Fashion is a modern day career concern for everyone, especially moms. When you are trying to make a good first impression, your personal appearance is a big consideration. For moms, this can be tough. It’s likely that on some days, you struggle to look confident, fresh and full of energy, because you probably started your day earlier than everyone else and feel like you already put in a full day’s work before even arriving to the office. One of the most important times to be on your A-Game when it comes to your work wardrobe is when interviewing for a new job or a promotion. As much as we hate to admit it, first impressions often stick with us, especially when it comes to our clothes.
Every mom’s dream is to have that magic closet that can give you that vigorous and professional look, that naturally makes you look like a strong and intelligent woman your kids and colleagues will look up to.
We all know what that mental spiral can turn into: “I want to be memorable, but not appear too eager.” “I want to look fashionable, so I don’t look out of touch, but I also want to let people know I’m a serious professional.” The contradictions of your work wardrobe checklist can feel impossible. We hope these simple tips will help you as you dress to impress.
1. Comfort Is Key
Obviously, wearing sweatpants or your yoga pants to your next board meeting is not the look you’re going for, especially when wanting to make a good impression. However, being uncomfortable is noticeable. If you choose an outfit that you think looks good but feels awful, it is a recipe for failure. If all you are doing is tugging at the pants that are too tight or trying not to scratch yourself, you suddenly don’t look as professional as you had hoped.
The last thing you want is for a room full of your colleagues to be distracted from your workplace genius by the constant readjustment of your clothes. For new, moms don’t push it too far, especially when you know you have to shed pounds before you can wear that pencil skirt again. Give yourself time and don’t fret too much on feeling thick.
The same rule applies to shoes. While we aren’t suggesting slippers or running shoes, comfortable footwear has the edge over uncomfortable shoes when it comes to professional success. It won’t matter how fabulous your shoes are or how great they look with your outfit if you are hobbling. Not only does it make you seem silly for wearing shoes that hurt your feet, but the searing foot pain of an uncomfortable pair of shoes can be an ultimate distraction from your work.
2. Wear An Eye Catching Accessory
This is a good tip particularly for those in a competitive professional arena. Having a light or memorable element to your look helps people take notice without having to be visually overwhelmed. It can be extremely easy to go overboard with this one. This is why we recommend you pick one exciting element and leave it at that.
Fashion accessories are endless. You could easily incorporate a scarf or tie to capture attention and give you that competitive edge. Things like a bright or patterned accent belt or a jacket with large buttons are good examples of great accents that aren’t loud or off-putting. Even something as simple as a blouse with a unique pattern or a piece of statement jewelry can set you apart. Just be sure to keep it tasteful. Keeping the limit to a one-star focal point will prevent your outfits from screaming “desperation.” I think we can all agree that there are fashion statements, and then their pleas for attention.
3. Wear Your Confidence
Feeling good in what you are wearing is the most important thing to consider when you are dressing to achieve your professional goals. There may be times when the professional dress code pushes you outside your comfort zone. This makes it all the more important that you personalize the parts of your ensemble that make you the most uncomfortable.
Perhaps you are a person who is more reserved and introverted. It could be that the thought of wearing anything outside of a neutral tone that may draw attention sounds horrifying. So you may want to consider small attention pieces, to begin with.
Or maybe you are someone who can’t resist a beautiful accessory. Limiting your loud self-expression to a professional environment can seem like torture to an extroverted personality. That’s why it’s is important for you to put great consideration into making sure that your selections are comfortable (no matter how positively gorgeous they may be). Deliberately choosing your focal point piece allows you to enjoy your personality without making it the point of conversation. You want your work to shine, so the bravado of your style may have to take a back seat at the office.
Striking the perfect balance between outlandish and boring while remaining professionally appropriate can sometimes be easier said than done. It is important to find the middle ground between uninhibited self-expression, motherhood and the sort of business camouflage that makes you fading into the background. Hopefully, these tips will come in handy the next time your business fashion needs parameters or helpful guidelines.
Cari Samalik is a Michigan based entrepreneur and Mom and the CEO & co-founder of Livnfresh – a state related T-shirt brand. Previously, she worked in the healthcare, and food and beverage industries before marrying into a screen printing business.