Your clothing should help you move up socially and in business, not hold you back! Appearance can work for you by projecting a polished, confident image…or it can work against you by having scuffed, run down shoes, wrinkled clothing or ragged fingernails, which cry of low self-esteem, carelessness or that there is no motivation to go any further in life. You always want to be recognized as a polished, intelligent and articulate professional rather than remembered for what you wore.
Dress for the position–or clients–you want, not for the one you have. Your wardrobe reflects your personality—creative, dramatic, intellectual, conservative, unsophisticated, or careless. Avoid wearing clothing that overwhelms your size or personality. You do not want your outfit to speak louder than your own character; however, you may perk up a drab personality by wearing clothing that is more appealing and friendly.
Glasses: Moderate size adds weight and authority. They should cover eyebrows and be in a neutral color or complement hair and skin tone. Too trendy or colorful are distracting.
Rain Wear: Use a solid handled umbrella with ten or more spokes. Avoid plastic hats and coats if possible.
Attaché Case: Get the best quality you can afford. Shop the discount stores for quality leather. They should be simple and functional. Ladies on business calls, avoid taking an attaché case and a purse.
Wallets/Luggage: Dark brown or maroon leather works best. Invest in a matched canvas luggage set with leather belting when you can afford it. Use a business card for identification rather than your home address. Carry a tasteful business card holder.
The One-month Calendar: In order to fully realize the impact your clothing styles and colors have on your performance and the messages they portray to others, try the one-month calendar. Each evening, write down what you wore—color, style, and fabric. Describe how you felt and how others reacted to you. Were they cooperative or antagonistic? Warm or aloof? Did they treat you with respect or indifference? You will see a pattern that will help you dress in the most beneficial manner for your career.
Best Way to Get More Mileage Out of Your Wardrobe: Choose three compatible and flattering colors. Ask yourself: Can I wear it with three outfits I already have? To three different events? For three years and still look quality? Accessorize it three different ways?
The Business Social Function: If you are not sure what type of clothing is best for a business social function, keep an extra blouse/shirt, accessories, etc., in the car for a quick change if needed. Strive for a sophisticated look.