Being a leader in business does not always mean that you are confident, comfortable in your own skin and have a positive self-image. Our clothes choice is one of the main contributors to it. Ask yourself a question: What are your clothes saying to you, not about you?
Choosing the right outfit and accessories is an art of knowing yourself and also an important communication skill. We can use our clothing choices to send important messages- ready for serious business, strength and, frankly, success. When someone sees how we are dressed, they fill in the story of who we are and what we do for a living in their own minds. What we are wearing can invite respect or contempt.
Even the colour of your eyeglasses can change the way people view you. In a study from National Cheng Kung University, it was found that the colour of frames had different connotations (Ref.www.Research Gate: A Study on Colour Emotion for Plastic Eyewear). For instance, green frames presented mixed reactions and impressions, whereas black gives the impression of stability.
Self-acceptance is the only way to improve your self-image and develop a personal style. If you really want to develop your own style, the first thing you have to learn is what makes you feel good. Think of simple pleasures, like a nice cup of your favourite tea, the sound of wood pigeons or a small bunch of flowers by your bed when you wake up in the morning. It can be anything, but it is amazing that even though we know what makes us feel good, we almost never do it.
Today I will share with you my first 10 Feel Beautiful and Confident style tips:
- Dress Smart Women in Leadership have to always, always dress smart. It should become a habit. First of all, you never know who you going to meet while dropping your kids somewhere over the weekend, or hopping in to the shops. Second – according to Adam D. Galinsky, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at North-Western University, USA, the clothing you wear affects your psychological processes and your outfit alters how you approach and interact with the world. The phenomenon they discovered is called enclothed cognition.
- Use Scarves Have an array of colourful scarfs in different lengths. To change up outfits and cover your head if you need to go between buildings or to a car on a windy or wet Irish day.
- Enjoy Simple Pleasures Feeling good on the inside is vital to how you look on the outside. As a little exercise write at least five simple pleasures that make you feel good and then promise yourself that you will make a point of doing at least one of them as soon as possible. A few examples might be: The first view of the sea after long day, reading your favourite poem, hugging a hot water bottle, wearing cashmere. When you feel good on the inside you will automatically look better on the outside.
- Juggle Jackets Use your suits and jackets outside the office environment too. They are very versatile and can look great if you swap the collared shirt for a nice t-shirt in the bright colour of your choice under the jacket for a weekend gathering with friends. Also think of bright colour combinations like yellow cardigan, white t-shirt and navy skirt or trousers. During my career in Brown Thomas one of the most asked questions was “Will they match?”. I always advised my clients to remember that colours don’t have to match, they need to tone
- Power Dress Dresses and skirts are far more powerful then trousers. Have you ever wondered why Bishops and Cardinals wear flowing gowns? However if you feel more comfortable in a trouser suit, make sure to get one that suits your figure and style. Of course, black is always beautiful, but also think of navy as an alternative.
- Get a Grip ‘Heels maketh the woman’ but avoid shoes that will damage your feet or your hip alignment or your back. Support the upper part of your foot so that your toes don’t have to grip to hold those shoes on.
- Grin and Bare Showing some skin need not be such a frightening experience and can express you feminine side. Think of three quarter sleeved jackets and cardigans, V-neck tops and dresses. Remember though everthing in moderation and less is more.
- Support The Girls Get yourself a good supportive bra. It is called a ‘foundation garment’ for a reason, it can make you look and feel terrific and have you fitting better in your outer clothes, particularly suits and jackets. Make sure you know your bra size too and get professionally fitted. A little lace can do wonders for your confidence too even if you are the only one who knows you are wearing it. It is a great way of reinforcing your self-esteem and internally saying ‘because I am worth it.’
- Loose the Spider Legs Try Nude Legs. Flesh colour stockings are always better than the dark or opaque ones. They look far more elegant with any outfit. When I first came to Ireland I was amazed at how many women wore thick black tights. These may keep you warm in winter but flesh coloured tights work better with dresses and suits.
- Hang Ups Are Good Hang your clothes up when you take them off. The heat from your body will stop them from wrinkling which is what happens if you leave them on the floor or draped over a chair.
Next Blog is about good haircare Ten Tips for Tumbling Tresses. Until then you can follow me on twitter @LanaLitmanova
In 2011 Svetlana completed three years study in Positive Psychology, Philosophy and Spirituality in Milltown Institute, Dublin.
Svetlana has long been fascinated by the power of image and the psychology behind it that affects our choice of clothes and our mind set. Her expertise is advising people especially career executives on how they can harness their personal brand to influence their own career in positive ways.
Svetlana has witnessed how important the role of a professional image is in setting a person apart from the competition and projecting his or her unique selling points.
Lana Litmanova #theselfesteemdoctor #wonderwomenadvisor