Fashions that Promote You in the Boardroom

[Reposted from the article originally published in the Marin Independent Journal.]

Marin style consultant Cara Henderson recommends the following fashion tips for increasing self-confidence and putting your best (well-heeled) foot forward in the workplace:

1.  Project professionalism in the workplace with jackets and blazers, particularly when meeting a client or presenting to a group.  A “boyfriend” or “cropped bouclé” style is timeless and always looks good.  A jacket with an interesting silhouette or detail allows for a more casual image for a more creative industries.  Try a play on a “military” silhouette, a ruffled lapel or interesting stitching or bold color.  

2.  For a softer look, replace your jacket with a cardigan.  A draped style balances slim pants, a cropped style with flared pants provides a long leg line or pair a slim, hip-length style with a pencil skirt and belt for a polished look.

3.  If your job allows you to wear denim, chooise styles free of fading, details or rips.  Newer silhouettes such as flared or full-leg denim in a darker or a light blue wash can work as a trouser pant.  Just add a pretty blouse, a jacket and heels to finish the look.

4.  Pants and trousers are on-trend right now and there is a style for every body type. Invest money in well-fitting pants in neutral colors such as gray, black, navy an camel that will last over time.  Straight styles look good on everyone, flared styles minimize hips, and a style cropped at the ankle will show off great shoes.

5.  Accessories easily update a tired work wardrobe.  Add a statement necklace or long pendant necklace to update a pantsuit or separates.  Choose a caged style heel or platform pump to transform a simple dress and make a style statement.  A bold cuff bracelet enhances clothers with “minimalist”, clean, simple lines.  A soft scarf raped around the neck can loosen up tailored pieces or dress up a simple knit top.

6.  Keep your own “stylist kit” to look pulled-together and for wardrobe emergencies.  An instant shoeshine sponge will polish shoes with one quick swipe before heading out the door.  Hollywood fashion tape will keep a blouse in place and from being too revealing.  Use a lint brush to keep darker colors free of lint and a sweater de-piller will keep your cashmere sweaters like new — tools to keep you looking boardroom ready.

About carahenderson

Cara Henderson has been enhancing people's images in the fashion industry for over ten years, creating and styling wardrobes for television and print advertising campaigns for a Fortune 500 retail company. She has collaborated with many of the top photographers, models and commercial directors in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In her positions in marketing and advertising, she helped produce and style commercials, photo shoots and fashion shows, many of them award-winning. As head of a fashion product team, Cara oversaw the creation of thousands of looks and outfits, while providing training, mentoring and guidance to young stylists and fashion coordinators. In addition to her many years' experience working in Marketing and Advertising, she has also held positions in Public Relations and retail management. As founder of Cara Henderson Style Consulting, Cara provides style consulting to individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
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