As pointed out by one of our faithful readers, in my recent post discussing business dress I failed to give any pointers to the ladies.
What can I say? I guess I just always assumed woman had it a little more together in the wardrobe department than men do, and didn’t really need my help in figuring out what to wear to make a sale. Forgive my error in judgment, I will now bestow all I know about women’s business dress, combined with some handy tips I found floating around the internet.
Again, I am sure you, like most of our male readers, have your basic office attire down. It might be a bit casual, or you might be a bit more dressy, whatever the case may be, you might want to think about taking things up a notch when you have a business meeting or when you are meeting a potential, or even current, client.
We would all love to think we aren’t being judged by our appearances, but the truth of the matter is, we are. From what you wear people will make assumptions about your professionalism, your intelligence, and your credibility. Make sure you dress in a way that reflects your assets and abilities accordingly.
First things first, your clothing and grooming should not be distracting. No extra long fake nails with bright red polish and silver hearts on each nail. Hair should be neatly done, up or down, whatever you are most confident with.
As far as clothes go, pants suits and dress suits are a perfect option for a sales meeting. Use your clothes to direct listeners to your eyes by wearing a light blouse under a closed dark jacket. Avoid big jewelry that hangs low around your neck, bright belts and clingy, too-tight clothing as it will surely direct your client’s eyes elsewhere. Formal business attire calls for 1 ½ to 2 inch heels, although those margins are lowering and rising like blouses and jean miniskirts (which are highly inappropriate to wear to work).
I hope this helps a little in the way of what to wear to work – surely you can do a quick Google search and turn up tons more articles giving suggestions on when you can wear business casual (khakis and a shirt with a collar) and when you should step it up to professional dress (a business or pants suit).
And don’t forget the book I recommended in one of the earlier comments: Dress Success