As an entrepreneur, fashion may be the furthest thing from your mind. After all, you have presentations to plan, people to manage, and an endless flow of emails to answer. But looking the part is every bit as important as acting it. Clothing may not make the man (or woman, in this case), but it certainly makes an impression.
If you enter a roomful of investors looking polished and put-together (despite the fact that you’ve been sweating out sale numbers for the past week), you’ll instill more confidence in your leadership abilities than if you show up looking as if you haven’t slept for several days. Here are five stylish essentials every entrepreneur ought to have in her closet:
- A statement necklace. A well-chosen necklace makes that little black dress look chic and current. It gives that simple v-neck sweater an unexpectedly elegant twist. It dresses up a plain Jane suit. Plus, most people will be so dazzled by your gorgeous necklace that they won’t notice any flaws like tired, puffy eyes. It could be a colorful assortment of chunky beads, a monochromatic art piece, or an ethnic-inspired pendant, but it should make you look and feel fantastic.
- A perfectly fitted blazer. Whether pin-striped, tweed, or solid colored, a blazer that fits you perfectly will command attention and give you instant authority. It dresses up denim and t-shirts or layers over a favorite dress. As soon as you put it on, you’ll feel more powerful and confident. If you can’t find one that fits and flatters your shape, it’s worth having one tailored.
- A jersey dress. The beauty of the jersey dress is that it’s comfortable, portable, and timeless. Unlike linen or other materials, jersey can survive being shoved in a suitcase and still look stylish on the other end. Wrap dresses flatter most body types, but don’t limit yourself to that style if you find another one you love. They’re so versatile, it makes sense to have several in your closet that you can accessorize differently.
- Fabulous, yet comfortable shoes. Standing for hours during speaking engagements and client presentations certainly takes its toll on your feet, so you need a pair of shoes that won’t give you blisters or otherwise make you uncomfortable. Depending on the person, that may mean a pair of beaded ballet flats or shiny heels with a T strap. Look for shoes with ample support, and don’t settle for something dowdy looking just because you need to be comfortable. Nowadays, there are plenty of shoe designers who satisfy your need for style and comfort.
- A stylish, yet roomy bag. Avoid bag lady syndrome by choosing one bag that’s large enough to hold your laptop, smartphone, makeup, wallet, and other essentials. It should have several pockets to help you stay organized. Black or tan are popular choices, since they’ll go with almost anything. But if you really want to make a statement, choose a bag in a bolder color like red or purple.
With these five fashion staples in your closet, you’ll be ready for any occasion, from speaking engagements to cocktail parties to media appearances.
© 2010 Ali International, LLC
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