Hi Fashionable Friends,
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know SOS is all about giving you the tools to walk tall with confidence and shine your brightest. I consistently strive to bring the latest + greatest tips, words of wisdom and inspiration to this community so I’m thrilled to introduce you to my dear friend and fellow fashion maven, LAURIE GRAHAM. One of the many things that set Laurie apart in her field is her insight to identifying each client’s personality. She styles each individual by incorporating trends into their wardrobe, rather than trying to make their whole look too trendy. Laurie is a true confidence-builder and her contagious, positive energy instantly makes you feel better when you are in her presence. She’s smart, sassy, stunning, super funny and an inspiration to all women– well of course, she’s a Texas girl!
Meet the Fab LG….
It’s Monday morning & you find yourself staring blankly into your closet trying to decide what to wear to work … (in 5 minutes or less!) Your closet is shoved full of clothes, yet you still suffer from the “I have nothing to wear” syndrome. Since you have an important meeting today, you decide on something all black. It’s classic & that’s what your first boss told you to wear to look “professional” in front of clients, right? WRONG!
I’ve been feverishly updating the images of hard working business professional clients for the past 8 years. I’ve styled hundreds of private clients ranging from school teachers to real estate agents to the CEO’s of major corporations. Consistently, the biggest mistake that I see women make in their professional attire is playing it too safe in an effort to be taken seriously in the work place. Even in the most conservative of jobs, there is no reason to dress like an androgynous man just to feel like you fit in with the boy’s club. Thankfully, having great style and dressing business appropriately are no longer mutually exclusive.
Your image is a big part of your brand. It’s the first impression you make in front of a potential employer or a prospective client. Stand in your power as a woman & make it as easy as possible for someone to tell you “YES!” Remember the saying, “dress, act & talk like the person you want to become?” Rather than wearing something boring & forgettable, start making purchases that attract positive attention. People want to associate themselves with someone who shines their light brightly and can own a room. A pop of color, some modern style and impeccable fit are your secret weapons to standing out from your competition. If you aren’t getting at least 10 compliments on your wardrobe every single day, you aren’t maximizing your strongest calling card … YOU! No matter what dress size, age group or income level you are, there are affordable and stylish outfit options to flatter your figure and respect your wallet. And for the record, the best way to fit in the boy’s club is by being the most confident and powerful WOMAN in the office!
Here are my Top (3) Wardrobe Tips to Close More Deals:
1.)Embrace Your Femininity
Want to make a lasting first impression? Wear a dress. Period. Take our First Lady’s Hilary Clinton & Michelle Obama as examples … Yes, Hilary Clinton is a smart, career driven woman working in a male dominated industry. But, her affinity for wearing box cut pant suits is utterly forgettable. And her lack of updated, feminine attire has opened her up for much criticism. Look at the difference we saw when Michelle Obama came on the scene … because she embraced dresses and cheerful colors, suddenly Vogue magazine labeled her “The First Lady of Style!” Do you see the difference of immediately capturing positive attention? Decades later we are still talking about the impeccable images of Jacqueline Kennedy & Nancy Reagan who always rocked the color red. All smart, motivated women but those ladies are revered as a triple threat of beauty, brains & heart. Shine your feminine light & never apologize for being beautiful!
2.)Choose Soft, Flowy Fabrics
The first thing to replace in your closet are every pair of stiff & structured pants, blazers and man-ish dress shirts. Inject a shot of modern style by choosing pants with a soft fabric that drape down your leg and blouses that are flowy like silk or sheer chiffon worn with a cami. Structured pants (like Chino style khaki’s) flatten your buns & cup your thighs, whereas a silk blend pant will slide right off your keister giving you the buns of a 12-year old gymnast! And, by all means your blouses should embody a soft, flowy style with tapering and feminine detail. Check out this example of a fierce, feminine pants look!
3.)Focus on Fit
There is a big difference between wearing clothes that are too tight or too boxy versus wearing clothes that just graze your body and flatter your shape! The fit of your clothing is the #1 most important aspect to pulling off a sophisticated & modern image. Through fashion, we have the ability to choose the proper clothing that gives the ILLUSION of having a smaller waist, longer legs and flatter tummy. Embrace alterations when necessary and get familiar with your proportions so that you know what cuts and hemlines best flatter your specific body type.
There is no better feeling than walking into a board room, packed stage or networking event looking & feeling your best! Grab the attention of your colleagues, clients & superiors by taking pride in your appearance. Once you know all eyes are on you, then you can easily seal the deal with your experience, articulate knowledge and follow through skills. As Nancy Reagan says, “I think a woman gets more if she acts feminine.” Go claim “more” from your life! You deserve it and you’re worth it.
Laurie Graham is a Personal Stylist, Style Expert & TV Host based in Los Angeles, CA.
Follow her on Facebook & Twitter for style tips, inspiration & updates on her TV appearances.