Today I attended a seminar on Personal Image Branding. It was basically about how you dress can make a difference in people's first impressions of you. It was very imformative and I enjoyed the talk, but I left feeling a little deflated.
I believe that one should dress according to their comfort level, their job, and the people they will see that day. Obviously if you have a meeting with an executive, you would wear a more professional outfit than when you are sitting in your office all day. I also believe that ones personal style should be brought out. Either with an accessory, or something else.
The handout we received was great and informative and broke down attire into categories. Executive, Professional, Informal and Relaxed. After reading the categories and reading the things that 'undermine your business credibility' I found that I am in the Informal category when I consider myself 'dressed up' and on a regular day, I'd be in the Relaxed category.
Today, I decided that I would wear something I consider nice and add an accent to show my personality. I have long grey sweater, with elbow length sleeves and a cowel neckline, with a black belt at the waist, black thick tights, and my red pumps. I can pull the look off (I've been told) and yes, I realize it's not in the 'professional' level, but it I would consider it high in the business casual area. According to the 'do nots', I should never wear leggings, and besides my shoes being red (heaven forbid), they are also open-toed.
I woke up this morning, picked out my clothes, and looked in the mirror before I left for work and thought I looked very good. A step-up from wearing pants and a t-shirt. I'm not a suit person. I think they look stuffy, and pompous, however some people can pull it off and look amazing. From a comfort level, I don't feel comfortable in them, and that shows through. According to the levels of clothing people wear, the dull black/grey suit, black shoes, and white shirt will command the greatest respect.
You may gain respect but is it the right kind? I'm afraid of people in power suits and don't find them friendly on first impression. I stay away from them because my first impression is that they have a dull personality, and no sense of fun. I don't live like that, and I would hate for people to view me that way.
Just some ramblings, I guess my style of dress won't take me higher, but I am true to myself, enjoy what I wear, and feel comfortable and confident. That's what should really matter.