Creating a professional look doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Whether you’re just starting your first job or looking to advance, everyone’s wardrobe could use a refresh every once in a while. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways to perfect your professional look.
Look for Bold Separates
Don’t concentrate on outfits. You’d need dozens of outfits to cover the month. Instead, look for separates (shirts, pants, skirts) that can be easily mix-and-matched. Concentrate on a specific color palette and colors that work well together. Dive into a lot of neutrals, blacks, and whites, and then select some items for a pop of color. You’ll always be able to pair black pants with just about anything and the same goes for a bright white top.
Tailor Your Clothes
You’d be surprised at how much of a difference tailoring can bring. You can tailor a $5 shirt and make it look like $500. The difference between expensive clothes and cheap clothes is often the fit. If you can find expensive clothes at a second-hand market and tailor them, you’ll look like you have your own personal designer.
Make Sure They All Fit
In addition to tailoring, make sure that you have the right fit. It’s worth it to check your sizes from time to time and test a size up or down. It isn’t just about gaining or losing weight. Over time, our bodies change, and our weight distribution changes, too. Our bodies may be better suited to different sizes and will look better in different clothes!
Be a Little Bold
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Most people aren’t going to think that you’re unfashionable if you’re wearing all tan and brown, but they’re also probably not going to think about you at all. Add some flourishes such as bright colors, patterns, or trendy accessories; something that will get you noticed whether consciously or unconsciously. These are the things that are going to really make a “splash.” You’re probably already surrounded by talented professionals; any edge is an edge.
Add Some Accessories
Accessories are really what makes an outfit pop. When people look at someone and think “Wow that person is really put together,” it often has to do with accessories, hats, ties, bowties, purses, and more. The accessories are what lend an extra “oomph” to a look and also show that you put a little more care and attention into your look than the average person. So don’t be afraid to accessorize, though you don’t want so many accessories that they overwhelm your look.
Match the Company Culture
One thing you don’t want to do is stick out for the wrong reasons. If the company culture is extremely casual and you always show up dressed to the nines, you’re going to be “that person.” While you shouldn’t move too far away from your personal style, you should probably adjust to match your company culture. Whether your company is more formal or more casual, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re at least considering the outfits of your peers. This shows that you’re socially aware and that you have emotional awareness, too.
Select your Outfits Early
Instead of just throwing on the first thing you find in the morning, take the time to plan your outfits the prior night. You might even want to do your laundry over the weekend and plan out everything you’re going to wear. This gives you the time to really consider what you’re wearing and whether it’s going to be acceptable for what you’re doing; for instance, if there’s going to be a party at the end of the week, you want to make sure you have something available for networking.
Take a Look at Pinterest
Some people feel like they’re “born without style.” In reality, it’s something that takes practice, and they haven’t had the time. Take some time to look at magazines or look at Pinterest for some ideas. Pay attention to the things that resonate with you; things that have you saying, “I’d love to wear that!” That will give you more ideas of your personal style; from there, you’ll be able to go to the store and take a look at similar things. Keep in mind that you want to find things that work for you and your body type, too.
It’s not a crime to handwash something that says “dry clean only” once. But over time, it causes it to loosen and look lumpy. If you have outfits that once looked great but now look like a mess, that’s probably the culprit. Always follow the directions about cleaning precisely if you want to avoid damage to your clothes and if you want to avoid looking disheveled. This also includes things like making sure that you wash in the right temperature, as not all colors are colorfast.
Don’t Forget the Little Things
Sometimes the little things are the things that stick out most. Don’t forget small things like socks, tie pins, and more; these are the things that do tend to be memorable when you remember. Take the time to glance in the mirror; it’s possible you’re dressed up perfectly but forgot to drag a brush through your hair. The more you perfect your appearance, the more together you will seem, and the more confident you will feel about your words and actions. Even something as simple as a pin can display your personality and show that you care.
Professional image consultants know that a classy look is absolutely the start to a brilliant career. A professional look indicates that you’re a detail-oriented individual, that you have a deep understanding of social convention, and that you’re on top of current trends.
Are you looking to start a career as an image consultant? Contact the London Image Institute today to start attending classes for your new career.