Cindy Novotny

Pay Attention to Your ‘Look’

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I dedicate this blog to Micaela Erlanger and Bree Jacoby, who I have had the great fortune of spending some quality time with.  Micaela gave me her book ‘How to Accessorize’, and I am now obsessed.  I have thought for awhile that we are losing our edge in business etiquette and dressing for success.

Until I read her book, I just continued to think that maybe I was too strict in my desire to make sure everyone looks good, dresses with class and knows how to go from day to night with ease.

I was raised with the notion that you dress for the job you want, and if you dress for it – you can have it.  Again, over time and with the push for ‘casual Fridays,’ more comfortable clothes at work and a work environment that screams – sloppy is just fine as long as you get your work done has created a workforce of people that need to back up, look in the mirror and recognize that how you dress says a lot about who you are and how you are perceived.

Micaela explains it so well in her book.  Do you really know how to dress, accessorize and make a statement?  If you don’t, buy the book immediately!

Everything we talk about in business today and especially in sales, leadership, and customer service, is about painting the picture – storytelling.  Think about the story you are telling every time you step out the door to go to work, attend an event or even jump on a plane.  Just the other day I was sitting on a plane as people were boarding.  I dress for every flight, comfortable but professional enough to talk to the CEO next to me.

After the plane landed and I stood up, this woman a few rows back said, “Cindy, I knew it was you when I passed you before we took off.”  She then said, “who else would look this good on a plane.”  That confirmed what I have always said – you never know you will run into, who you will sit by, or what opportunities are available if you are not dressing the part.

Another very clever and bright young lady that I have also spent some time with knows this as well, is Bree Jacoby – www.breejacoby.com  She gets it.  Her company does personal styling for you right from your own closet and brings the brands to you. 

Her home of style shows exactly how executives (both men and women) need to dress to improve their presence and their careers.  Whether she is editing your closet, creating custom clothing or personal shopping, she is making a difference once client at a time.  Her relationship with you is ongoing. Bree knows that you need to feel confident, every step of the way. 

I love how she makes her point - “Dress for Success” is a famous line for a reason. Clothing is that non-verbal, say-everything kind of impression that determines how others perceive you. Dressing right for that business meeting, new date, work trip, or a wedding is important for your personal brand. Let’s face it: confidence is key, and it’s impossible, without a fantastic wardrobe to pair with it.

So, the next time you feel like just rolling out of bed and heading to the office, think again.  These young, talented entrepreneurs are changing the face of ‘casual Fridays!’

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