Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dress To Impress

I was lucky enough to get a mentor to guide me in my career. And her feedback definitely has influenced some of my choices.

Today, we had a funny exercise. She was trying to see if I have the ability to gauge a person's level (helpdesk, trader, employee, supervisor, AVP, VP, Director, etc.) based on their attire.

We sat at one of the coffee shops near our office and watch the traffic of people passing by. Our first subject was wearing a sleeveless dress, hemline way above the knee and open toe shoes. I said she looked unprofessional because of the sleeveless dress, the hemline being too far up above the knee and the open toe shoes. Everything about the attire is wrong. It is perfect for shopping but not as a corporate attire.

Two men pass by. One wearing dark pants, white long-sleeved polo shirt, red tie. The other is wearing dark pants as well, khaki colored long-sleeved polo shirt and a dark tie. From the look of them the guy in the white shirt is the supervisor and the guy in khaki color his subordinate.

Three people passed by. A guy in a suite on the right, a girl in the middle and a guy in long-sleeve polo shirt on the left. It was obvious from the looks of them that the guy on the right is the boss and the other two his employees.

A lady in a dark suit passed by but I had to say she's still not the right style due to the blatant white shoes. It's a bit garish for such a formal attire. It didn't quite make it.

We passed judgment to a few more passers by. Until it was time for us to go back. It is amazing what a simple detail like a scarf can do to an outfit. Or how some jewelries can change your look.  Reading a lot of fashion magazines does have its advantages.  It gives you a certain know-how about different types of attire including casual, business casual and corporate.

I know I am not quite there yet as I still need to spend a lot more to get the type of wardrobe that I want.

When was the last time you took a careful look at your attire and really cared about the image you are projecting?

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