In our continuing 15th year celebration of FocusOnStyle online, let’ s revist this favorite post about what to wear for the stay-at-home entrepreneur. This timeless post is from 2000, complete with it’s original header art. –S.H.
Real World Dressing For The Stay-At-Home Business Pro
Dear Sharon: For the past several years, I have practically had to beg, borrow, and steal to get my dream business off the ground. Finally, investments have rolled in.
Now, instead of looking like the power player people think I am, I’m more like someone who has been dressing in the dark.
Let me explain.
I’ve been working off my kitchen floor (as opposed to a conference table) propped alongside the Mr. Coffee, wearing ratty sweats and, my hair plunked in a topsy-turvy ponytail. How can I develop a real-world look to match the image that I am supposed to have? –Fashion Sham (Brooklyn, New York, via fashion advice)
>> RELATED: Our curated What to Wear for Work Business Style Guide
Dear Fashion Sham: Great-going, you power-wielding pixy! You smashed the glass ceiling via the privacy of your own Betty Crocker launch pad… how thoroughly divine. While you may have been a fashion shut-in, you surely had the stick-with-it-ness to become a kitchen floor entrepreneur.
Before you begin your style revival, junk all those half-drunk coffees that surround you and venture over to the most popular café in town– it will be reality-check-it-out heaven. Start to reacquaint yourself with what modern business professionals wear while you flip thru some inspirational fashion magazines. In our bean-crazy society, kaffeemeisters keep fab mags around to encourage you to leaf while you down another designer java.
>> MORE: Favorite posts from the 15 Years Online Anniversary Celebration
As long as you are cruising about, get a head’s up on beauty maintenance. Have a manicure and paint your toenails feel-good red. While waiting for the polish to dry, pull out your cell phone (time waits for no one when you have a new business to run) and make an appointment to restyle your hair into something more deserving to a successful woman. All that time under the glare of a fluorescent kitchen fixture probably didn’t exactly do wonders to brighten your hair color. Schedule a consultation with a colorist to make your hair radiate.
You may not be able to plunk down big bucks for a wardrobe just yet–your investment money is for the business, sadly not for your luxo wardrobe. But, you will be able to distill what you need. And, a girl in a power position demands a few good things to keep up her image.
Less is more when it comes to a perfect streamlined wardrobe. Avoid anything fussy or slick, it will be too much of a style shock from your lazy (as if) days at home… opt for more of a relaxed elegance feel. Always choose the best fabrications you can afford. Nothing shouts “not quite there” more than cruddy fabrics. Dress the part of where you want to be, not where you are.
Saunter over to the chicest store in your neighborhood to get a ton of ideas as to what looks fantastically flattering on you. And, maybe even come upon a stylishly superior black suit on sale, the staple of a solid professional wardrobe, along with killer shoes and handbag. Fashion Flash: Ladylike gold-chain shoulder chain bags are back with a vengeance.
Then, go a little cheaper down the price line and fill in your wardrobe with a wealth of awesome basics and a few signature style pieces.
Items that do double-duty are can’t-live-without wardrobe stretchers. Like a few vibrant blouses that zap up a simple suit or straight pant for meetings can also look perfectly hot worn undone with some blue jeans and a pair of sexy sandals later in the evening. A dark leather pant that speaks cutting-edge chic when worn with a suit jacket and silk shirt by business day, also looks of-the-moment sporty worn with a rocker t-shirt on a Saturday in the city.
Whatever you do select, be sure the fit is flawless. Same time, next year, let’s meet in your conference room.
Hankering for some image boosting advice? Ask Sharon: Advice Page
Original Publish: copyright (c) 2000 Sharon Haver