According to the newly appointed Chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA), Tom Ford, “dressing well is a form of good manners” and it is a mantra we should all follow.
Respecting and loving ourselves is where it all begins. These are key attributes which become formidable tools in how we present our personal brand and how we are perceived. Research shows that how we dress can alter our mood and the way we think. Our visual appearance has a tremendous impact on our demeanor and confidence which then translates to how we interact with others.
Present Yourself for Achievement
Look the part—intelligent, powerful, qualified—command your presence. Be mindful of the environment you are in. In today’s world, research is at our fingertips; do your homework and be prepared. We are what we wear and we can become what we want to be through our personal style. It could be a well-tailored suit to an interview or choosing the perfect print dress for that summer cocktail party. Own it!
Identify Your Personal Style
What makes you feel good? What feels comfortable? If you feel that pencil skirts are not the most flattering on you consider another silhouette. Perhaps a trouser suit is “your fashion armor” for formal and casual invitations—there are many variations to choose from. Do not try to emulate anyone else, embrace your uniqueness and celebrate it. Often, we try to conform to what we think the outside world expects of us.
Find Colors That Work Best For You
Red, for example, is associated with being powerful, dynamic and energetic. White is meant to translate purity, innocence, and a clean look. Black is an interesting choice. It is understated, conceals flaws, and is considered ever-so-chic. Color choices, along with their meanings, are endless. I love all of these colors, but there are versions of red, blue, green and yes, black too that are important to keep in mind. Different shades might work for your ensemble, especially if you are tackling a print. Selecting the appropriate hues that best suit your undertones can make those baby blues pop or compliment your beautiful skin tone. Don’t be afraid to try something new because of tradition.
Consider Your Posture
This important factor can communicate an array of messages. When powerful and confident leaders walk into a room, their pace is slow and graceful, no matter their gender. It is usually followed by a strong pose, not one that is forced, but one that commands attention. Keep your shoulders back, elongate your neck and always look people in the eye. If you are sitting, as many of us do throughout our day, think of your spine having a ruler beside it—keep it straight. To maintain your posture, have a point of focus when you catch yourself about to fidget—perhaps something in your agenda to reference or a clock on the wall. You are the authority—do not let anyone take that away from you.
Grooming Done Right
With all the wonderful hair trends today something to keep in mind is looking polished. Whether it is a shaggy bob, tousled waves or a clean pulled back ponytail, take time to refine your look so it does not look undone. The right hair care products or hair accessory can be your saviors in unpredictable weather. There is nothing better than the feeling of having a good hair day. Also, consider refining your look with clean nails that are filed and cuticles that are properly managed. We have an abundance of nail colors to choose from depending on our mood and how we feel, but with a neutral shade you won’t have to put much effort and it will coordinate with all of your looks.
Enhancing Your Natural Beauty
Make-up—let’s think about this. There are many discussions and thoughts about this topic: Do we need to wear make-up? Why should we? In my mind, make-up is also about comfort level and how it is applied. It should enhance your already beautiful features, not transform you. My advice is to make an appointment with a professional make-up artist. They can advise you on what works best for you to accentuate your beautiful cheekbones or highlight your strong eyes. In the workplace, it is best to keep it minimal. This does not mean that you shouldn’t wear any make-up, unless that is your look. If you are going for that strong red lip consider neutral tones for your eyes.