How to dress for success without losing your uniqueness -

How to dress for success without losing your uniqueness

What comes to mind you think about dressing for success, that is dressing for important meetings with clients or investors, if you are a business owner, or dressing for interviews, work commitments if you are employed?

What if I told you that what matters is not what you wear, or not even so much whether your outfit suits your body shape?

What to wear to look professional has been the most frequent question I get asked recently. So this blog is my answer to all those who find it challenging.

My current professional look

My current “signature” professional look

As women, we are greatly affected by what we wear. Our clothes have the power to make us feel confident, radiant, authentic and at the same time an outfit can dim our light or make us want to hide.

The thing is, despite what the magazines, the social media and the stylists tell us, it is not so much what you wear but how you approach this subject inside that makes the biggest difference.

As someone who has gone through a wide range of “professional looks” in my career, from suits and shirts, to feminine dresses and even creative outfits, I can tell you there isn’t one answer to this question.

Today, I am lucky to work for myself, doing what I love, so when it comes to style rules, I make them up. This is essentially what your signature style is all about – creating your own rules. Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, this is possible for you too.

The reason why so many of us feel stressed when dressing for an important client session, a networking event or an investor meeting, is because we believe we need to impress others in order to succeed. The whole idea of dressing for success has been traditionally based on this notion: determine what others may be expecting from you and then try to match their expectation in the best possible way.

The problem with this, especially for us women, is that by focusing on pleasing others, we give away our power, and this is not professional. It may seem counterintuitive, but think about it. When you put other people’s opinion above your own and you put all the effort into impressing others or matching their expectations, how does it make you feel?

One thing we forget is that we cannot even control what opinions others form. So why put your energy there?

Instead, ask yourself who you are and what is it you want to authentically communicate with your clothes, which serve as not only a cover for your body but also a form of non-verbal language, your unique signature.

So here is a new way to dress for success.

1. Be clear about who you are and what qualities set you apart. If you are not clear yet, it may be time to journal.

2. Give yourself permission to be who you are, despite what you think people may or may not expect.

It is who you are and your unique combination of qualities that people in your professional circles want really.

2. Ask yourself how you can dress to express your unique qualities? This is your signature style at work (hint: it won’t be drastically different from your general or play signature style). 

What do you want others to know about you? For example, if are you a fun, enthusiastic, vibrant personality, which your clients love you for, there is no point in trying to blend in by wearing something conservative, such as a grey suit, if it does not make you feel good. This leads me to the next point…


Colourful and elegant

3. Ask yourself how you want to feel at the meeting, at work, at the event. You outfit choice needs to be guided by how you want to feel. If you don’t feel authentic, if you don’t feel free, if you are not radiant, you will find it harder to do what you require to do. Plus, life just loses its sparkle.

One woman I’ve worked with recently shared with me that she was challenged by the whole subject of “professional look”. Working with corporate clients, she felt she needed to wear black trouser suits to meet their expectations. But when she did, she did not feel like herself, which affected her confidence and even the way she related to her work – suddenly it seemed boring. Once we helped her to clearly see what her signature style was she immediately felt more confident in her professional abilities too.

By the way, I have nothing against suits or jackets. If wearing a suit empowers you and makes you feel great, wearing it is a great idea. If, however, you feel your creative side is suppressed by wearing a suit, remember you don’t have to wear it. You can show up as yourself.

Not all jackets are "boring"...

Not all jackets are “boring”…

4. If you need fresh ideas, go to a lovely boutique that inspires you and experiment with new looks. I do this regularly for myself and with clients and I love the new looks that emerge.

5. If you are still struggling and you know this is taking up your energy and affecting your confidence, I invite you to speak with a style expert who can help you. Don’t put this off and let it use up your energy.

natalia-shpek-5445-webThis is the area I love helping women with.

So if you are ready to give yourself permission to be all of you in your professional life, as well as all areas of your life, and dress in a way that brings out your unique beauty and personality, I invite you to a complimentary 20 minute Signature Style Discovery Session.

Click here to book your session today.