I am blessed to look years younger than I am, and I promise I'm grateful. I'm also an artist, so I'm not terribly taken with corporate getup or investing in suits when I want to work for myself one day. But the consequence is that when I'm schmoozing at conferences and press events, I'm often treated as if I'm fresh out of college, rather than as the experienced, connected manager that I am.
Can I update my wardrobe in cross-functional ways that will help me be taken seriously, without investing in a wardrobe I'll have to toss when I'm a full-time artist in a few years?
Charity, New York, NY
Congrats on EXCELLENT genes! I know being treated like an inexperienced newbie probably feels extremely irritating and dismissive. I absolutely believe that there are ways to update your wardrobe that you'll be able to use for years to come no matter your career. I also believe you can come across as that experienced kick-ass manager that you are without the antiquated power-suit of the last 4 decades.
I would start investing in pieces that:
Fit Well. It's amazing how a well-tailored blouse, skirt, blazer, or slacks compliment your silhouette--no matter your size.
Show a Bit of Individual Personality. Purchase pieces that when someone sees you in them they think, "THAT IS SO YOU!" Whether that be a vintage brooch that is paired with a velvet blazer or a hot-pink mini skirt. You know your personal style. OWN IT! (and if you don't know your personal style--allow yourself the freedom to experiment. It's fun!)
Are of Interesting Color and Texture. Pair unusual things together. I am still in love with the furry leopard coats matched with a luxurious floral tapestry bodysuit--a look I mentioned in an earlier post. (I know this is an insane thing and if you wore that to a board meeting you would get some strange looks, but, it's currently my favorite example.)
Classic Shoes and Handbags and a Trench Coat. Sometimes a classic pair of black heels, a sleek handbag, and basic trench add elevated elements to an otherwise casual look. With these simple accessories you can get away with so much--it's very easy to look "put together".
I created a board for inspiration on Pinterest for you: Professional Looks for an Artist. Hope this helps!
Reader, what have I forgotten?! Let us know in the comments.
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