How to Take Yourself to the Next Level

I am back today to talk all about how to dress for success at work. I had the amazing opportunity to be on the news twice with WFXR and to be featured on their Virginia At Work segment.  If you watched the live segment and found this article from there welcome and I hope you enjoy reading and learning.


We were only able to touch on this important factor for success so my desire is to share more with you here.  Fashion has always been a huge passion of mine and that was the reason I pursued Fashion Merchandising at Virginia Tech graduating with a Fashion Merchandising Degree and a Minor in Business. 15 years later and the passion is still a fire in my soul.

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There are a few key things to remember when deciding how to present yourself in the workplace:

  • Clothing doesn’t define you, but does design you for success. You don’t have to have the most expensive suit in the office or the perfect on trend shoes to be successful. But you should know how to dress appropriately for your position with items that fit the way they should and look put together. If you look good you generally feel good too. It’s all about building your confidence. Confidence will boost your performance.
  • What do you want to be remembered for? You should want to be remembered for your personality and what you bring to the business. Attire should supplement your personality instead of overpowering it.  
  • As a general rule, try to fit into the culture of the company you work for. Being appropriate is about more than being modest, it’s about being a team player and adjusting to the environment. Some of you may be able to wear jeans every day to work while others have to wear a full suit. Be a team player and dress according to your office environment. Always say no to visible undergarment lines, too high heels, flashy clothing, and ladies should avoid too much jewelry, which can be distracting.
  • Appearance translates to performance, if you dress according to the environment, you will feel confident. Doing some small things like taking the time to dry your hair or throw on a few touches of makeup is key to making yourself look polished. It will help you feel the part. What if a major client comes into the office that day requesting a meeting? You will feel confident that you can help them and be a good spokesperson for your business. These situations happen more than we would like them too, so even if it’s a more casual day, try to keep a blazer on hand or an extra pair of heels.

Welcome to my little segment of THIS OR THAT!

I will show you one item worn two different ways to show you one way that it works and why the other one doesn’t work! Some of these outfits are still cute to wear out & about, just not for a work environment.


Pencil skirts are a major office staple! They make your look sleek and can be a versatile item in your wardrobe.


The outfit on the left is just not work appropriate. First, an all sequined top is probably not the best thing to wear to an office environment. Second, this sweater is nice if it is your last option on a chilly day, but it really isn’t doing anything for my figure. These black flats are nice every once in a while, but heels always elongate your body. With this specific outfit, it would have been better to add a pop in the shoe to make the look less black.


This outfit is perfect to wear to work. You have a great pencil skirt paired with a blue blouse. Even though it is figure flattering, it is not super tight or revealing! The shoes are super comfortable and are able to be worn all day, make sure you look for a staple pair of heels like that. I love this outfit because it is professional and flattering while not being too flashy.


It is important to have a few go-to dresses in your closet. You want to be able to grab a dress and accessorize it quickly for multiple different outfits. I love this creme dress that I have because it is figure flattering and a good base item for an outfit.


I would love to wear this outfit to a country concert, but I cannot see this in an office setting. As much as I love my cowboy boots, please do not wear them to the office! This outfit is way too casual to be meeting with clients and trying to negotiate business deals.


Another wardrobe staple that you need to have is a great blazer. See how quickly throwing on a blazer made this outfit look professional? Along with some statement pumps and a necklace, I am ready to walk out the door!


Casual Friday is what the work world lives for. Finally getting to put away the stiff looking professional clothes to throwing on a pair of jeans for the office seems like heaven!


The outfit on the left is okay for bringing your kids to school or going on a casual coffee date with a friend, but it does not belong in the workplace. First off, these jeans are way too shredded! Can you see how stalky they make my legs look? The outfit together just looks way too casual and not sleek enough.


Even though these jeans still have a few shredded details on them, the dark wash and slim fit makes the outfit look sleek. This fun wrap is a silky material that adds a sophisticated pop to the outfit. It is important to pay attention to the materials that you are wearing because they make a big difference. Simply changing from a jersey knit to a silk can totally enhance your outfit.

Do you want to be remembered for how you dressed, or for how you performed in the workplace? What if your corporate managers came into your office that day and you’re wearing cowboy boots or some shredded jeans? You would probably shy away from them rather than presenting yourself in a professional way.

Attitude in the workplace is the main reason for success. Your clothing is a representation of who you are and how you view yourself. An easy way to improve your look is to buy a few wardrobe staples and make sure they fit properly. If you have these pieces that you can instantly feel confident in, you will then be able to rock just about any outfit. Remember, your attitude determines your altitude.


I am also available to come as an expert in this field and give your closet a professional clean up along with help you build a wardrobe for success. To book your consultation contact me at 540-449-8490 or I will be more than happy to help you if you are stuck and can’t seem to buy the right items for your professional career. It is worth every penny!

Read Lynda’s blog about dressing in the workplace!


What pieces are staples to wear in your workplace?

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