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Five Common Fashion Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them

Look What Colour Can Do For You

Fashion mistakes are a definite no-no as an entry level professional or even a top executive, your image matters. In today’s business environment, judgments are made in the blink of an eye. Regardless of where you are in your career, follow these five tips to avoid common professional fashion mistakes and ensure your effectiveness.

Clothing that Makes You Appear Invisible

You may want to be seen as a dynamic professional. However, if you find that your career isn’t progressing the way you had planned, some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Are you wearing your personal power colours that help you command attention?
  • Do I have a good selection of my own personal power neutral colours in my wardrobe?
  • Are the colours I’m wearing on-trend?

Colour is a powerful business and personal tool that you do not want to overlook as you develop your image. The fashion colours this season may or may not be your friends. Get your colours professionally done to ensure every colour you put on is sending the message you want it to send. You will find that when you wear the colours that are best for you, you will get more attention, be taken more seriously and perhaps best of all, you will feel more confident.

1. Forgetting to Dress Office Appropriate Fashion Mistakes

Whether you interact with the public or not, what you wear affects the way you think, which in turn affects the way you act and ultimately affects how others respond and relate to you.

The personal assets you highlight when socializing with friends or dating, are best kept undercover while at work. What message is being sent if clothing is too tight, too baggy, low cut or too short? Even if it is the trend, it is not appropriate in an office environment. Inappropriate dressing is a major fashion mistake and some people will not take you seriously. No matter how proud you are that your workouts are paying off, showing too much skin will work against you in a co-ed work environment.

Research the dress code in your office thoroughly. Strictly adhere to the company’s rules despite what your colleagues are doing. You never know which person is the one that’s going to get called into Human Resources.

Even on Casual Friday do not get too casual – skip the T-shirt and worn out jeans. Wearing a jacket, a sweater or (for the ladies) even a coloured shawl will help you communicate authority and you will be remembered. The third piece is your “power piece”. It completes your look and is an important part of your wardrobe.

2. Falling Head First Into  Fashion Trends Fashion Mistakes

Do you find that you gravitate to the ‘have-to-haves’ of the season? This may be a challenge as time goes on because you will continually have to update your wardrobe. By choosing timeless pieces, you can bring in a new piece to mix-and-match with your current wardrobe without breaking the bank every season.

If you really want to be fashion forward from 9-5, consider wearing only one trend piece at a time. This way you will still look current and hip without looking like you care more about fashion than looking professional.

3. Too Many or No  Accessories at All Fashion Mistakes

At work, your fashion accessories should complete and complement your outfit, not be attention grabbers themselves. Still, do not be afraid to wear one statement jewellery piece or a bold accessory – just not several at the same time. A great handbag or briefcase can polish your outfit to perfection. However, four necklaces, six bracelets and a big buckle belt will be a bit much for any outfit, and will send the wrong message at the office.

This also applies to your makeup – wear makeup, but don’t overdo it. Your makeup is also an accessory – it should be fresh and should polish your look. Keep the adventurous accessories and dramatic makeup for your personal evening activities.

4. On Trend Hair Style Fashion Mistakes

Nothing says, “I am not on the cutting edge of my profession” quicker than an out-dated hair style. Keep your cut and colour current. If you are sporting a look from another era, it is probably time to update that look. Consult your hairstylist to find out the best possible looks for your face shape, hair texture and skin tone. Try flipping through different magazines and find a style that you like. An updated hairdo can give you a whole new level of confidence.

A big mistake women make is choosing the wrong hair colour for their skin tone. Perfectly balancing the undertone of your skin and your choice of hair colour is the key to having a polished, put together look. When you have a Colour Analysis a good Image Consultant will give you several hair colour options that will bring out the best in your skin and features.

Select one or two of the tips above to focus on over the next few weeks and make the necessary adjustments to your professional image. You will see results and garner the respect and attention you deserve, while having more confidence in the way you present yourself professionally.

Your Image and Its Domino Effect

Success is when preparation and opportunity meet. What happens when someone doesn’t look like they are prepared to take on an opportunity? Most likely that opportunity will pass them by.

The process of managing your image doesn’t need to be extreme to be effective. In fact, the majority of appearance related work I do is in helping clients look more polished rather than making them over completely.

Being dressed in a manner that communicates the message appropriate for the task at hand signals to others that you are prepared to do the job and potentially take on greater responsibility.

“I got the promotion!”

“They asked me to run the meeting.”

“I felt so confident, I nailed the presentation.”

“When I felt the fabric of my new suit it reminded me that I looked professional and gave me the confidence I needed to focus on my delivery and not the evaluators in the room.”

“Since upgrading my image, my colleagues look to me for direction.”

These are examples of some of the comments I hear from my clients when we look back on the results of our work together. For many people, some slight adjustments and the image education gives them the self-confidence to pursue the promotion or to be confident in leading the meeting or providing direction. If you’re confident that you look the part, you will be more confident in your work. What kind of responses would you like to hear from your professional colleagues and friends?

On a personal note, it was image that played a huge role in my transitioning from the cosmetics industry to technology in Silicon Valley. Early in my career, there were times when others believed in me before I believed in myself. Their positive feedback gave me the confidence needed to trust what they saw in me, so I could overcome the fear of change and step out of my comfort zone.

The way you present yourself has a domino effect—it influences your mindset which affects the way you communicate and behave and the way in which others respond to you. If you’re not getting the response you desire, think about what changes might be necessary to alter the outcome.