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20Dec

Our whole life we have been getting dressed every day, and most people take getting dressed for granted. I hope after reading this article that you never will again. The savvy professional gives attention to her wardrobe, manages and maintains it, and thereby enjoys all the benefits of being prepared to look great and feel appropriately dressed.

Let Go of The Poor Producers

In business if you were the boss, after a while you would have to let go of staff that was taking up space but not producing. The same goes for your wardrobe. If you have not worn something for a year, it is taking up too much space and it is time to get rid of it and make space for a garment that contributes to producing great outfits.

 Audit Your Wardrobe Annually

Each year you want to retire what is not working and take inventory of where the needs in your wardrobe might be. For example if your favorite dark blazer is starting to look ragged, you had better retire it and that means you need to go shopping for a new one.

 Also make sure everything fits – all the buttons are there and firmly attached, and nothing needs repair or cleaning. There is nothing worse than thinking you have the perfect outfit for an important occasion and finding it is not ready to wear when you pull it out of your closet to get dressed.

Invest in Quality

You want to invest in quality for your executive wardrobe. You can’t look like a million bucks if your sweater is pilling, your blouse is pulling and your jacket is starting to fray. Wool blend blazers are always a good investment. Fewer garments of a greater quality should be the rule you follow.

 Focus on Fit

One thing any image professional will tell you is that there is no such thing as ready-to-wear. Everyone’s body is different and you want to get each jacket, skirt, and pair of pants properly fitted to your body. Half an inch makes all the difference in the right places to make sure you always look your best.

Consult your image professional for the best skirt, trouser and jacket cut length for you. Also, pay attention to your jacket shoulder width and waistline position.

The Power of Color

Color is a powerful business tool that you do not want to overlook as you build your executive image. Your core colors are colors that can be identified by an image consultant. They are the colors that make you look healthier, thinner, younger, and more vibrant when you wear them. Core neutral colors for your business wardrobe include black, grey, navy or brown. You will find that when you wear the colors that are best for you, you will get more attention, be taken more seriously and perhaps best of all, you will feel more confident.

Protect Your Investment

Your executive wardrobe will cost you more than your casual outfits, and you want your garments to last a long time. Take steps to protect your wardrobe. One common mistake is dry-cleaning too often. Unless you have a spot that needs attention, your garments rarely need to be dry-cleaned. If you were in a smoke-filled room last night, steam your clothes by hanging them outside your shower, then air dry them outside for an afternoon. Also make sure your closet is not overstuffed, and has good air flow to keep your clothing fresh and prevent the garment shapes from being lost. 

After you wear something, take a good look at it in the morning light. Does it need repairs or are there spots on it? Always give garments immediate care before placing them in the closet. You never want to be getting dressed for the day, and find that your chosen outfit is not ready to wear.

Managing your wardrobe will initially take some attention. Apply these ideas to maximize the investment you make in your pieces, insuring that they last a long time. The result will be that you will always have the right outfit ready to go, you will feel confident in your appearance, and that will allow you to get the best possible results on the job.

Contact me today to set up an appointment!

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18Dec

Our whole life we have been getting dressed every day, and most people take getting dressed for granted. I hope after reading this article that you never will again. The savvy professional gives attention to her wardrobe, manages and maintains it, and thereby enjoys all the benefits of being prepared to look great and feel appropriately dressed.

The Power of Color

Color is a powerful business tool that you do not want to overlook as you build your executive image. Your core colors are colors that can be identified by an image consultant. They are the colors that make you look healthier, thinner, younger, and more vibrant when you wear them. Core neutral colors for your business wardrobe include black, grey, navy or brown. You will find that when you wear the colors that are best for you, you will get more attention, be taken more seriously and perhaps best of all, you will feel more confident.

Protect Your Investment

Your executive wardrobe will cost you more than your casual outfits, and you want your garments to last a long time. Take steps to protect your wardrobe. One common mistake is dry-cleaning too often. Unless you have a spot that needs attention, your garments rarely need to be dry-cleaned. If you were in a smoke-filled room last night, steam your clothes by hanging them outside your shower, then air dry them outside for an afternoon. Also make sure your closet is not overstuffed, and has good air flow to keep your clothing fresh and prevent the garment shapes from being lost. 

After you wear something, take a good look at it in the morning light. Does it need repairs or are there spots on it? Always give garments immediate care before placing them in the closet. You never want to be getting dressed for the day, and find that your chosen outfit is not ready to wear. 

Managing your wardrobe will initially take some attention. Apply these ideas to maximize the investment you make in your pieces, insuring that they last a long time. The result will be that you will always have the right outfit ready to go, you will feel confident in your appearance, and that will allow you to get the best possible results on the job.

Contact me today to set up an appointment!

12Dec

Once of the biggest signs of disrespect is not being on time.  Sure we have all heard the term “fashionably late” yet this has no place in your vocabulary when it comes to your professional life.  When you are not on time it sets off many red flags that you certainly do not want to bring to the attention of your coworkers or supervisors.  It screams out you are not organized, you are not efficient, and worse of all it says you are not respectful of someone else’s time.  This is certainly not the kind of message you want to send. 

 Let’s face it in today’s world we are all very busy and multitasking is the norm not the exception.  I have a checklist of 10 key things you can do to ensure you are on time.

 10 Keys to Being on Time

 1. Lay out your clothes the night before- this is a great way to save time in the morning and it will give you the opportunity to make last minute adjustments if you needed.

 2. Prepare your coffee maker or breakfast the night before.

 3. If you take a lunch to work prepare it the night before.

 4. Have your briefcase or other work related items organized and close to the door so you can grab them quickly on your way out the door.

 5. Always make sure you have gas in your car the night before- nothing is more time pressing than having to fill your tank on your way to work.

 6. If you commute to work make it a practice to leave at least 15 minutes earlier than the time it will take you to drive to work, if you hit traffic or an unexpected delay you have given yourself a cushion of time.

 7. Check the local traffic reports- in this day of advanced technology there are many local television and radio stations that have apps available for your smart phone or text alerts you can sign up for that will alert you to traffic delays.

 8. Be prepared if there is a traffic delay have a secondary route you are familiar with in the event there is a problem.

 9. Make it a practice not to return phone calls or read texts while you are driving. First of all it is dangerous and your focus should be on the road. Secondly, it actually slows you down; in a study published in US News 2011, they found that people who were talking on their phone and texting while driving were arriving later at a destination than someone who was not.

 10. Listen to your favorite music or radio station on your way to work.  This will relax you and when you get out of your car and head into the office you will be refreshed, on time and ready to go.

 This will help you stay on time and give that wonderful impression that you are; diligent, responsible, and most of all respectful. 

 Ginny’s Gem: Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.  M. Scott Peck

 
 
 
 
 

 

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8Dec

‘Tis the season for the annual holiday office party and if you play you exhibit professional presence you could end up closer to gaining the position you desire.  Make a wrong move, and you could be facing career suicide.  Here are seven basic survival tips to keep your career on the right path. 

1.   Attendance is obligatory.  Skipping out on the annual party displays disrespect for your company, your supervisors and your colleagues. Unless you have a justifiable conflict, showing up is compulsory.  More importantly, remaining at the event for at least an hour eliminates the risk of giving the impression that your appearance was merely obligatory.

2.   Dress appropriately for the occasion.  While dressing appropriately is critical at every level within a business, it is most important for midlevel professionals who desire to move up or at least retain their position.  For women, the rule of thumb “more skin, less power”, still applies.  Refrain from wearing ultra-tight fitting dresses, revealing necklines, mini-skirts or super snug leggings.  Men should avoid unbuttoning more than two buttons on their shirts and wearing overly fitted shirts or sweaters.

3.   Leave first dates for another occasion.  Assuming dates are welcome; bring someone who will make a good impression with co-workers and superiors.  The office party is not the time to learn that your date uses profanities or has over-indulgent drinking habits.

4.   Conduct yourself professionally.  What you say and do will resonate in the minds of your colleagues and managers. Inappropriate behavior can cause your career to be shorter than everyone else’s memory. In all of your interactions, be positive and conduct yourself with charm and savvy.  This is not the time to express employee grumbles or become too chummy with a co-worker.

5.   Be a good conversationalist.  Avoid talking about yourself or your accomplishments.  Instead, make others your focal point.  Show that you are genuinely interested in each person within a group by asking open-ended questions and including everyone in the conversation with both questions and eye contact.  Take the time to network with those individuals who can influence your career or who you may not see regularly.  Keep your glass in your left hand so when you shake hands with someone, your hand isn’t wet or cold. Holiday parties are great for building or strengthening business relationships. 

6.   Eat, drink and be merry in moderation.  The stories of people who have overindulged at company parties are legendary, and there’s always a price to be paid. Some believe if alcohol is “free”, then they must take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts. Eat a bite before you drink. Limit your alcohol consumption and drink plenty of water or seltzer between drinks. Also, keep in mind that the hor dourves table is not intended to your meal.

7.   Exit gracefully.  While sometimes inconvenient to track down the host, make a point to say thank you and goodbye to the person or persons responsible for the planning and coordinating of the party.  Sending a thank-you note to top management for hosting the party is sure to help you gain notice and be appreciated.  

Feel free to contact me today for an appointment!

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5Dec

How often have you thought you had found a great deal on a blouse or a dress and bought it on a whim, only to get home and discover that it practically disintegrated with the first washing? All too often, we are taken in by these so-called deals that are really just low prices for low quality clothing. It is a waste of money and time as well. Spending $200 a month on these poorly constructed clothes means you are wasting $2,400 a year!

Investment dressing requires you to pay more money per item of clothing, but you are going to be getting high quality items that will look and feel great and last a long time. The trick is to spot these smart buys that will help you build up an investment wardrobe that you can use for years to come.

Know Your Colors

Getting your colors done does not seem to be as much the rave as it has been in years past. This is a mistake. One of the smartest investments you can make to always look great and to not waste money when you shop is to get your colors professionally done so you feel confident a color will look good on you before you make a purchase.

Look for Timeless Pieces

There is something to be said for the little black dress that is appropriate for all occasions. If you look for clothing that has lines that are not trendy, but always look good, no matter the latest style, you have a winner. This includes pencil skirts, sheath dresses and simple blouses. These are items of clothing that could hold their own in any decade, not for being at the height of fashion, but for their simplicity and quiet class.

 Go for Quality Fabrics

Paying more for clothing that is made of better fabric is a smart decision. In fact, the type of fabric used in your clothes can make all the difference in how good you look. A cheap polyester dress will look far worse than the exact same design in a classy linen blend.  Choose the better fabric and you will not regret it. Real silk, linen and wool are all fabrics that look terrific and will help build your investment wardrobe. Blends are fine too. Wool blends will be less itchy, linen blends will wrinkle less and silk blends will usually breathe more.

 Remember That More is Not Better

Having a few expensive, classic pieces of clothing in your wardrobe is worth far more than having two or three closets full of cheap clothing that will never pass as good quality. Make sure you remember this when sticker shock hits!

If you have traveled to Europe, you have probably noticed how great the men and women look. They do not have as many clothes in their wardrobe yet everything they have is made of the highest quality.

Make It All Work Together

The best way to build your investment wardrobe is to plan your entire wardrobe for versatility. Having two or three pairs of pants, three to five blouses, a couple of skirts and a nice jacket and suit can actually work for you if you plan it. Choose just two or three classic colors that all complement each other and you will be able to mix and match your entire wardrobe, creating dozens of different outfits. Throw in a scarf or two and a couple of different belts and accessories and you can have even more looks, all with just a few select items. Opt for mostly solid colors rather than prints and you will have more combinations available to you.

 Remember the Shoes

Choosing the best shoes available will also enhance your look. Invest in a few pairs of good quality, sensible shoes and you will be able to wear them with every outfit. A couple different high heels, a pair of flat shoes and perhaps some boots or sandals, depending on where you live, will serve you well and when chosen in classic colors that suit your wardrobe, you will never have any problems putting together a great outfit.

 Investment dressing is becoming a trend these days and it is one that is well worth jumping on. Take a few minutes to plan out your basic wardrobe and choose a couple of colors to base it on. Then it is time to go shopping. Stick to the plan, choose high quality items and at the end of your day, you will have a wardrobe that will last you a long time and suit any occasion.

30Nov

Many organizations will invite you to wear business casual attire to an interview. This can be tricky because business casual essentially runs the gamut from cotton khakis to slacks, and from polo shirts to collared shirts with a tie. If you plan to dress business casual for an interview, stick to the more formal side of business casual, in other words, “professional casual.”

Professional Casual for Women:

  • Wool or synthetic fiber slacks or knee-length skirt
  • A collared blouse, sweater set, or conservative sweater
  • Consider wearing a stylish jacket over your top
  • Black or brown shoes with closed toes or boots.

Professional Casual for Men:

  • Wool or blended fiber slacks
  • A collared, buttoned shirt with a tie, or a conservative business-like sweater
  • Black or brown shoes with a matching belt
  • Dark socks

Networking Events

Very few networking events call for professional attire. You are almost always invited to wear business casual or campus casual attire. But if you are trying to convey that you are ready for the working world, you should consider avoiding wearing campus casual attire to career fairs, employer information sessions, employer panels, or any other events where you will be interacting with potential employers. Business casual makes a better impression.

Business Casual for Women:

  • Cotton or synthetic fiber blended pants or a knee-length skirt
  • A top or sweater that is fashionable yet not trendy and can’t be considered a t-shirt.
  • Shoes or sandals that are fashionable, but no flip-flops or sneakers.

Business Casual for Men:

  • Cotton pants
  • Collared shirt
  • No sandals, flip-flops or sneakers

Fashionable, but Not Trendy or Sexy

Unless you are interviewing for an organization in the fashion or entertainment industry, you should avoid wearing trendy clothes when trying to make a good impression on employers. Today’s fashions also trend toward sexiness, but potential employers don’t want to see your cleavage, your belly button, or your lingerie. Save those styles for your social life, they’re not appropriate for your work environment.

Good grooming is almost always more important than what you wear. To make a good impression in this department:

  • Keep your hair out of your face and don’t play with it during your interview.
  • Minimize jewelry, and remove visible piercings (other than one earring per ear for women).
  • Remove any scuffs from your shoes – have them polished or repaired if necessary.
  • Make sure your hands and fingernails are clean, they will be noticed.
  • Minimize fragrances – some people are allergic to perfumes and colognes.
  • Make sure your body and breath odor is nonexistent or at least pleasant. Be sure to shower before your interview, and avoid foods that make your breath smell, such as dairy foods, sugary foods, or spicy foods.
28Nov

Dress to Impress Part One

posted by ginny

Dress to Impress for Recruiting Success

Part One

First impressions matter. Whether it’s a first round interview or an informal networking opportunity, you want your grooming and attire to clearly communicate that you’re ready to make the transition to a working professional.

Interview Attire

Most employers expect you to wear professional attire to interviews, even if the organization has a business casual dress code in the office. Unless you are invited to wear business casual attire to an interview, you should plan to wear conservative, professional attire.  

Professional Attire for Women:

  • A business suit in a classic style. Pant suits and skirt suits are acceptable, but pant suits are considered more casual, so wear a skirt suit if interviewing for more conservative organizations. A “suit” means that the jacket and skirt or pants are made from the same material. Women have more flexibility with suit color, but avoid colors that are very trendy; stick to a more classic color.
  • Under your suit jacket, wear a collared blouse or conservative shell, in a color that complements your suit.
  • Shoes should be black or brown, whichever complements your suit color. Wear shoes with closed toes; avoid wearing a shoe that could be considered a sandal. Boots are fine with a pant suit, especially when interviewing in cool weather.
  • Wear nylons that match your skin color unless you have beautifully tanned legs.

Professional Attire for Men:

  • Invest in a business suit in a classic two-button or three-button style. Stick with classic colors like dark grey. Many suits will have pinstripes according to current fashion and subtle pinstripes are fine for interviews, but avoid bold pinstripes.
  • Wear a white shirt or light solid colored shirt.
  • Wear a conservative tie that complements your shirt and suit.
  • Shoes should be black or brown, with some shine. Leather that doesn’t have a shine is considered more casual. Choose a belt that matches the color of your shoes.
  • Wear dark socks. White socks are completely inappropriate.
29Oct

Please visit again form my upcoming Corporate Articles.

In the mean time be sure to visit my Inspiring Women Articles HERE

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Executive Image Power and Inspired Style,
Ginny Baldridge, co-author

    EXECUTIVE IMAGE POWER BOOK

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    INSPIRED STYLE BOOK

    Inspired Style is the key ingredient to helping you understand and define your personal style. The authors provide practical and applicable ideas that women can use immediately to look better, feel better, be more effective and enjoy all the benefits an enhanced image can bring.


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