Did you know that how you dress equals your perceived level of professionalism? How professional you look can impact whether you are perceived as smart, competent, detailed oriented, moving up or down the corporate ladder or credible. Especially when you are dressing for a job interview, make sure your image communicates exactly how you want to be perceived. The way you dress for work is a communications tool that can be used strategically to your advantage. Here are twelve tips from Élan Image Management to guide you to project the highest level of professionalism to ensure you nail that job interview.
The greater the number of items of clothing you wear at one time, the greater degree of formality/professionalism you express. For most interviews, you will want to always wear 3 core pieces — skirt or pants, a jacket or cardigan and a blouse, shirt or shell (sometimes a dress can sub for a skirt and shell). Consider very tailored or polished looks, like a matched pants or skirt suit paired with a blouse or shirt in a flattering color or print. Alternatively, a knee length or below skirt or a classic sheath dress that is figure flattering but not tight, topped with a tailored jacket in a contrasting color is good interview choice.
DO always wear a jacket to an interview to quickly establish presence in professional environments. It communicates confidence, command and authority-all great first impressions.
For interviews, choose skirts and dresses no shorter than 2 inches above knee. Also do wear a slip if the skirt is unlined
Especially in conservative businesses, stockings should be worn with skirts. Neutral or close to skin tone is best choice. Black, grey, and navy are acceptable if they match shoes or skirt.
Get your hair professionally cut and colored. A bad/un-groomed hair style diminishes professional impact.
Do walk with a quality portfolio or tote (preferably leather) to carry your interview essentials. Consider all your accessories as part of the image you are projecting.
No matter how you decide to spend the rest of the holidays, I want to make sure you look festive, pulled together, and fabulous to all your events. If you’ve been keeping up with my posts you already have a few tips on dressing for your holiday events. Today, I share a few more tidbits so you can be sure you look smashing when attending your holiday, New Year and Inauguration shindigs.
Black always looks sleek and chic. If you’re unsure of color, opt for a black ensemble in lace, velvet, satin, silk, taffeta or chiffon to take it from basic to festive. Look at how this basic black skirt from Tory Burch gets a shot of pizzazz and sass with a silver print embellishment. All is needed is to pair with a simple black top and jazzy heels and you’re ready for a Holiday party!
Tory Burch sequined skirt @ Bloomindales
Red says end of year cheer more than any other color and will ensure you get noticed among the sea of black ensembles. But if you choose to wear red make sure it is the right shade of red for you.
Gold is a great color for a festive and bright look. But the more your dress sparkles the more you need to downplay your jewelry.
Trendy colors like cobalt blue, purple and grey instantly make you appear more fashion forward.
If you’re wearing a dress, opt for one that flatters and enhances your figure and proportions. Wide in the hips? Choose a dress with an A line or flared skirt. Full figured? A wrap style dress can be very flattering and forgiving. Slim and trim? Then you can wear those sheath and shifts without a care. Petite woman need to be very conscious of where a dress ends on their legs. Too long and you can instantly look frumpy. Usually any length that hits around the knee or just below is ideal.
When in doubt, opt for separates. You can never go wrong with a colorful top and a pair of black slacks or dark washed jeans and heels.
Fabrics like lace, velvet, satin, silk, taffeta or chiffon will always convey a festive sensibility and make you look more ‘dressed up’. Or add a sparkly accessory like this sequined beret.
Sequined beret from Bloomingdales
Sparkly and shiny jewelry, whether diamonds, gold or semi precious stones are a must. Earrings and necklaces draw the eye to the face and are very important additions that can have a great impact. Cluster, hoop and drop type earrings and statement making necklaces will instantly raise your outfit up several notches. Multilayered chains are very fresh this year as are overly large cocktail rings and oversized clutches.
You can steal the spotlight this season with a sparkling display of bling. Sequins, beading, metallic or satin in accessories such as belts, scarves, purses, headbands, shoes, can add instant ‘oomph’. But don’t color match accessories to your holiday outfit—you want to avoid looking ‘overdone’.
Carlos Falchi metallic silver clutch @ Bloomingdales
Makeup—Red lips are hot this year and also add more interest to the face. Gold or shimmery eye shadow also adds extra punch and ensures your face remains the focal point.
Spice up a basic black dress with lacey stockings and show stopping shoes.
Long gloves can add a dose of high glamour to an evening dress. Metallic gloves are very much the trend this season.
Don’t forget your crowning glory—your hair! Add sparkly hair accessories, pins, headbands for instant bling. A sweeping up do not only makes you look taller but also more elegant as well.
Copyright, Natalie Jobity, The Image Diva, Élan Image Management
Here is part 3 of our Holiday wear guide for more formal occasions which call for outfits with more élan and personal style. A Black Tie or more formal event is a great occasion to wear a longer gown, though these days, a fancy cocktail dress is fine as well.
But who says black tie means you have to wear black? Wear any color that makes you look and feel fabulous. I love this red silk dupioni halter dress from Nicole Miller. The color is fantastic and the empire waisted silhouette and seamed full skirt is flattering on so many figures. Plus the fabric has a richness to it, that is enhanced by a tulle enhanced bottom, so it lies just so. The dress conveys an easy elegance that is absolutely appropriate for dressier events once you add more ‘bling’ and higher heels.
Nicole Miller dress @ Nordstrom
I love this drapey metallic grey goddess gown from JS Collections below. The gracefully flowing gown made with silk chiffon has an artfully designed empire waist and ruched bodice atop a cascade of silk. This dress is stunning and easily makes the wearer a stand out. Want to feel like Princess for the day? Wear a gown like this! Again, her accessories are perfect here.
JS Collections Available @ Barrie Pace.com
Look great coming and going. This delightful dress is sassy, fun, and very stylish and comes in red, black and soft pink shown here. With a deep V back, figure flattering tiering n the skirt, and a ruffled hi-low hem, this dress is great for almost any occasion and any size. Available in Women’s sizes as well!
Adrianna Papell Tiered dress from Dillards
To go all out on glamour, try this full-skirted taffeta gown from Amsale in a stunning blue/grey with deep ruching that wraps around the extended bodice.Definitely for that fabulous gala you’re going to attend.
Amsale Strapless Gathered Gown
For a trouser option, pair a tuxedo jacket with a pair of full legged slacks and a sparkly cami for a sophisticated and edgy look that is sure to turn heads.
The house or ‘party’ holiday event, are the perfect venues to let your hair down and express more élan and personal style. No boss to be scared of, no co-workers you have to worry about. This is your time to shine, so go to town with it.
Want fun and flirty? Look for dress that says ‘party’ all over with. How? Bright vivid color, shorter length, fun details like tiers, fringe or faux fur can do the trick. Great for the woman who dares to stand out and be the center of attention. This dress from Ann Taylor Loft is just what the doctor ordered.
Ann Taylor Loft
Or this strapless, shorter version in very cool cobalt blue at a higher pricepoint!
Jay Godfrey dress available at Saks
Want to look fashion forward and alluring? Dazzle in this darling black sleeveless dress combining sleek satin with airy chiffon, easing from a fitted top to a full bubble skirt in an above the knee length. This cute number is for the woman who is dramatic yet playful.
Robert Rodriguez dress available at Saks
If you aiming for the unconventional, you might want to try a dress with a print. For prints with a dash of feline allure I turn to one of my favorites dress designers, Nicole Miller. Her prints are stunning and her silhouettes always emphasize the feminine form in all its glory. You can find Nicole Miller at your local Loehmans—if you’re lucky! Here is a cool shift mini print by Ms. Miller–Understatedly sexy and whimsical at the same time.
Nicole Miller shift available at Nordstrom
The maxi dress below is meant for plus size gals and it’s a stunning choice for figure flattery and style. Patterned with an allover swirl print, deep V neckline and gathered detail at the flattering empire waist and topped off with wide ruffle hem this dress is a knockout.
Swirl print maxi dress from Lane Bryant
Don’t want the fuss of a dress? Pair a pretty top in a bright color or shimmer with your favorite jeans, a cute jacket and heels and a few festive accents and you can still step out and look fabulous!
Available @ Ann Taylor Loft
Next up–ideas for your more formal holiday occasions.
Dressing for the office Christmas party can put anyone in angst. You want to look festive but you still have to play it safe. What’s a girl to do? Follow these suggestions and attend your office affair with conffdence!
For office parties, you want to be more conservative than other events while still looking festive. Avoid provocative necklines and short skirt lengths. Separates are a good choice. For office events, I personally like this crisp white ruffle Lauren by Ralph Lauren top from Bloomingdale’s paired with a black bottom. Sophisticated and feminine this look is very office party appropriate and very chic.
Available at Bloomingdales
Want to make a bold color statement? Pick a party dress in an unusual color like this bright blue number from Karen Miller. This sleeveless satin sheath dress is conservative enough (but not at all boring) for an office party. And it has enough zest (the color, the shimmer, the unusual neckline with bow accent) to make everyone know that you’re there to have fun.
Available @ ASOS.com
The silk charmeuse top with a peep hole and neck tie is also an excellent option for an office party when paired with a black pencil or A line skirt or tailored trousers. The empire waist and cap sleeves are very figure flattering and the aluminum grey color is very of the moment. This ensemble screams effortless style. And you can tie the bow so the peephole is hidden or shows a little ‘peek a boo’. Great for the casual office party.
Available @ Victoria’s secret
If your office party is more dressy you might consider a dress like this black lace dress that suggests a bit of the glamour of "Old Hollywood". It is feminine, dainty and romantic for the woman who wants to be sophisticated and festive with a dose of classic. Note how well the model is accessorized.