Women in business are often taught that if they want to be taken seriously, they need to dress modestly and avoid drawing attention to their appearance. Unfortunately, I see too many professional women taking this advice far too literally, and showing up to work every day in boring, boxy, and ill fitting suits that add years to their appearance.
Why is this a problem? Simple: Research shows that women who exude a professional yet youthful appearance actually attract better business opportunities. So the next time you’re getting ready for work, instead of reaching for your “safe” outfits that make you blend in, take a risk and wear something that will make others take notice. Here’s how to get started:
#1: Draw attention to your strengths!
Don’t be afraid to draw attention to your appearance a little bit by playing up the qualities that you’re most confident about. For example, if you have beautiful skin, wear a blouse that shows off your décolletage. If you have great legs, wear shift dresses instead of pantsuits to work.
#2: Conceal your trouble areas
Just as you want to accentuate your strengths, you also want to conceal your trouble areas. For example, if you feel insecure about your midsection, wear a solid blouse that wraps around your stomach and creates a sexy waist. If your thighs are your problem area, wear a tailored dress that skims over your hips and creates a womanly shape.
#3: Update your wardrobe
Now that you know how to show off your strengths and conceal your weaknesses, you want to do a total closet audit and get rid of the following items:
- Anything you haven’t worn in the past two years.
- Anything you don’t feel 100% amazing in.
- Anything that makes you look like a man! For example, boring suits that don’t fit well.
Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, head to a department store and pick up some feminine-friendly items. Look for professional dresses, knee-length skirts, feminine blazers, and silk blouses. Also, I recommend picking up an updated pair of black heels that are chic yet comfortable enough to wear all day long.
#4: Get a fresh haircut!
As the focal point of your appearance, your hair is one of the first things people notice about you, so it’s important to keep your style current. If your hair still looks the way it did in your 20s and 30s, head to the salon for a new ‘do. Ask for an updated style and a natural color to up level your entire look.
A final note…
No matter what you wear to the office every day, the most important thing is that you’re confident. And although this wardrobe update may feel a little uncomfortable at first, I guarantee your new youthful and vibrant appearance will not only make YOU feel better about yourself in the long run, but it’ll also ensure you get the best business opportunities possible.