Executive Dress for Success


Autumn is a Time for Change…Out with Tired Attire!  

By Jacqueline Nieberding

Photo Credit Nordstrom

Photo Credit Nordstrom 

Change is in the air.  Visual change comes with the new season, as in the autumnal light that washes over the land flooding the once forest greens with a muted rainbow of yellows, reds, oranges & browns.  A metaphorical change also comes with a new season – a change in mindset, goals, and perhaps projections.  As for the physical change, summer’s sun kissed skin dulls and Fall’s new moon glows bright on frostbitten lawns.  We pack away our summer wardrobe staples and reach for our beloved fleece, wool, and down.  This Fall, step back a moment before you perform your seasonal closet rotation stop, take a look at your wardrobe and consider this:

  • How long have you had these pieces?
  • Do they fit the same way as originally purchased?
  • Why do you keep them?
    •  because of how they make you feel or…
    •  simply out of budget, habit or sentimental value?
  • Do you need some new staples or statement pieces?

We may think that fashion is just profligate indulgence and our sunny personality will eclipse our dull attire or detract from the soup stains on our anorak. Untrue.  According to Psychology today, “Sartorial laziness is an easy habit to slip into. What we wear speaks volumes in just a few seconds. Dressing to impress really is worthwhile and could even be the key to success.” Said another way, you are what you wear.  Consider your executive wardrobe a living, breathing marketing tool for your brand, “YOU!”

Seasonal wardrobe refresh does not necessarily mean “purchase the latest trends.”  This could mean trading out worn or stained pieces for new ones, whether they are staples or statement pieces.  Save your lucky cable knit sweater from college for those October bonfire gatherings.

This Fall, treat yourself to a new crew or chic turtleneck sweater in one of Pantone’s Autumn 2016 colors; check them out here.   Classic, sophisticated pieces can found in all genders, price points and sizes across multiple retailers.

Good style isn’t just for the fashion set, it’s for anyone who wants to be a leader in their field. Reader’s Digest republished a study conducted in Social Psychological and Personality Science. It turns out the “power tie” is a real thing.”  Researchers had certain people wear formal business attire and complete a series of five experiments that challenged their cognitive processing abilities. Those who dressed up felt significantly more powerful and in control of the situation than their under-dressed peers.” The fact is how you dress is one of the easiest ways to boost your professional presence and personal mindset.

Keep in mind fit is almost as important as quality and style.  Have you gone up or down a size or two since last year?  Well-fitting garments always look more put together than too baggy or tight.  After all, no one but you sees the size tag. Don’t let a printed number hidden away inside your waistband be the reason you’re afraid to make a change. Regardless of size, you’ll feel much better in a wardrobe that fits.

Still in doubt?  Ask a trusted family member or friend to give an honest assessment of your weekday looks.  For an unbiased opinion, consult with a business wear expert at your local department store. Most are passionate professionals about what they do and have been trained on best colors, styles and fit for individual body types.

Your image locks in first impressions of new contacts and influences long term business partner’s perception of you. This autumn, as the Fall light eclipses the last of summer’s heat and the smell of freshly cut lawns is replaced with burning leaves and pumpkin spice, consider spicing up your image with some fresh pieces to kick-start a transformation of your own.

Parrish Partners, LLC, Copyright 2016