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Clothes Make the Man - and The Woman

With the warmer weather, our work wardrobes get an overhaul. Off to the cleaners and cobblers, and then packed away in storage, go all of our bulky winter coats, wool blazers, warm sweaters, and leather boots. Our moods are immediately lightened and lifted – as are our closets - when we rotate in our spring and summer clothes.

The spring and summer months just have a lighter feel to them. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore our organization’s policy on proper dress attire. Let’s face it, we have all seen some bad wardrobe choices of our peers during these warmer months.

Despite society’s obvious tilt toward more business-casual clothing, what you wear still matters for your professional success. And in most places, business-casual does not mean your comfy and cute, athletic leisure-wear! Your wardrobe is very much a part of your image – what do you want it to be? We hope the word “success” was at least one of the words that immediately popped into your head.

The goal of your work wardrobe should be to dress with taste and class so that your appearance works for you, not against you, in terms of advancing your career. Our advice, let the word “appropriate” be your guiding star. You need to dress appropriately for your body, your age, the occasion, your place of work, the weather, and your wallet. Not sure what is appropriate for your place of work? After checking out the company dress-policy, look at what your leadership wears. You want to use your wardrobe to help signal that you are a “professional” in your field and worthy of moving up the corporate ladder too.

But you say, "Wait, I don’t need to worry about that corporate ladder – I'm an entrepreneur and am my own boss – and can dress however I want!" Cue the yoga pants every day, all day. Wrong! Your wardrobe sends messages to your clients and industry peers as well. If you truly want to be a leader in your field, you need to look and act and be the part. That includes dressing for your own success when you're with other people!

Whether you are dressing for work or for play, always choose to dress clean, neat and sparkly. Avoid being wrinkly. Reinforce buttons and hems, throw away stained clothes. Be respectfully toward yourself – and others by taking pride in your appearance. Don’t you feel better and act more confident when you know you look good? You’re definitely worth it!

Have a marvelous week - Catherine & Jessica

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