As a workplace leader, you want to dress with power and authority, yet still appear approachable to your staff. Dressing for a management position requires the mastery of five key steps to maintain a professional image without sacrificing individuality. Learn how to dress effectively for a position in management and climb the corporate ladder with style.
Make a list of key style items for your management position. Before any shopping excursion think about the six necessary wardrobe pieces to help you dress for a position in management: suits, blouses, dresses, separates, outerwear, shoes and accessories. To build a basic management wardrobe, select two items from each category for each season. Surf the web or visit department stores to research the prices of each item before adding the pieces to your existing wardrobe.
Mimic the style of existing management. Each company has its own distinct corporate culture. Dressing for a position in management requires you to wear clothes that represent the organization effectively. Select clothing options that mirror the style of dress of your management peers and the CEO. For example: Wall Street bankers normally wear custom suits, blouses and designer shoes that are more conservative in color and style, as a standard management uniform.
Use power suits to assert authority. A manager should dress in a classic suit to give the impression of competence and authority. A dark colored suit--whether it is in the classic style of navy, black, dark gray or pinstripes--indicates that the wearer is important and demands respect. When dressing for a position in management wear the power suit for important presentations, board meetings, and during any interactions with reporters or the public.
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Wear signature accessories and shoes to express individuality. You’ve identified how your company expects management to dress. Add your own personal style to the management uniform with unique accessories and shoes. Pick three key accessories to add to your outfit to express individuality. Select a stylish watch, a string of pearls or a simple pendant for jewelry options. In a strict corporate environment like banking, medicine, law or real estate, a well-dressed manager should refrain from open-toed or strappy sandals. But in a more relaxed business casual environment, a manager can be more flexible with her individual style options for work.
Frequent favorite stores to maintain your signature look. Once you’ve mastered how to dress for a position in management, select four to five stores to maintain your workplace style. By selecting only a few stores to build your workplace wardrobe, you’ll add the best pieces to your workplace collection slowly without going over budget. Maintain a relationship with the sales associates within these stores. These style gurus will act as your personal stylists by selecting clothing options for you that will help you dress for your management position without hiring an image consultant.
Mimi Abney is a lifestyle writer specializing in online content for women. Her work has appeared in NewsOK.com and "Keepsake Magazine," among other publications. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience for the web and print, Abney is also a contributor to online health, beauty and fashion publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Spelman College.