I have also been hearing that many women feel they are not being taken seriously at work or that they are not getting the promotion they have been waiting for or landing the job they feel they deserve.
So what does your work attire have to do with being taken seriously and achieving your career goals? We are what we wear. Our appearance coveys a loud and clear message about who we are. It effects our personal brand.
What is personal brand?
“Personal Brand” is your perceived image, it’s what others think of you. In marketing books it is also referred to as “Brand Image”.
On the other hand ” Brand Identity” is your desired image, it’s what you would like others to think of you.
Often our personal brand and brand identity are not congruent. If we want to be taken seriously we need to manage our personal brand or other will do it for us. Your goal in choosing your work attire should be to manage perceptions and create a positive image.
- Look like a winner and dress for the job you want.
- Invest in high quality suits. We prefer Tropcial wool stretch, wool crepes or tweeds.
- Wear age appropriate styles and fits.
- Wear clothes that fit you properly
- Choose classic and sophisticated styles and leave the trendy puffed sleeves and filly tops or accentuated shoulders for non-work environments.
- Avoid showing cleavage, wearing pants that are too low and show your undies when you bend
- Dress according to the culture of the firm.
For additional style tips check out our posts on: How to Choose a suit for a job interview , Appropriate Interview Attire, How to find the best pant style for your body shape
What has your experience been at your work place? Do you think your appearance has anything to do with how others view you?