When I first started my career I struggled making the right impressions. My co-workers and leadership would often make assumptions about me that didn’t seem congruent with my ability and work ethic. This went on for several years before I decided there must be something negative I am communicating that I am just not aware of. I was working for a large financial institution. One day I noticed how a particular executive was dressed so obviously different from everyone else. The suit she was wearing had a custom tailored look of fine wool and of subtle shine. How did she look this way? Did she wait until becoming an executive and then alter her wardrobe to look the part? No, that couldn’t be. How could she have been trusted with leadership if she didn’t already look successful? Answer: To be an executive you must look like an executive.
This gave me inspiration to understand better what it means to look professional. With some searching I found a book called Casual Power. In it I was able to discover the social queues and unspoken messages that we express in our fashion. The author Sherry Maysonave very carefully illustrates what our clothing communicates about ourselves in our profession. I discovered quite recently how my own personal style was negatively affecting my success in business. It wasn’t obvious at first but then as soon as I began making effective improvements in my professional attire people noticed, perhaps not in the way you might expect. There was no preoccupation with the new clothes that I was wearing but I did begin to be taken more seriously during meetings. I was first to be acknowledged by leadership among my peers. This has eventually led to a significant increase in position and pay. Did looking more professional also converted me into a more effective leader? That I will never know, getting my MBA certainly helped.
If you found my career success inspiring perhaps this book will help you too!
You can find it at Amazon: Casual Power: How to Power Up Your Nonverbal Communication & Dress Down for Success
Job interviews are scary. I can remember a particularly terrifying interview. I walked into a strange new office and immediately forgot the first names of everyone I met. Needless to say I didn’t get the job. I believe a job interview is much like an hostile interrogation where one wrong message might end your career or possibly your way of life.
Don’t let your clothes send that wrong message. Get a navy suite, made from fine wool with a silk blouse. I like J Crew because they have the Super 120s marino wool suits and they offer them in petite sizes. Don’t forget to have it tailored to your exact measurements and you might consider sizing up to allow the tailor enough material to make the best alterations.
Shoes are important, always, always wear closed heal and closed toes, no sandals! Sandals give the impression of fun and play and they are a NO for any professional interview. I like Cole Haan because they are one of the few remaining companies that still makes pump with a full leather upper and sole. Peekaboo toes are acceptable as well for professional dress.
If you wear a skirt don’t forget the tights. Bare legs send a signal that you are not taking the interview seriously. They also give a finished look that communicates attention to detail.
Finally, don’t forget ask closing questions such as; when can I start? Where do you see me in your organization? How will I best contribute to the success of the business?
Verbal and non-verbal messaging will contribute greatly to your success in any interview.
I have had much trouble finding workout clothes here in the U.S. One brand generally fits well is Under Armour so long as I can find it in size XS or XXS.
Under Armour has been a good brand. I have had these clothes for several years and I am satisfied with the durability.
They have consistent sizing but the full length leggings tend to be a little too long for me. Under Armour has introduced the UA HeatGear Armour Ankle Crop. I will try these soon and report back!
Here is an ensemble that I put together quickly for Sunday morning.
Finding maternity clothes in size 00P is very difficult here in the US. I found this dress on Taobao (Aliexpress.com). The dress contains a zipper that allows for more discreet baby feeding. The opening is not that large so it may not be as convenient for some.
I found this dress at Target. It was the perfect choice for these pictures in the flowers fields.
You can find it here: Target Women’s Emgroidered Bell-Sleeve Dress – Xhilaration (Juniors)