For many women these days a huge percentage of our time is spent at work. Those of us who get to choose our work attire should not underestimate the power of the image we portray. The way we look at work will undoubtedly have a direct influence on our networking opportunities, the relationships we make with our peers, and may even determine how seriously we are taken by our superiors.
Dressing for the office can be a daily challenge, whether you are hoping to get a raise, catch the eye of a colleague, or clinch that deal with a tricky client, your image choices are constantly influencing how successful you are at work. In this article we would like to share some tips on how to get the most from your wardrobe and help you move on in the work place.
It is well documented that 50-75% of all our communication is non-verbal, the majority of the rest is visual, with attire and body language coming high on the list! If you are feeling confident in your look then your body language and posture will naturally be greatly improved, this should prove a great way to start making the most of your image at work.
Whatever your current style says to those around you, for most of us there is room for improvement, even if you are a model employee!
Try following Model Direct’s simple steps to ensure you are saying something positive to the people you work with, without even opening your mouth. So make sure you:
- Plan ahead: Come on girls, get organised! Decide on your outfit the day before work and preferably have it laid out ready to put on in the morning. This will not only ensure that you avoid those last minute bad choices but will also make your morning far less stressful.
- Iron it: There is no excuse for looking like you’ve just woken up in today’s outfit and rolled in to work. Ensure that your clothing is washed and pressed before you leave the house.
- Keep it classic: Classic lines create a timeless and stylish silhouette and we recommend them as a fantastic way to project a professional, competent and stylish appearance.
- Traditional colours: Combine use of traditional and neutral colours as a basis for your working wardrobe. Navy is associated with trustworthiness, grey is conservative, black with chic, and white will compliment any of these. Remember that black and navy should never be worn together!
- Introducing other Colours: Introduce other colours into your look if you feel confident to do so, with a (preferably structured) handbag, or some appropriate heels. Pastels and neutrals are safest, but, if you think you can pull it off, an accessory in this season’s berry shades could look fabulous. Brights and prints can be harder to adapt for office wear, so choose wisely and please remember that red can appear aggressive or confrontational.
- Attention to detail: Style your hair, look after your nails (varnish with a clear or neutral polish), keep your shoes clean, accessorise carefully with a statement necklace or ring to acknowledge the latest trend, carry spare hosiery to avoid unsightly runs (a great tip is to spray hosieries with hairspray before wearing, which will actually protect against runs).
- Expect the unexpected: Let’s face it, the weather could do anything on any given day (and so could your boss!), so be prepared for unscheduled meetings or being caught in a sudden heat wave or downpour. Try to go to work equipped with as many as possible, of the following: a compact umbrella, sunglasses, compact hairbrush, hairclip, compact deodorant, breath mints and emergency make up kit (see below), or even better leave these items permanently at work, along with a Mac and some flats for any unexpected challenges
- Emergency make up kit: Your favourite make up wipes, concealer, mascara, eye pencil, lip stain/gloss, blush – as compact as possible and kept in a washable bag for hygiene.
And once you’ve mastered the art of office chic, all you will have to worry about is making sure you have enough time for all the new engagements you will be involved in!
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