You can never be overdressed or over educated – Oscar Wilde
Do you struggle with deciding what to wear to networking events? Does the thought of creating outfits to attend functions, that includes a networking component, stress you out?
I spend a lot of time at networking events. I always make it a point to notice what people wear. It’s part of my role in helping women to elevate their visual image and further their business objectives. Here are five ways you can look impeccable at your next business mixer.
1) Wear a color other than, or in addition to, black, gray, and white. Why? To stand out. At the next business event that you attend, observe how many people wear these colors. Almost everyone.
If you plan to meet someone at the event, it is easier for a person who doesn’t know you to identify you by the distinctive color you’re wearing. Additionally, the likelihood of someone remembering you increases when you look unique.
Use a color like red, cobalt blue, fuchsia, orange, teal, or turquoise to stand out from the crowd. For entrepreneurs, focusing on color can be especially impactful when you wear colors that complement your brand.
2) Purchase and wear your own name tag. How many times have you arrived at an event and been given a not so sticky tag with sloppy handwriting (maybe even your own) that doesn’t stick to your shirt? It’s happened to me too many time to count and it’s completely avoidable. I broke all the rules in the picture below. Notice how atrocious the name tag looks. A magnetic badge, with your name and logo, creates a professional appearance.
3) You may need to stand for most of, if not the entire, event. Wear shoes that make this possible. I’m not suggesting that you wear Crocs but do wear professional shoes in top condition. You want to convey that you’re a competent, polished, and intelligent person with whom people would want to do business and to whom they can refer friends and clients.
4) While you may choose to wear clothes or accessories in your personal life that strongly indicate your personal beliefs, religious affiliation, or send strong style preferences like bohemian attire, refrain from doing this at business functions.
Significant research on bias as it pertains to appearance, has been conducted. There is substantial evidence that verifies everybody judges appearance. Even people who claim that they do not judge the appearance of other people, do in fact pass judgement on clothing, hairstyles, etc.
Further, men have been shown to judge other men and women more harshly than women judge other people. In short, I wear more color and jewelry if I attend a female only networking function than if I attend a meeting with men. My intent is to avoid distractions that could lead to the impression that I am not serious about my career.
5) When in doubt, dress more formally than less formally. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Society today is typically very casual. You can’t go wrong by wearing attire that indicates you cared about your appearance. Select a suit, or other clothing, that is business appropriate and shows you’re serious about your image. While jeans and business casual clothes may be fine, it makes sense to over dress and minimize the risk of being too casual.
Let me know how your next networking event goes!
How many times have you avoided a trend because you felt that you didn’t have the “right” body to wear it? Long dresses, booties, and kimonos challenged me in the past. However, I confidently wear all of these pieces today because I figured out how to create outfits with them. Do you know how to wear a long dress, especially if you’re petite? I decided to write about this topic after several friends told me they can’t wear long dresses.
Last month I purchased a black floor length column dress. I’ve received many compliments while wearing it. Truth be told, anyone can wear a long dress with proper styling and accessories. Here are five tips to create a winning long dress look!
1. Shoes Make or Break the Outfit
Isn’t this really true of all outfits? With a long dress, you have an opportunity to create the illusion of being much taller by wearing shoes with a platform (that no one sees). This is one of my signature moves. At 5’4, I appreciate the chance to elongate my frame. I’ll never be a super model but I can look taller with the right footwear. You can even avoid shortening dresses by finding heels that provide proper vertical lift.
I invest in heels that not only provide me with a significant height advantage, but are also comfortable. Many YSL, Badgley Mischka, Michael Kors, Kelsi Dagger, and Pour la Victoire heels feature a platform heel. Bonus: Platforms prevent the foot pain and exhaustion that results from wearing shoes that don’t support the sole of your foot.
2. Accessorize Appropriately
Long dresses look different visually than knee length or midi dresses. Minimize jewelry and place it strategically. To continue with the theme of elongating the body, wear chandelier or hoop earrings. This draws the eye up to the face and keeps the look clean. Wear long necklaces, thirty or more inches, to lengthen your silhouette. When I wear bracelets, they’re dainty; not large and chunky like bangles or cuffs.
3. Jackets and Cardigans
Avoid accenting the biggest part of your body. Create an hour glass shape with a fitted jacket or cardigan that hits the hip. For curvier and shorter ladies like myself, avoid large jackets and bulky sweaters that comes to the hip. They draw visual attention and add volume in the wrong place. A tailored slim fitting dark monochrome colored jacket slenderizes.
4. Monochrome Versus Patterns
Monochrome dresses and patterns with small print are a girl’s best friend. Horizontal stripes, large floral and graphic patterns, as well as bulky fabrics overwhelm most women, especially petite women. Many patterns also tend to look bad in pictures.
My black column dress works well because it has ruffles at the shoulder which makes my torso look smaller by comparison. The dark color and thin material also make this dress work. If the dress was white, peach, silver, or another light color, I wouldn’t have even tried it on. Use color, patterns, and textures to your advantage!
5. Plan the Outfit Ahead of Time
Try on outfits in advance to give yourself plenty of time to find the optimal shoes and accessories. Dressing under duress leads to anxiety and frustration. As women, we strive hard to look perfect and feel empowered when we walk out the door. If we don’t achieve this feeling, we wear it on our faces. Stress doesn’t match any of my outfits. How about you?
Good luck making a beautiful outfit with your long dress! Tag me in your Instagram photos @ lyndellwerling.
Click here to read my October newsletter! See suggestions for easy to execute Halloween costumes that can be created from items you already own. Next month, I'll provide suggestions on great holiday gifts from socially conscious companies.
Click here to read my September newsletter! Read about the Fall Fashion forecast, see my suggestions on what to wear to a photo shoot for your family's holiday cards, and take advantage of my photo shoot preparation package offer.
Click here to watch Elaine Swann, host of Oceanside Spectrum, and me discuss the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's mission. We chat about the free resources they provide for patients, fundraising for research grants, and the annual Children's Holiday Party for children with blood cancer. The interview starts at the 10:30 mark.
If you know anyone receiving chemotherapy or radiation that I can help with their cancer journey, please don't hesitate to contact me. It is unspeakably tough to feel ill while you fight cancer, let alone lose your hair and see unwelcome changes in your body. It is a blessing to help others by drawing on my melanoma experience.
Do you have a well-defined personal style? If not, consider consulting a Personal Stylist.
“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” -Confucius
Personal style is both an art and a science. Style is like beauty. It is in the eye of the beholder and unique to each and every one of us. It’s like art if you will. Style is an authentic visual expression of who we are. Style evolves over time. The reality is that it is much easier to dress well when we understand our personal style. That’s where the science surfaces.
Purchasing clothing that reflects our personal style can take place once we define our visual image. That sounds great, right? But, what if you don’t have the time, interest or feel that you possess the skills to even identify your personal style? Don’t despair. A personal stylist can do the work for you.
Does Your Appearance Scream Excellence or Exhaustion?
Confucius’ statement on personal excellence is indisputable. Desire, focus and dedication are certainly paramount to attaining goals. Appearance, and your associated visual presentation, play into personal excellence too; perhaps much more than we realize.
Summer is Here. Do you Have the Right Things to Wear?
As a personal stylist, I’m often asked about the appropriate attire to wear to certain events. Fundamentally, we know that we must dress for success in job interviews, for important meetings, and to attend certain social events such as weddings, funerals, and fundraisers. So why don’t we always dress well? The answer is simple. There’s no time, interest or maybe it is lack of bandwidth after the rest of our obligations are attended to.
Appearance is more than who we are on the outside. Who we are on the inside is reflected in what we wear. Appearance correlates to how others perceive us and potentially influences the success we attain in life. Yes, many studies validate this last point.
How Much Time Can You Dedicate to Your Appearance?
These days the complicated demands executives, entrepreneurs and busy individuals face can divert attention away from appearance. Basic wardrobe considerations such as, “What message does my clothing present, could I improve my image, and am I getting the most out of my clothing budget” aren’t addressed. Higher priorities such as spending time with family, advancing one’s career or business objectives, taking advantage of San Diego’s outstanding climate, and life in general easily exhaust the twenty-four hours in a day.
If you evaluate your image and dream about a better way to handle your clothing and image, you may want to consider a consultation with a personal stylist.
What Does a Personal Stylist Do Anyway?
As a stylist, I help people reawaken their personal style, curate clothing to fill a variety of unique client needs, offer special-occasion preparation and onsite styling, and I collaborate with clients to redefine their image. I founded my company to empower men and women to not only look better, but also feel better about themselves. Stylists are now accessible to everyone, not just celebrities and wealthy individuals.
My specialty is working with professional men and women. My twenty-five years of corporate experience provides me with a solid understanding of the demands placed on professionals. I vividly recall how tough it is to balance personal and career priorities while trying to present a stylish appearance.
My experience has shown me that professional people dress to impress their customers. I collaboratively work with my clients to define the visual image they want to project. Then I provide the clothing they need to make that high pressure presentation, close that lucrative business deal, and stand out from the competition. When my clients have important events, they go to their closets to select an outfit from their wardrobe that I’ve created.
I’ve supplemented my business knowledge with significant formal training in fashion styling from School of Style, Fashion Institute of Design Merchandising, Style 20/20, and Simply Stylist. While my current aspirations significantly differ from my past career focus, I comprehend the challenges associated with looking good given time and budget constraints.
What Does Personal Styling Entail?
Personal styling touches various aspects of a person’s wardrobe.
A closet cleanse declutters one’s closet and eliminates items that don’t fit properly, purges garments that are outdated or fail to support your desired image, and identifies items to purchase to complete your wardrobe.
Special Occasion Styling
In today’s digital age almost all events are photographed, featured on social media, and possibly captured in print format. How we look is remembered long after the event date. Searching for, let alone finding, the perfect outfit for life’s many celebrations can seem overwhelming. In addition to purchasing attire for photo shoots, television appearances, speaking engagements, award ceremonies, weddings, interviews and parties, on location styling is an option. Coordinating appearance prior to an event commencing, as well as wardrobe creation, fall into the personal styling domain.
Style Development Packages
Style Development packages create a signature style for clients. The process begins with a complimentary thirty minute meeting to discuss goals, current image, and create an action plan.
After the plan and image are agreed upon by the client, shopping for the new wardrobe takes place and styling looks from the new wardrobe follows. An optional follow-up meeting is available to ensure you are maximizing your new wardrobe and mastering your newly created style!
How Important is What You Wear?
What you wear is critically important. Significant scientific research validates the fact that attire strongly affects first impressions, attitude and potentially professional success.
In 1920, psychologist Edward Thorndike validated his bias theory which is now known as the Halo Effect. The Halo Effect is a cognitive bias in which an observer’s overall impression of a person, influences the observer’s feelings and thoughts about that person’s character.
In other words, knowing positive things about someone, will result in attributing additional positive things to that person. This holds true even in the face of contradicting evidence. Appearance is a significant example of how the Halo Effect works. The role of a stylist is not only to provide people with a coordinated, functional closet full of exciting clothing but also to ensure positive visual impressions occur.
Could You Benefit from a Complimentary Consultation?
Are you like the vast majority of people who possess a closet full of attire that doesn’t create outfits, may be outdated, or doesn’t complement your body? Contact me for a complimentary 30 minute consultation to enliven your style.
In the meantime, follow me on Instagram for my “Work it Wednesday” weekly attire tips. It’s possible to have fun with your wardrobe while presenting a sophisticated professional look. I promise.