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When was the Last Time You Reviewed Your Business Wardrobe?

First Impressions Count!

Your choice of business clothing can speak volumes about who you think you are and how you wish to be treated.

Wherever you are; at work or on the London Underground, you are on show and someone is making assumptions about you. In a split second that person will quickly scan you up and down, listen to how you talk and interact with other people and then make an assessment about who they think you are. Based on these assumptions, that person will determine how they treat you. This may be to your benefit or to your detriment.

Our Top Tips for Choosing Your Business Outfits

  • “Dress British, Think Yiddish!” This simply means that you should dress in a non-offensive British style and negotiate for your clothes in a typically Jewish fashion.
  • Choose your business clothing to match the role you want to move into.
  • Remember that people buy people like them. So, dress like the people you are trying to win over.
  • If suits are required for work, it makes sense to select three pieces: a jacket plus two pairs of trousers for men, or a jacket plus a skirt and a pair of trousers for women.
  • If an off-the-peg suit is a perfect fit, then stop shopping around and just buy the same suit in two different colours (eg. Navy and Charcoal). You can change the look of your outfit with your shirt and tops and accessories.

Do You Need A Personal Stylist?

If you have completely lost your way and are still wearing 1980s shoulder-pads, then you may need to seek immediate assistance:

Personal Shopper & Image Consultants

Image Consultants offer you a personal styling service. They will usually book a time to visit you at home and actually go through your wardrobe with you - and force you to let go of any fashion disasters that reasonable Fashion Police would arrest you for.

Most image consultants will also go shopping with you to help you express your own personal style in a way that meets your age, budget and your working environment. The key benefit of working with an image consultant is that they are totally focused on you and they aren't trying to earn a commission for selling you lots of products. Most consultants are savvy shoppers and can show you how to buy a few key pieces of clothing and use accessories to change the look of each outfit.

The downside of using an Image Consultant is that they charge to help you find your personal style. We recommend you view this as an investment in your future career as your next pay rise could easily cover this expense.

In-Store Personal Shoppers

For those of you with lower budgets, you might prefer to find department stores that offer a free Personal Shopper service. This involves booking an appointment with an in-house stylist who will talk to you about your work environment and help you find appropriate business wear that suits your body shape. Large stores like Selfridges, House of Fraser and John Lewis typically offer this service. Remember to specify that you are looking for business attire or you could end up with a new party frock that may look fabulous, but will not earn you a promotion.

The down-side of using an in-store personal shopper is that nothing is really free and these staff are targeted on selling you as much merchandise as possible to justify their salaries. Our advice is to set a budget, tell the personal stylist what that budget is and then wait for them to return laden with different outfits for you to choose from.

To find out more about our business training courses and one-to-one career coaching, simply call us on 020 8123 8169. You'll be pleased you made the effort.



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