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Dressing for Success

Dressing for Success

Image is serious business; the way you look and dress, matters tremendously in today’s business and corporate world. No matter what one’s stature, shape, or figure is, we must learn how to make the best of what we have. The clothes we wear reflect our confidence, style, and self-image. By wearing clothes that suit us, we can enhance our aesthetic appeal and bring out our personality. Not only will we influence the way others react and behave but power dressing or dressing for success will help us to move up the corporate ladder, distinguish ourselves from the competition and soar with self-confidence.

In a predominantly male-dominated world, it has become imperative for women to rise to the occasion and prove themselves at every step. Stylish and expensive clothing worn by women in politics and business conveys the impression of assertiveness and competence.

Typically business dressing is synonymous with dressing for success. Never confuse club attire with business attire. In today’s corporate environment thus, to look powerful and command respect one must always be dressed crisply and neatly. A chance meeting with the CEO should not leave you awkward just because you were inappropriately dressed.

Pants and Skirts

The fabric should be crisp and colors solid – black, navy, gray, brown, and khaki. For the most business-like appearance, pants should be creased and tailored; neither tight nor flowing. Skirts are usually up to the knee, straight and narrow fitting. If the skirt has a slit, it should be on the behind only to facilitate walking or stair climbing, never to show off the legs. A women’s suit with a jacket, pants, and a skirt is a must in a formal business wardrobe.

Shirts and Sweaters

Tailored shirts, blouses, knit sweaters, and sweater sets in cotton, silk, and silk blends make for both, business casual and formal wear.

Accessories and Cosmetics

Jewelry and scarves must be worn as demanded by current fashion trends. The business dressing should be kept simple and conservative. Avoid extreme style and color. Makeup should be as natural as possible only highlighting the essentials.


Shoes should be made of leather or micro-fiber and colors should be black, navy, brown, beige, and tan to match the outfit and accessories. Toes should be covered; sandals, thins strapped high heels, chunky heels and platforms should be avoided. Make sure that you are comfortable walking in the shoes that you wear; discomfort shown while hobbling around does not at all display a professional image.

Purses, bags, and briefcases

If you carry a purse, keep it small, or alternatively, carry a briefcase for a more structured and professional look. The color of the purse or bag should coordinate with your shoes. Leather and micro-fiber are appropriate while canvas and straw are not.