|Dress Like a Celebrity by Kathryn
How does Sarah Jessica, Oprah, and Salma do it?
They have a bottomless bank account and an army
of stylists. Weve got the dish for achieving
star quality without breaking the bank. The key
to looking like a million bucks is not found in
a bunch of designer labels, but in how we wear an
item. Here are three tips that celebrities (or should
we say their stylists) use to create their star
A Clothes Encounter In The Business
by Lydia Ramsey
Do you ever wonder where all the dress rules have gone?
Depending on when and where you are on any given business
day, the words "distant past" might come to
mind. It's difficult to decide if people don't know what
to wear to work or if they have lost sight of the relevance
of appearance to professional success.
The Queen of England is reported to have told Prince Charles,
"Dress gives one the outward sign from which people
can judge the inward state of mind. One they can see,
the other they cannot." Clearly, she was saying what
many people are reluctant to accept; that people judge
us by the way we dress. In all situations, business and
social, our outward appearance sends a message.
Try going to a busy restaurant at lunchtime. Look around
you at what people are wearing and see if you don't make
judgments about who they are, their line of business,
their personalities and their competencies. Think about
how you feel when you are dressed in your usual business
attire as opposed to casual dress. Your choice of business
apparel speaks to your professional behavior and credibility.
It is important to understand how to dress for business
if you wish to promote yourself and your organization
in a positive manner,
How you dress depends on four factors: the industry in
which you work, the job you have within that industry,
the geographic area in which you live; and most importantly,
what your client expects to see.
Professional Dress for Men
In men's clothing, fashion does not change significantly
from season to season but business attire is about being
professional and not about being fashionable. It's about
presenting yourself in a way that makes your clients feel
comfortable and confident with you. Dressing for success
is still the rule. The professional businessman should
keep in mind these few points when deciding what to wear
Choose a conservative suit in navy, black or gray either
pinstripe or solid. The quality of the material speaks
as loudly as the color and can make the difference between
sleaze and suave.
A solid white or blue dress shirt with long sleeves offers
the most polished look. The more pattern and color you
add, the more the focus is on your clothing, rather than
Ties should be made of silk or a silk-like fabric. Avoid
the cartoon characters and go for simple and subtle if
you want to enhance your credibility.
Socks should be calf-length or above. Make sure they match
not only what you are wearing, but also each other. A
quick glance in good light before heading out the door
can save embarrassment later in the day. Check for holes
as well if you'll be going through airport security and
removing your shoes.
Shoes should without question be conservative, clean and
well polished. Lace-up shoes are the choice over slip-ons
or flip flops. Don't think for a minute that people don't
notice shoes. Many people will look at your feet before
Belts need to match or closely coordinate with your shoes.
Once again, quality counts.
Keep jewelry to a minimum. In a time when men sport gold
necklaces, bracelets and earrings, the business professional
should limit himself to a conservative watch, a wedding
band and maybe his college ring.
Personal hygiene is part of the success equation. Freshly
scrubbed wins out over heavily fragranced any day of the
week. Save the after-shave for after hours, but never
the shave itself.
The finishing touch for the business man is his choice
of accessories: briefcase, portfolio and pen. When it
comes to sealing the deal, a top of the line suit, a silk
tie and a good pair of leather shoes can lose their affect
when you pull out the ball point pen you picked up in
the hotel meeting room the day before.
Professional Dress for Women
When women entered the workplace in the 1970's and 1980's
in greater numbers than ever before and began to move
into positions which had traditionally been held by men,
many of them believed that they needed to imitate male
business attire. The result was women showing up at the
office in skirted suits or coordinated skirts and jackets
with tailored blouses finished off with an accessory item
that looked very much like a man's tie. Happily those
days are gone. While the business woman may now wear trousers
to work, she does it out of a desire to appear professional
and at the same time enjoy the flexibility and comfort
that pants offer over skirts. Her goal is no longer to
mirror her male colleagues.
The same overall rules apply to women's work attire as
apply to men's. Business clothing is not a reflection
of the latest fashion trend. A woman should be noticed
for who she is and her professional skills rather than
for what she wears. Her business wear should be appropriate
for her industry and her position or title within the
Start with a skirted suit or pants suit for the most conservative
look. A skirted suit is the most professional. With a
few exceptions, dresses do not offer the same credibility
unless they are accompanied by matching jackets.
Skirts should be knee-length or slightly above or below.
Avoid extremes. A skirt more than two inches above the
knee raises eyebrows and questions.
Pants should break at the top of the foot or shoe. While
Capri pants and their fashion cousins that come in assorted
lengths from mid-calf to ankle are the latest trend, they
are out of place in the conservative business environment.
Blouses and sweaters provide color and variety to woman's
clothing, but they should be appealing rather than revealing.
Inappropriate necklines and waistlines can give the wrong
Women need to wear hose in the business world. Neutral
or flesh-tone stockings are the best choices. Never wear
dark hose with light-colored clothing or shoes. Keep an
extra pair of stockings in your desk drawer unless the
hosiery store is next door or just down the street from
Faces, not feet, should be the focal point in business
so chose conservative shoes. A low heel is more professional
than flats or high heels. In spite of current fashion
and the sandal rage, open-toed or backless shoes are not
office attire. Not only are sandals a safety hazard, they
suggest a certain official agenda.
When it comes to accessories and jewelry, less is once
again more. Keep it simple: one ring per hand, one earring
per ear. Accessories should reflect your personality,
not diminish your credibility.
Business attire is different from weekend and evening
wear. Investing in a good business wardrobe is an investment
in your professional future. For those who think it's
not what you wear but who you are that creates success,
give that some more thought. Business skills and experience
count, but so does personal appearance and that all-important
© 2005, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved.
About the Author
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional
speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT
SELL - ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has
been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors'
Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman's
Day. For more information about her programs, products
and services, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit her web site http://www.mannersthatsell.com