The secret to looking chic

The secret to looking chic

Let’s face it – dressing for the day is often the most heroic thing one does for that day.

You’ve got to brave a wardrobe full of clothes on an empty stomach and once dressed and out the door, it’s too late to go fix an outfit malfunction. You’re wearing something that would work well on someone a smidgen smaller. Your hair needs some tender loving care – (looking for the hairdresser’s number…) and what? The same jewellery you’ve been wearing for decades?

Nooo – we’re not talking about YOU. But have you noticed that all the ‘how-to’ tips always seem to be for someone else?

When was the last time you really admired your reflection in a full length mirror? I remember a time when I had so many clothes in my wardrobe, it took an age to get dressed because of the endless choices I had. Far from making things easier when dressing, adding multiple alternatives can make dressing a whole lot more difficult. Like freedom – choice demands an elevated level of dexterity.

Funnily enough, fashion magazines are ‘rediscovering’ a more understated sense of style and sophistication (thank you Mad Men) but are calling it dressing with ease. But if you expect ‘easy dressing’ to be easy – you could be out of luck. Easy-dressing was much easier when work schedules and wardrobes were not stuffed to the hilt. It’s hard enough just to hand-write a simple thank-you note let alone schedule a hair appointment. How come people can efficiently use a myriad of computer programs but still can’t work out how to put a smart and efficient wardrobe together. By doing so with just a few well chosen basics and some fun elements – they can look so ‘put together’ and at the same time – save a ton of money, enjoy wearing their clothing and know that each item earns it’s keep after the purchase.

This is where fashion can play on our insecurities and frustrations – reminding us of what’s ‘wrong’ with us. It’s relentless quest for the next new thing – only reinforces the sense of what’s now old.

My suggestion is to leave fickle fashion to the 20 something year olds – and go for simple Chic!

  • Discover – or perhaps rediscover, your true sense of style.
  • Go for simplicity, elegance and glamour.
  • Go for quality tailoring and luxe fabrics.
  • Buy only quality clothes that look fabulous on you.
  • Buy only what you need – (oh well – perhaps one or two ‘have-to-haves’).
  • Get an updated hairstyle that really suits you – and is easy to manage.
  • If something you wear pokes or scratches someone who hugs you – hurl it!
  • Don’t wear anything you can’t describe in 10 words or less.
  • Buy less and enjoy more. It’s the next best thing to ‘having nothing to wear’ J

This foolproof list works for me – and it will for you particularly if you have to face a full wardrobe first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Now when you finish getting dressed and look at yourself in a full length mirror – I guarantee you will think to yourself “Not bad – not bad at all!”

after makeover image

Visually Impress

Are you a presenter? Speaker? Speechmaker?

You’re got the content? Check. Rehearsed the delivery? Check. But is your visual presentation supporting you? Whether you’re delivering a speech at a wedding or a keynote address at a company conference, we have a few tips on presenting yourself to ensure you don’t distract your audience with ‘visual noise’.

Let your presentation shine… NOT your nose, forehead or the parts where hair once grew.  It’s hard to look confident and credible when you’re glowing like a beacon. A light dusting with translucent powder works wonders.

The Ghost that speaks… are your features disappearing? Remember, what has impact in the mirror, maybe bland at a distance or under certain lighting.  Eyebrows which enhance facial expression, often need greater definition; your face may require shading to look 3D. Lipsticks on women need to be darker or brighter, and eye makeup more pronounced, especially if you’re wearing glasses. Both genders: wear non-reflective lenses.

I’m planning a ‘sickie’… does what you’re wearing near your face suit your skin tone? Unflattering shades will give your skin a greenish or greyish tinge.  Learn what suits you by getting professional colour advice.

Where are you? Is your outfit merging with the stage background or wall colour? Know in advance the colour of the background, and make sure you can be seen! Conversely, do not let your clothing speak louder than you! Once it’s on, you can’t just turn the volume down on a garment that’s upstaging you. First Impressions Image offers specific advice and training to speakers, presenters and entertainers on all aspects of their visual presentation.

Firstly, decide on a realistic budget for your most visible professional overhead – your business wardrobe. Buy basics like suits, jackets, pants (women: + skirts) that are very good quality – so that they last and look good wear after wear –  thus making it possible to build a wardrobe that works.

There is nothing worse than ill-fitting clothing. If the shoulder / hip / neck areas fit well – then with minimal alteration the wearer can get the fit perfect by using a recommended tailor / alteration centre for hems, sleeves and side seams.

Add inexpensive fashion items like business tops &/or shirts in new season colours, as well as fun yet appropriate jewellery pieces (Men: incl. cuff-links) to create interest and allow for self expression.

Always ensure that hair, shoes, jewellery items and shirts or tops are impeccably maintained and up-to-date.  These support otherwise ‘aging’ business basics that are scheduled to be ‘retired’ soon.

Get assistance if unsure about what works for you – engage the services of a respected image consultant.  They are worth their weight in gold.
If you’re wondering if it is worth the cost – try this… Add up the cost of all the clothes in your wardrobe you don’t wear (for whatever reason). NOW do you think it worth it?
Just a thought….!

french style

The Art Of French Dressing

No – this is not an article on how to make French dressing for salads.  Perhaps the title of this article should be “The Art Of Dressing – French-style”.  But all that aside, I whole-heartedly agree with the ten tips that were offered for dressing ‘French-style’.  They’re listed below and as Chantal Blanchet, owner of Chantal B fashion store in Sydney says ..  “Consider yourself a work of art. The secret to exuding the charm and confidence of the French women is attitude; the clothes are just there to help.”

Top Ten Tips for Dressing French-Style

1. Dress well every day and buy one or two key items of the best quality you can afford each season. Go for classics such as a tailored jacket, a Breton boat-neck navy-and-white striped T-shirt, a classic shift, shirt dress or linen trousers.
2. Mix affordable fashion trends with investment pieces – a casual T-shirt with a classic trench is effortlessly French.
3. Invest in a few signature pieces of jewellery, such as a string of pearls or earrings, an oversized bangle or a cuff, to give your outfit a French edge.
4. Buy quality shoes; French women never wear cheap shoes. Every French wardrobe requires classic ballet flats.
5. Wear a beautiful (silk) scarf all year to make like a Parisian. Or tie one on your handbag.
6. Adopt a sense of dress-ups. French women are not afraid to be daring with clashing colours, accessories and vintage pieces (a la Vanessa Paradis pictured).
7. Embrace your age: French women see growing older as a privilege that means you can dress as you like.
8. Wear beautiful, comfortable underwear, always. French, naturally.
9. Organise your wardrobe efficiently and take photographs of different outfits that can be mixed and matched.
10. Good grooming is essential. Style your hair (try a Tautou up-do), always wear lipstick and take Coco Chanel’s lead and never leave the house without fragrance.
Well stated Chantal..bravo!

(Article from smh by Natasha Silva-Jelly)


Your Personal Brand Is Showing – during every waking hour!

Whoa!  Does your personal brand need reassessment? Not getting the recognition or job advancement you think you deserve? Feel that opportunities are passing you by? Here’s the rub – don’t look ‘out there’ for the answers, although it might be worthwhile asking a few people you trust for some honest feedback on the impression they have of you. You need to look ‘inside’ to find out what is really going on. Are you valuing yourself? Living purposefully? Honouring your highest values? Taking time for yourself? Dreaming big dreams?

Because people will form opinions of you based on the very superficial visual and behavioural messages you leave them with. Don’t complain – what else have they got to go by? Your work ethic? The time you get to and leave work? The amount of work you get through?  Well – these things won’t cut it if you are looking haphazard, lack-lustre, dishevelled and lacking in energy. Worse still if the things you wear and carry are in the same condition. If this is the case – then move over for the up-and-coming ‘living purposefully’ hot-shots hard on your heels. YOU are about to be over-taken, left in the dust, forgotten in the bleachers. That is – unless you want to take serious stock of where you are at – and what you are willing to do to get you back on track.

Here are a few – yes, superficial… tips that will have you looking at your reflection in the mirror and seeing yourself once again in the role you either want to hang onto, or the one you aspire to. Or is it that you want to feel attractive again?

Tip 1 – Reality Check

Depending on your immediate agenda….e.g. want that promotion? want that job? Want to attract a life partner? etc. Then get dressed for whatever it is that you want to attract. For example – if you want that promotion – get into your best business attire,  if you want a life partner or want to put some life into an existing relationship – get into your most appealing outfit.

Now go get a paper bag – and put it over your head – leaving two holes so that you can ‘see’ yourself without actually seeing your face – I know – this sounds crazy, but do it anyway. Now stand in front of a full length mirror and take a good hard look at yourself.  Would you be attracted to ‘this person’?  If you met yourself at a business event or at a party – would you be impressed? You see, when you cover your face – you take the ‘me’ part out of the visual picture which makes it easier to actually assess honestly what you see. Now making sense?

This can be a ‘moment of truth’ for many people. If you are not satisfied with the image staring back at you – you have work to do. Congratulations to those who are happy with the reflection they see.

Tip 2 – Toss the Tossers

Do yourself a favour – and go to your wardrobe and toss everything that doesn’t make you feel attractive when you put it on.  Go on … toss all those nasty pilled shrunken sweaters, tracky-daks, oversizes T-s, flag-daddy shorts, anything oversized/undersized, washed out rags and those truly ugly shoes that look like old boats in Hong Kong harbour. Get rid of them out of your life!! Now.

Feel better?  Like in relationships – you can’t attract the ‘new’ into your life without first getting rid of the ‘old’ :-) Oh – and don’t think about passing them onto your friends or rellies, because they won’t want them either. You are allowed a few old T’s to keep as polish cloths if you must.

Tip 3 – DIY or Engage an Image Consultant

If you can, create a list of must-haves you need to buy. Be honest. New suit? Two new suits? A fabulous dress ladies? Something appealing, alluring and yet classy?  List everything you need. Don’t be put off by the length of the list – you can prioritise it and get the essentials now and the no-so-urgent things in the next few pay-cheques. If this is too daunting, then do yourself a favour and engage a recommended image professional who will take all the hard work out of this for you. No – I’m not talking about those shop-floor attendants who are now labelled as stylists. They may only know how to show you clothes…and more clothes to try on (more about this in another blog post).  No – you need someone to work WITH you who will keep an eye on your current role/s, your goals. your preferred style/s and natural colour direction.

There are more Essential Branding Tips to follow. Visit us again in the next few days – looking forward to your comments.

applying lipstick

How to apply lipstick to make it last

Second only to your eyes, your mouth is the central focus for communication.  Lipstick is all about directing attention to the face, and in business  – that’s where it should be.

Make-up in the business world has only two purposes:  to make you look healthier and more vibrant, and to accentuate your best features.  It is not about glamour or seduction.  It should be remembered that the context is business – after hours is your affair.

When make-up is well applied, it enhances a woman’s professional image considerably.  It says:  polished, well groomed,  and attention to detail.

Consistency is just as important.  Even if make-up is applied well, if a woman is inconsistent with its use on a day to day basis, it suggests that she is indifferent, frivolous, and unstable.

Choosing the correct colour

Lip colour is the finishing touch to your make-up and should compliment your skin tone – and the clothes you wear (assuming they are also the correct best colours for you).  If you are not sure, check in with a colour consultant to be sure.  The session could also rescue you from the eternal black syndrome.  If you are not in the habit of wearing lipstick, start with a more natural tone.

To get great looking lips, you need a lip pencil in a natural colour or similar shade to your lipstick and a lip brush to apply the colour.

The seven-step lipstick cure

Step 1: When applying your foundation, also apply over your lips, blot with a tissue and allow a moment to dry.

Step 2: Dust lightly with face powder

Step 3: Outline line your lips with the lip pencil starting with the cupids bow (the V in the centre top lip).

Step 4: Fill in entire lip area lightly with the lip pencil all over your lips before applying your lipstick.  It helps your lipstick last much longer.

Step 5: Work the lipstick colour into your lip brush and apply, avoiding the lip-liner.

Step 6: Blot off excess lip colour with a tissue. This helps to ‘hold’ the colour and prevent smearing.

Step 7: Re-apply lipstick to achieve a gloss finish if you prefer this look.

And for those who have very thin lips, outline your lips just outside the natural line with the lip pencil.  Use a brighter shade or a rich gloss to make lips appear fuller.

For those who wish to play down very full lips, pencil the lip-line just inside the natural lip line.  Avoid glosses and very bright colours, and blot off any extra sheen.

Voila – there you have it!

in front of computer

Sabotaging Yourself? Email Blunders And What To Do About It!

It is amazing to find that some people have no idea as to how important their email communications are and what can be assumed about a person based on what they divulge in an email.  I advise companies to adopt an email policy that will give them an ‘edge’ on their competitors and at the same time,protects them from awkward liability issues.  Listed are some email blunders that occur so often in business.

The Blunt Emailer:
“Need that print-out from you.  Urgent.  When you go out, can you get me a coffee, 1 sugar”

General comment:
This is way too blunt no matter how well you know the recipient.  Respect for others in the workplace is essential if you want to build rapport and keep work relationships healthy.  People give more when they feel respected.

What it says about the sender:
Lacks respect for the subordinate or workmate. Unprofessional, uncaring, rude. Sens mixed messages.

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitude:
Not only can it be intimidating for those who work in close proximity, it lowers the professionalism of the department &/or company. It can have an adverse affect on marol and output.  It can build bad feelings within a department.

How to improve next time:

Don’t make demands and ask for favours in the same breath.

The conversation could go like this:  “That printout is required urgently. How soon would you be able to give that to me?”


“Would you mind doing that print-out for me as soon as you can as it’s now urgent?”

A separate email request regarding the coffee could go  “Would you mind picking me up a coffee with one sugar if you are going that way?”  Be prepared to offer the same favour for your workmate at other times.

The Nuisance Emailer:

Helllllllllooooooooo!  Aren’t you going to say hi today?  Any, check out these pics from the party!  The one of so-and-so co-worker is sooooo funny!  Can’t stop laughing.  What’s new? xx”

General comment:
This is way to familiar an email for the workplace. Emails should be brief, to the point and should not be eliciting idle comment from a co-worker.

What is says about the sender:
Immature. Lacks respect for follow workers, especially around boundaries and their time.  Assumes familiarity with the recipient that may not be there.  Has little regard for priorities.

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitude:
This sort of e-ttitude will affect this person’s reputation across the board.  It will be difficult for anyone to take this person seriously, and one should be wary of trusting this person with one’s personal details.

How to improve next time:
Eliminate over-friendly banter in the workplace altogether.  Being friendly, polite and respectful will build trust with follow-workers and the boss.  If sharing photos of the work-party – keep the photos appropriate, and send them only if requested to do so. Otherwise notify by email that you have copies and if anyone is interested in receiving them, to indicate this to you.

Send them with short explanation in subject line e.g. Subject: Photos of Friday evening. And restrain yourself from comment on any of the photos. Do not ask for, or expect a response from those receiving the email.

The Needy Emailer:
“I get the feeling you aren’t talking to me. You haven’t said hi to me for the past two days, and I’m trying to figure out what I’ve done to annoy you.  Can we have a talk?”

General comment:
It is very inappropriate to express a personal concern by email.

What it says about the sender:
This person sounds and acts immature, hesitant and lacking in confidence. The whiney edge to this email is a credibility breaker.

Why is it bad to have this e-ttitude:
Trying to put a guilt trip on a co-worker shows poor jedgement, a lack of propriety and a neediness that can be very annoying and sometimes intimidating.  This will affect this person’s standing with co-workers and the boss if he/she hears about this.

How to improve next time:
If there is a concern that one may have over-stepped the mark or offended, don’t address this or any other concern in an email.  Address the issue personally and make a time (preferably out of work hours) to meet with the other person on neutral territory so that your conversation is out of earshot of co-workers and the issue can be discussed and sorted out amicably.  Always have a satisfying outcome in mind before the meeting so that when you DO meet, you already have a positive mindset. There is nothing more off-putting than a ‘cap-in-hand’ approach.

The Terrified Emailer:
“Hello, Mary.  I’m so sorry to bother you, I know you’re really busy and you don’t have time for annoying people like me!  However, I was just wondering if we might be able to go through my ideas this morning at some stage?  If not, don’t worry, I just thought I’d ask. Sorry to be annoying!”

General comment:
This is so apologetic and assumes the worst situation so much so that it actually creates the situation. There are people I’ve met like this and I want to slap them.

What it says about the sender:
Totally lacking in confidence.  Doesn’t trust people nor their own judgement. They put other people down in a covert way without realising it e.g. you are bothered by my interruption; you don’t have time for me; you think I’m annoying etc.

A covert controller perhaps?

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitude:
This type of behaviour will undermine this person’s professional standing and personal relationships. They come over as capital ‘L’ for looser and will be ignored &/or taken advantage of.

Stop the negative thinking. It’s not all about YOU!  Appreciate your strengths. List the areas that need attention and do something about it. Find a mentor.  Seek counselling. Do unexpected things for other people WITHOUT expecting a response, acknowledgement or thank you.  And get an updated image (hair, apparel, accessories). A serious change is needed here – and it’s the visual change that gets noticed first.

How to improve next time.
The Insecure Emailer:
“Do you think my latest report was terrible? Will I get fired? PLUS, I’ve been late for the last two days. Oh God. Have you heard anything?

General comment:
This is so inappropriate. Also when asking for a response with a negative outlook, you are sure to get negative feedback, if not directly in an email, but future responses from the recipient of your initial email.

Lacking self control, lacking in self confidence, erratic, drama-queen. Too self aware, overly self indulgent. “It’s all about me.”

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitude:

People will not take this person seriously. If they can’t control these sorts of outbursts, their career path will be stymied – no future. Submitting a report where one expects it to be viewed in a negative way is nothing short of incompetent.

What is says about the sender:
Get a grip, get serious about your position and the job at hand. Be prudent, think carefully before opening your mouth, and never send pathetic emails like this again.

How to improve next time:
Hey babe! Can I get that info from you this morn?  Don’t tell Boss I was late – hot date went a little too sell last night! xxxxxxxx

The Overly Familiar Emailer:
General comment:
Way too familiar with a co-worker. Sending bad signals from woe (literally) to go about personal life

What it says about the sender:
Poor judgement, lacking self control, no respect for co-workers, the company or the ‘date’, lier (work hours) cheater (the organisation), very gushy, pushy and annoying.

Why it is bad to have this e-ttitute:
No one could trust this person to do the decent thing. Unprofessional conduct in work hours and poor conduct outside of work hours reflects badly on the individual and those they associate with.

How to improve next time:
Keep your private life to yourself – never discuss at work under any circumstances. Never call a co-worker by any name other than their own. Babe is a major put-down. Asking someone to not tell the boss something assumes that they would have done so – thus putting them down at your level.  This is disrespectful to all concerned.  x-kisses should never be seen on any email sent to co-workers or to anyone’s business email address – EVER. For that matter, it’s a bit passe on any email. Family and close friends would be the exception.

Footnote:  Check your email etiquette and if any of the above examples relate to you – stop immediately. Your future is at stake!


10 Cool Shopping Tips

Keep your objectives in mind to dodge the impulsive buys.
Know what you already have, what you intend to get, and know the specifications. The specifications? you may ask. If you don’t know them, you need to see us. These involve knowing exactly what suits your body shape and proportions, and your colouring – essential for smart shopping.

Set aside the time you need
A credit card and a lunch hour are usually insufficient for making a smart purchase. Leaving it to the last moment is like buying an umbrella on a wet day. Diarise the time needed.

Be awake, aware and alive!
Tuck away a bottle of mineral water – dehydration dulls the brain.

Ensure you do not have distracting and competing needs arising from hunger, tiredness or the demands of a friend or children.

Have a light meal before the excursion and wear comfortable shoes for the walking part.

Check out the store/s
Certain stores should set off warning bells almost immediately. They will usually be inadequately lit and have few or no mirrors until you get to the change room. It goes almost without saying that sales assistants have a target to meet and that you need to keep the purpose of your shopping excursion firmly in mind. Tell them what you are looking for, what you need it for and your (correct) size. If they don’t listen – then leave.

Know your budget
Our advice is always to go for the best quality you can afford at the time. A high quality, practical item which lasts and doesn’t date can be more cost-effective than one which seemed a bargain at the time but gets little wear over its short life span.

Questions to ask yourself if shopping for sales items
would I consider buying it if it were not on sale?
am I compromising quality, fit or appropriateness for price?
will I have to spend too much on alterations to make this fit?
will I be able to combine it with at least two other items I own?
Be realistic about weight gain and weight loss

If you are heavier than you would like to be, forget about buying too-small sizes that will fit once you ‘lose the weight’. You could be diverting your resources to a hope rather than benefiting in the immediate, practical present.

Put function before fashion
Avoid clothing which follows the latest fashion trend unless you have the means to renew your wardrobe frequently.

Dress for the shopping experience – or risk the ‘Pretty Woman’ encounter.
You will be given the service and respect your deserve when you step into a store looking well turned out.

Oh – and take with you…..

  • your colour direction reference swatch
  • the shoes you need for the outfit/s you intend to buy your wits!
  • … and wear your best supportive underwear.

On the other hand – you might simply prefer to call us and let us do all the thinking and planning for your best summer wardrobe yet. Call us if this appeals to you.

Sound As Good As You Look!

The way you speak is just as important as the way you look! Itʼs as automatic as the way you dress, or where you part your hair. And like these everyday habits, you can change your speech to sound more confident, business-like and socially attractive.
Few people have ever heard a recording of their own voice, and, when they do, many canʼt believe it really sounds like them. For many people itʼs a humbling if not disturbing experience.

Then there is the practical issue of being clearly understood. Nothing undermines your confidence more than having to continually repeat yourself or find that others keep talking over you. Clear speech, in a pleasing tone, can make the difference between success and failure in both your social and business dealings.

Decisions about how you speak are no different to those you make about the manner in which you dress or groom yourself. If you are changing aspects of your outer image, itʼs a good idea to check also that your speaking style is aligned with your new image.
When your speech and appearance are congruent with your business goals, no only will you feel more confident, you will find that more opportunities open up for you.

Australia is a melting pot of many language influences and there are no longer rigid rules about “right” or “wrong” accents. If English is your second language, and others are finding your words difficult to follow, having voice training could be a very smart decision. Imagine the relief of being understood first time! Even Australian English can lack clarity, and the habit of using too many rising intonations makes you sound unassertive and lacking confidence.

When it comes to speaking style, quite a number of things can go wrong.

Ask yourself – Do I speak too fast, or too slow? Is my voice memorable (for the right reasons) or preferably forgotten as soon as possible – too loud, too soft, rough, breathy, nasal? Do I speak like a robot – in a monotone voice? Is my speech littered with wadding like “sort of”, “actually” and “you know”?
If you frequently repeat statements, find it hard to give information succinctly and in logical order, or would like to change speech pattern, then we highly recommend having a speech pathologist or trainer who specializes in speech and voice enhancement.

Itʼs easy to spot distracting features in others, but not so easy to hear them in yourself. Training enables you to increase both speech clarity and quality. Listeners will attend to what you are saying rather than being distracted by how you are saying it.

Good speech goes a long way towards building credibility in the eyes (and ears) of those you report to, work with and your clients.
If you would like to know what your best friend may never tell you about your speaking style, a voice assessment with a speech pathologist/trainer could be a smart move.

not in office

What NOT to wear at the office

One would think that the following information would be so common sense – however I have found that common sense ain’t always that common. So here are a few questions with answers to address this topic of what NOT to wear to the office… as if you wouldn’t know already!

Q + A’s

Q1 What are your top 3 banned items of clothing for office wear?

Because this relates specifically to items of clothing – it is not possible to generalise on this question.  I will give you three items for women, and three for men.

(1)  any item that exposes too much flesh ie midriff tops, low cut blouses/shirts, very short skirts, and anything that exposes bum-crack when seated.
(2) flip-flops and insignificant strappy sandles.
(3) very casual apparel ie  jeans/cargos, tank tops, and anything that would easily fit in with relaxed weekend activities. For some unknown reason – there are women who don’t know this, or just don’t care enough about their positions at work to care. They are either not conventionally ambitious, or ignorant of the opportunities they’ve lost for their career development. They don’t last long in an organisation where visual communication is as important as other mediums of communication.

(1) An obvious casual shirt worn with a suit and tie
(2)  too casual a shoe ie boat shoes/or relaxed loafers
(3) silly ‘party/cartoon’ ties and socks

Q.2 What mistakes do people often make when dressing for work?

(1) Over-exposure – too much flesh showing.
(2) As above for women.  

For men:
(1) Short sleaved shirts &/or shirts not long enough (resulting in the hanging-out look)
(2) Pants worn half-mast (somebody die?)
(3) Open neck shirts especially when undone past the first 2 buttons….. hmmmm
(4) Wearing ‘down-market’ clothes. This certainly won’t communicate to those with plenty of   ‘clout’ in the organisation that they are ambitious and want to be taken seriously.
(5) Poor grooming e.g. the daily ‘bad-hair day’ syndrome; clothing that needs attention &/or cleaning; unpolished shoes and poorly groomed nails (Women: include nasty chipped polish).
Basically not enough attention to detail – which tells those decision-makers that this person could cut corners in other areas as well.
(6)  Men:  Obvious gold neck chains, bracelets and even facial piercings are not seen as particularly pleasing in most professional organisations.  A person can limit their career   opportunities with superfluous adornment such as these.

Q.3  What clothing advice can you offer someone who wants to make a good impression at the office?

Whatever a person wears – or carries in business, must be appropriate for their role and industry. Business apparel should also reflect current trends.
Note: Trends when introduced stay current over a 4-5 year time-frame. Fashion by contrast is an ‘in this year – out the next’ situation and these fashion items are useful to add ‘life’ and interest to the basic wardrobe items.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Style

The Seven Deadly Sins of Work-Style

1. Hazardous Hair

Don’t jeopardise your chances of stepping into a better job by having hair that looks as if you have just climbed out of bed.  There are three types of hair:  chic (short, cleverly cut)  classic (simple cut, above shoulder-line), and “I’ve Got Hair” (shoulder-line and longer).  If you’ve got it – then tame those tresses by using simple unfussy hair accessories.  Forget towering overpowering hair,  nasty scrunchies and those huge hair clamps for work.  Out-of-control hair could well be shouting “out-of-control” YOU.

2. Excess Baggage

I call it ‘visual noise’ – anything that is loud, and over-done.
Clothes that speak louder than you do are clothes that could kill your chances for being taken seriously.   Don’t let them up-stage you – tone them down.
Too much make-up,  you look like a clown.  The world wants to see YOU, not make-up that obscures  you.  Keep makeup simple and natural for the workplace.  And if you are still applying your makeup the same way  you did at your senior formal – get an update now!
Too much jewellery is another example of excess baggage.  Who needs to look like the Reserve Bank!   It should be discreet, elegant and exude quality.
Too much colour.  Some women look as if a flock of parakeets just landed on their bodies.  Women do have many colours which are appropriate ‘neutrals’  in the work-place  ie navy, black, deep cherry, aubergine, camel, charcoal and mid and light grey etc.   Keep your outfits simple, find out what your best neutrals are for your suiting. Contrast them with one other colour to suit your complexion.
(Remember black does not suit everyone.)

3. Over-Exposure

In the corporate business world, bare arms, low necklines, bare legs, toe cleavage spells career suicide.  In other industries, the rules are more relaxed but still beware – do you really want people to focus on an area 9″ below your chin?   ‘Titty-tops’   and anything strappy or stringy gets the thumbs down.

4. Swingers

For those full-figures ‘Reubenesk” females, don’t go without a well fitted bra.  Be a knock-out, not ‘knocked-out!   Harness those ‘puppies’ by selecting the best support bras at one of the specialty lingerie boutiques who have staff to fit you properly.   When traffic hopping through a line of stationary cars just as the lights turn green, avoid managing the brief-bag, lunch-bag AND unwieldy anatomy.

5. Neglected Nails

Obvious nail polish that is chipped and cracked.  Yucko.  You professional image has just gone to the wall.   For business, a natural shade or plain polish on short, trimmed nails says, smart, professional,  efficient and organised.

6. Frowzy Fit

Clothes that are ill-fitting make you look immature, and ordinary.  And a panty-line showing though your clothing………….aaaaAAAAGH!  Your business clothes should fit comfortably and hang properly without stress lines, gaping pockets or open pleats.   Cut out the size tag and go up a size for comfort – then have a good tailor adjust your jacket and skirt where you need to.

7. Faulty Footwork

You will sabotage yourself if you wear cheap shoes, white shoes – regardless what you paid for them, and shoes that are ill-kept.  The term ‘down-at-heel’ says it all.    Put your best foot forward and wear a stylish elegant shoe with a mid-high heel.