The way you dress at home and in the workplace can contribute to your sense of self. Image consultant and stylist Petra Laranjo shares her tips for expressing your power through fashion.
How can having a good sense of personal style empower a woman?
Looking good and making a successful first (and continuous) impression influences the way others react to and interact with you. It plays a vital element in the way they "see" you and therefore will largely dictate their faith and respect for you. As a businesswoman, this is critical in establishing a successful and reputable image.
Moreover, a good sense of personal style elevates your confidence and, in turn, influences the way you walk into a room and conduct yourself, again broadening your influence and impact on those around you.
What are three ways to make a good first impression in the corporate world with reference to style and posture, etc?
• Your clothing should fit you perfectly according to your body type. Baggy or tight-fitting clothing can portray a shoddy or inappropriate character and similarly interpreted work ethic.
• A confident, but not arrogant, posture and demeanour puts the person(s) you’re interacting with at ease and gives them confidence in your abilities, ie the way you market yourself.
• Remember it’s all in the details. Creased and stained clothing, scuffed shoes, heels and handbags, chewed nails with chipped polish and greasy hair shows that you don’t pay attention to detail, which may suggest that you lack attention to detail in the work place too.
What are three things to keep in mind when giving yourself a makeover for the workplace?
Besides considering your body type and colouring, ensure that your new look is appropriate to your:
• Position in business
• Desired impression
What are three key things to keep in mind when shopping?
• Buy what fits, irrespective of size.
• Start with the basics – hold off on buying prints, loud colours, etc for when you have acquired the basic capsule wardrobe items.
• Accessories will help differentiate your style and personality from the next person purchasing similar items.
What are three wardrobe essentials for the career woman?
• Basic black, grey or navy shift or wrap knee-length dress.
• Pair of heels – be they 2cm or higher. Flats and platform stilettos have no place in the work space when meeting clients.
• Good grooming in terms of hair, make-up and skin. Lipstick / tinted lip-gloss and mascara are a must. A fresh, wide-awake and healthy looking face shows me you’re present and alert.
Visit www.petralaranjo.co.za for more information on Petra Laranjo and the services she offers.