There are three basic elements you need to understand that are represented in these images 1) pattern 2) color and 3) structure.
Let’s start with pattern; notice everything is a solid? I learned early on in my image training there were patterns associated with power and authority, and patterns associated with approachability and friendliness. Solids and straight lines (stripes) are powerful, and curved lines (floral, paisley) are friendly.
Color we know is a strong psychological trigger, and the colors worn by the women in this grouping are either powerful: black, dark navy or dark grey, passion powerful: red and burgundy or Elegant powerful: Camel and ivory. Pastels and light colors are mainly limited to blouses. Important to observe also is the high contrast of the styleboard. Just as in menswear, the models above demonstrate outfits with strong color contrast – white and black, cream or blush and navy for example.
Structure pertains to the construction of the garment. One of the first things I teach my clients is how to achieve authority in business by adding structured tailored pieces to your wardrobe. No more cardigans – cashmere, silk or otherwise. Sweaters can be a layering garment under a jacket, but are too “soft” to be center stage. Wearing a jacket says you are in business mode, and gives you an air of authority.
You can get a sense of how we would work together, or see how far you can get on your own by following these 5 steps:
#1 Think: What is the perception you wish to achieve at work (virtual or in person)? Do you want it to be more polished, more formal, more executive? Do you see from the images above that you may need to adjust your clothing a bit? If so,
#2 Review: Look in your closet. What solid, structural pieces (aka suiting) do you own? How is the fit? How is the condition? Are they of current styling and proportion (look at the lapels, the length of the jacket, the width of trouser leg etc.). Do you have coordinating blouses, shoes and jewelry to support your tailored garments?
#3 Research: Shop online at stores that you know to have a good fit for your body type and budget. Reach out if you need suggestions. For tailored garments buy the absolute best you can – these are investment pieces that will be the backbone of your wardrobe for years to come.
#4 Purchase: Similar to what you carry into a dressing room, buy two to three times what you need, multiple sizes, and silhouettes with the plan to return the garments that are not the best for you.
#5 Tailor: This is the one thing men do “better” than women when it comes to clothing. They have the accepted mindset that just about everything they purchase will need tailoring. You should too. Hems on trousers and jacket sleeves at a minimum, and likely nipping an tucking of trouser waists, jacket backs and more. Even ready to wear blouses can be improved in fit by a tailor.
Did you learn anything new? Got a question? I’d love to help!
Ann Lindsay is Style of Success and Lady Boss Styling 🙂
I work to make you look effortlessly confident.
Image Consulting — Personal Styling
Personal Shopping — J.Hilburn Stylist Recruiter
I bring confidence, organization, and efficiency to your life.