Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dress for Success - What is That?

There are books written about this subject that will spend a lot more time on it than I will.  I'll tell it in my terms.

 When I was an employee, working 45 - 60 hours a week, I really looked forward to the weekend.  Sound familiar?  When we would go out for breakfast or shopping on the weekend, I dressed so relaxed it was sloppy.  Very comfortable, but sloppy.  I was like 90% of the other people. 

"Dressing for Success" says that you need to dress a little better than that 90% when you go out in public.  For your friends that have been running around with you for years, they need to be able to recognize a change in your appearance.  It doesn't mean that you have to start wearing a starched shirt and pressed jeans all weekend.  It can be simple changes.  For women, it may mean that you put on makeup on the weekend, when you didn't used to do that.  For men, it can be washing and combing your hair, plus shaving on the weekend.  For men, that can be harder than wearing nicer clothing.  Men can start wearing neat polo shirts instead of the T-shirt with holes, along with cargo shorts that are pressed, or at least neat.

Now here is where I will be different than a lot of other people.  Men, you don't have to wear a suit and tie to an appointment to impress a business man.  And women, you don't have to wear your nicest dress and stiletto shoes to impress.  Let's get real!  How many business people want to wear suits and dresses when they are away from work?  I may be different than others, but I was not looking for a business opportunity that required me to wear "my Sunday best" all the time.

Look at the latest trends.  Right now, nice jeans are very popular.  If you wear a nice blouse or shirt and fashionable jeans, that will work most of the time.  Add a blazer to dress it up.  For women, your hair style is important.  It needs to be current.  Not the latest in fashion, but not 1980s either.  Then, you will have your own definition of this one, but you can't look frumpy!  Your appearance needs to be current!  If you feel that you can't afford current, there are a lot of stores where you can find inexpensive, trendy clothing - Target, Kohls, etc.

Change things up!  Make people notice that you have changed.  Your friends will comment when they see a change and that will be a great lead into a good conversation.

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