Whether you are already at the top of the game or you have your eyes on the prize, dressing the part is a key ingredient to success. Here are our top 3 tips for elevating your business wardrobe from intern to boss lady.
1. QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY
This is basic, but it deserves to be repeated. Quality trumps quantity time and time again when it comes to power dressing at the office.
Part of the job description of any leading lady is to exude confidence. But nothing says "I don't take myself seriously" like poor quality clothing that does not fit. And while that black shift dress for 20 bucks at the fast fashion shop on the main street may seem like a bargain, the fact is that cheap polyester is always going to look just that - cheap.
Opt for quality pieces made from fine wools, silks, and cottons that actually fit - that means no bulging, pulling, or riding up. The boss lady in you deserves the extra investment.
Just 3% of CEO positions at the largest 500 companies in the world are held by women. Putting aside the fact that this number is astonishingly low, this also means that the boardrooms are already filled with gray, blacks, and navy suits from all the men in the room. For all the disadvantages in the workplace we as women may have, we do have a few things going for us. One of those is a lot wider range of color to play with.
The trick is to find colors that compliment the standard gray, black, and navy pallet. That means bright blues, deep reds, and warm emeralds. If you are feeling bold, we also love a bright red or a pop of fuchsia. Make sure to balance the bright color with paired-back details, like nude colored shoes and understated jewelry.
If you are still thinking "Color will never work in my office. It will draw too much negative attention to myself"- you may want to think again. A series of 2014 studies by Harvard University psychologists show that deliberate and slight breaks from an expected dress code can result in the rule-breaker benefiting from being perceived as having higher status. Also, ladies please remember: you have the brains, the vision, and the hard work to back up all the attention a colored dress or blouse will give you. Embrace it.
3. MAKE A STATEMENT WITH SUSTAINABILITY
Yes - we said it. Sustainability. As the boss, your job is also to lead by example. Why not send a bold statement to your team that you not only have great style, but that you are also aware of the implications of your purchases? Opt for key pieces made with values behind which you can stand. If you are not sure where to start, check out The Good Trade's list of top Ethical Brands for the Office for more inspiration.