Compliments of Tinker*Tailor loves Lalka

Inner beauty grabs our attention – unless of course, people fail to make it past the exterior. How we look is our calling card on the all-important stage of first impressions – particularly when a first glance may negate our second chance. “He/she looked like a million bucks” is sometimes code for “you’ve just been selected;” a superlative outer package that scores points with public opinion. On the project runway of corporate hiring, careful wardrobe deliberation precedes employment. Have you taken inventory of what you currently own? Closets with lurking items that look outdated, need mending, require cleaning, necessitate discarding, or should have been donated to charity abound (see the YouTube video Closet Organizing by Alejandra for some excellent tips). Sometimes we are not as well dressed as we could be, due to the sheer discombobulation of having to sift through an overstock of disorganized clothing – an excess that both frustrates and wastes our time, resulting in a mismatch as we hurriedly dress for work. Spit-shined and polished, the moniker of “snappy dresser,” is what many of us secretly wish to achieve. How then can we avoid the nightmare of haberdashery mayhem?

  • Visit a clothing store with wardrobe consultants, insiders who can help you assemble an entire outfit, eliminating the guesswork. Purses and belts (items considered the most looked at first), and suits with interchangeable shirts/pants can make a plethora of outfits from a unitary ensemble. Store side consultants are the closest thing we may experience to a personal stylist, someone who gets to know our wardrobe over time – and notifies us when items up our alley arrive. Boutique type stores typically have tailors on hand to ensure that our newly minted look fits well. Nothing can more quickly ruin a potential knockout (or showstopper) than high water pants, low rider jeans, and/or an abundance of skin forced into unforgiving seams. We may not initially catch our fashion faux pas, but onlookers (ones who have the authority to select management potential) will most certainly take note. Tailored appearance with clean starched clothes that fit never fails.
  • Read fashion magazines and department store catalogues. What are the models wearing, what pieces of clothing look good together? Even if you do not visit a high-end boutique, ideas cleaned from glossy pages can be helpful in assembling coherent pieces that look great. Sometimes, second hand shops/mail order/thrift stores sell high end items and accessories as well.
  • Look around. What are the movers and shakers in your company wearing? How do people in positions of power at the executive level appear? I would imagine those at the top make personal grooming (e.g, hair, nails, clothes) a priority, with a thought to dressing for the position they desire – not for the one they possess. The million-dollar profile reflects impeccable taste, an eye for fashion, and age appropriate attire: in other words, a “put together” appearance, an indisputable show of apparel finesse. Dressing for the part might translate into how others perceive you will treat business clientele, or tackle a looming deadline. Top brass sees you briefly, so only a handful of visible criteria shape their opinions. Dressing for success ensures that the image you project is a positive one.


Related links:

Formal and informal presentation

Make your words sweet – you may have to eat them

The gift of gab on parchment

The professionalism series – inaugural posting

7 Style Mistakes that Men Need to Stop Making

9 Reasons Everyone Needs a Wardrobe Consultant

Boutique versus Department Stores

Dress for Success Nashville YWCA

Nordstrom Personal Stylist and Consultant

Raider’s Closet: Middle Tennessee State University

When Job Hunting: Dress for Success

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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