The way we dress is determined by many things – our upbringing, our current financial state, our self-beliefs, our desire to please others, out motives and our dressing knowledge and skills to name a few. Some dress to show their wealth and status and some dress to hide it. For women, every life event brings up the common cry ‘What will I wear!’ None of us want the embarrassment and shame of getting it wrong.
Here are my three modern dressing tips for business and professional women over 40 to help you build a wardrobe that adds value to your working life.
Get Rid of Poor Investments
Any investor knows that hanging on to poor performing assets will drain or destroy your future wealth. So it is with your wardrobe.
Now is the time to go through your clothes and accessories with a critical eye. We have all heard the old adage – ‘Dress like the next job level you want.’ That also applies if you are in business for yourself. Clearly define your goals for the next 12 months and look to see if each item in your wardrobe represents you at that level of income. Keep the ones that do and get rid of those that drag you down or keep you forever at your current level. Dispose of your cheap, make-do items as well as the expensive, classic suits that do not fit your future direction. You may not be able to do a complete purge but you can devise a plan for replacing items at a better level.
Also check items for repair and alteration. Scuffed shoes and ill-fitting clothes are noticed by other. Fix them or throw them out.
Pay Yourself First
Put part of your income aside to invest in purchasing well-made, quality clothes and accessories. You may buy them at full-price or on sale. Go for brand, fit and the quality. People do decide to employ you, have you speak to their group or give you a promotion based on their impression of you. When you buy judiciously, you can use appeal to do part of this work for you. A good first impression makes the next step easier. A poor first impression means you have to work harder to turn it around.
Learn all the modern dressing skills you need to represent yourself as professional, approachable, confident and forward-thinking. Buy books, go to workshops or pay an Image Consultant to gain the edge over your competition. Create your unique brand and show your personality through what you wear.
Money Loves to Work and Be Appreciated
The classic money novel, ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ by George S Clason reminds us that money will lose its value if we do not put it to work. Hide it under the bed and inflation will erode its value.
Once you have started to build a wardrobe of better quality clothes that suit your 12 month goals, make it work for you. Working clothes that are rarely worn are underperforming assets. Quality, modern, neutral pants and skirts can mix and match with a variety of tops, skirts and jackets. Use accessories to diversify your basic clothing investments and give them variety. Increase your awareness and appreciation of the abundance in your wardrobe by working out new clothing combinations.
Step up by having professional photos taken for promotion and advertising. Opportunities to speak can arise at any time. Even short elevator speeches are an opportunity for your clothing to reinforce your business message and personality. You do not need a massive, room-sized dressing room of clothes. Fewer, well-chosen clothes working often will bring you financial rewards.
Talking to other people about their dress sense needs to be done with sensitivity and respect. Lift your clothing and yourself to the next monetary level and other will notice and want to know your secret and who taught you those dressing skills.
(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 6 September 2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)