You can even hire someone to coach you. An expert can help you develop your executive presence. Besides, that supports your leadership. As in most things, a seasoned professional cuts through the clutter. They use years of experience to make the process go quickly. Also, they have an intuitive sense of what will be right for you. I’ve spent 20 years as a consultant in corporate America. So, I have the skill to help make necessary edits to your closet. Then, I can help you select the correct colors, styles, brands, and accessories. That way, I can help you effectively communicate, connect and build relationships with colleagues, customers, and business partners.
Here are some of the principles that I bring to the table. These guide executives at all levels to set themselves up for success:
Appropriateness, Boundaries, and Respect. Adopt these three words as your personal litmus test. It doesn’t matter where you’re shopping. Ask yourself, is this outfit appropriate for my business, position, and the industries I serve? Do my stylish clothing for men and accessory choices create good business boundaries? Or am I overexposed and therefore going to come across as vulnerable, insecure, or worse, lacking judgment? Does my attention to detail show respect for myself, thus showing respect for others?
See your professional image as a communications tool. An appropriate and effective professional image enhances communication. Besides, it lets you present ideas and information easily. Cutting distractions commonly caused by a lack of attention to how clothing helps. In fact, it is one sure way to come across as credible and confident, even if you are nervous on the inside. The best part – the more effectively you communicate, the more confident you become.
Ground your look for business. Think like a professional contractor and start with a solid foundation. While not the only choice for business today, dark base neutrals are a cost-effective way to build a functional and versatile wardrobe. Navy, brown, and gray suits, pants, and shoes are price neutral. Also, they hide wear and tear and can slim pounds off your frame. If you crave color, add it strategically with a tie, shirt, pocket square, or sweater. Worn this way, color is more apt to add interest to your overall look instead of being overwhelming or distracting.
Business first, fashion second. Fashion is fun and exciting. After all, the fashion industry is a big business. So, the thought of wearing your favorite trends to the office can be intriguing. However, think about your environment before you go outside the boundaries of what’s acceptable. Remember, business is about dollars and sense and people may have reactions to inappropriate attire that can undermine your credibility. You don’t have to be a corporate drone by any means. Just be smart with your wardrobe choices and how they will impact your goal and objectives on the job.
The economy may be down but don’t underestimate the power of dressing up. When you feel good about yourself, it’s contagious and everyone around you benefits from your good choices and confidence. It’s really that simple.