In light of the list of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Women being published by Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/power-women/, I want to highlight that dressing well at work could get you ahead of your other colleagues. Be warned – some of my opinions on this are a bit controversial, so stand back to avoid the impending fireworks.
I have always believed that being well presented at work will get you ahead, especially as a woman. It is no secret that people like to look at pretty things, it’s human nature! This is why there is no such thing as “Less” magazine full of people who are *ahem* ‘strong in the face’ (Thank you Lad Bible for that little gem!) I also share a rather controversial opinion that there is no such thing as an ‘ugly’ woman, only a lazy one.
As women, we have an arsenal of tricks available to us to make us look more appealing. Whether this is what nature intended is another matter, however society dictates that as women, we are the ones to make an effort. Men have the luxury that they look just as good covered in mud, as they do first thing in the morning, as they do after getting ready to go out – unfair I know! One of these tricks is our clothing. Men are confined to trousers at work, where as women can wear a dress, skirts or trousers, and each of these in turn can be used to our advantage.
I once read that women who chose skirts and dresses over trousers are more likely to get ahead at work – hold on before you get all hot under the collar and start furiously typing your disagreement. The above statement is not for the reasons that you may be thinking, and the stereotype that this depends on the length of the skirt is not pandered to here! The author of the above statement claimed that this was because women who wore skirts and dresses in the workplace were more comfortable with standing out from the crowd, more confident and therefore were more likely to be successful through these personality traits. So rather the skirt or dress is a side-effect of the personality, and it is the personality that gets you ahead at work. Now there is no reason that you cannot mimic this, and perhaps by giving off this image, you will naturally conform to the more confident persona that you portray. I myself own a wardrobe that is 50% dresses and it is rare that I wear trousers to work, especially as I am currently dragging my leg with the bad knee behind me in clumpy knee high flat boots – a dress is the only way to feminise these!
So now for my suggestions of cheaply feminising your wardrobe through the charity shop gold mines:
Now you may look at this and think – grey pencil dress… seen it before… BORING! *Yawn* however it is a staple for a reason – this is dependable for those days when you’re just not sure – you can see another post on workwear here https://lookfabulousforless.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/working-your-work-wear/
Now, nothing smartens up an outfit like a jacket, and I believe that a colourful jacket is essential with this kind of an item. Jackets often contain shoulder pads (not in the style of Dynasty, unless that is particularly what you’re going for!) and broader shoulders automatically make for a stronger silhouette and will instinctively suggest someone with stature and therefore confidence. This is why it is important for you to walk with your shoulders back and your chin up, something that heels will help with immensely!
Now for the Jacket:
This heavy knit red jacket shows confidence. The shoulders are well shaped, single breasted ensures that you don’t look wide. This would lift up any grey dress or brown trousers. Try and stay away from black trousers, I know they’re a staple but they’re a staple for everybody and the name of the game is to stand out – you want your boss to notice you! Obviously if your boss is looking for someone to take to a meeting with him, especially if it is with clients, and it is a toss up between two people of equal proficiency then he will chose the person who is best presented.
I must apologise at this stage for presuming that your boss will be male, but in my department of work, I am one of very few women and most of them are in admin roles – stereotypical but true. However it doesn’t stop the ambitious of us wanting to work and dress their way to the top.
I believe that, along with an impeccable work ethic, a good dress, a sharp pair of heels and an open smile will get you far in this world.