Style your way to suc­cess

Dress to im­press and keep turn­ing heads once you’ve bagged the job!

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glam Careers -

meet­ings, peo­ple would try to ap­peal to my edgy side by be­ing un­pro­fes­sional,” she re­calls. To­day she favours leather moto jack­ets that still re­flect her style, but pairs them with sharp, busi­nes­sowner-wor­thy heels. Af­ter all, she says, “I need to live up to what I am.”

Still stuck? Ask your­self how a movie char­ac­ter in your role would dress. (Per­son­ally, I chan­nel Anne Hath­away post-stan­ley Tucci makeover in The Devil Wears Prada.) Find­ing a blend be­tween your iden­tity and that cultural im­age is the sweet spot.

Step 2 Build your wardrobe

“Your es­sen­tials will de­pend on your work-place,” says stylist Sarah Slut­sky. “But in my opin­ion, ev­ery­one should have an over­sized camel coat, a white silk blouse and bur­gundy pumps, which are less ba­sic than black, but still match every­thing.” If your of­fice is for­mal, add blaz­ers and skirts to the list; if it’s re­laxed, ba­sic T-shirts and denim.

And use ac­ces­sories to bring your look into the here and now. A strong shoe game can up­date even the most ba­sic sep­a­rates. Trend­ing right now: point-toe kit­ten heels and berib­boned pumps. “Peo­ple no­tice if you have a great pair of shoes on,” says Roopal.

If you’re not a heel fan, you’re not alone. A re­cent study re­vealed that the more education women have, the lower the heels they wear. Two of-the-mo­ment op­tions: loafers and square-toe boots.

Step 3 Nail the in­ter­view

Job-seek­ing truth: Yes, the out­fit mat­ters. “I read a study once that said peo­ple make judg­ments within 14 sec­onds of meet­ing you,” says Toni Thomp­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of hu­man re­sources at Condé Nast. Your look can “show how pre­pared you are,” she says.

And do your home­work. “Be aware of the in­dus­try you’re in,” says Toni. “If you’re at a casual start-up, wear­ing a suit will make you stick out.” In a cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment, she ad­vises a black or blue suit. Have a more re­laxed job, like teach­ing? Try trousers and a sweater. At a cre­ative place, show your artis­tic chops with in­ter­est­ing pat­terns.

If you’re still not sure what to wear, try these DOS and DON’TS: DO Google the com­pany’s lead­ers and take note of what they wear; that’s your start­ing point. DO sit in front of a mir­ror to check for a too-short skirt or gap­ing but­tons. DO carry a sin­gle bag, like a leather tote. DON’T change into heels in­side the build­ing. You’ll risk an awk­ward mid-swap run-in with your in­ter­viewer.

Step 4 Dress for a pro­mo­tion

Now you’ve got the job. How to keep nail­ing it, fash­ion wise? “There’s a con­cept in cog­ni­tive be­havioural ther­apy called ‘Act as if’, which means act as if you are what you want to be­come,” says Dr Jen­nifer Baum­gart­ner, au­thor of You Are What You Wear (Perseus Books; R287). “What would a per­son with a pro­mo­tion wear?” For one thing, per­fect fit. No too-baggy trousers or too-tight waists.

And keep look­ing at those above you for clues. At GLAMOUR I no­ticed that edi­tors tend to splurge on a few state­ment skirts or pairs of trousers each sea­son, and wear them with sim­ple tops.

While my wardrobe is nearly all black, I try to in­cor­po­rate a touch of colour (and yes, I count navy) ev­ery day. The only prob­lem? The noth­ing-looks-good-to­gether morn­ings that make me al­most late for work. My time-sav­ing trick comes from Roopal, who told me, “Have at least five fully styled out­fits in your closet ready to go.” Of­fice-wor­thy looks that are snooze-but­ton-friendly? I’m never turn­ing back!

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