Although it shouldn't be the be all and end all, no one can deny that how you present yourself at work makes a difference. Not just a difference to others and how they perceive you, but (most importantly) to you and how you feel - in fact whether or not you feel confident on a particular day is often the make or break for success.
No matter how great you are at your job, it can be hard to know if your outfits are doing you justice - that is do they always help you achieve the right interest and therefore the right result?
To help you on your quest, CECILY designers Louise and Sarah offer some things to keep in mind...
1) Avoid looking like you're about to hit the clubs
It might sound obvious, but many of us aren't aware this is what we look like. No matter how great your figure, short skirts and low necklines have no place at the office and even in height of Summer that crop top is definite no-no! We’re all for using your feminine charms to make a positive influence at work but – watchword alert– subtlety is the key. It’s all too easy for colleagues to accuse us women of using our assets to get ahead so let’s try not to give them unnecessary ammunition!
Instead: Wear what’s appropriate - but always with a heel!
To make sure your outfit is office ready, we recommend observing these 3 rules: a modest neckline, sleeves and a comfortable fit. However, we at CECILY believe that legs – if properly adorned – are always appropriate and although it’s true that not all of us can walk in six-inch heels and whilst looking like we can float on air, a little does go long way! Adding even a small heel or wedge to a structured knee-length skirt can transform your outfit, giving you stature and making you look and feel like you can tackle anything.
2) Try not to be too ‘frilly’
Us CECILY ladies are all about the girly and pretty side of fashion, but there are better ways to achieve this than just wearing anything in your wardrobe that's floral! Many surveys have shown that floaty skirts and frilly tops (and lots of pink!) are not only considered unprofessional but also emulate a 'fairer sex’ vibe, meaning men tend to treat them differently. Although a little (often scarce!) male chivalry doesn't go amiss these days, us women still need to show we can handle an situation just as well as the men, so be careful your clothes don’t give off the wrong impression.
Despite it being possible to go a bit overboard on the whole girly thing, we still want you to use your feminine touch. Although hot pink with green polka dots isn’t recommended, it is important to add a splash of detail or colour to your outfits to show you’re not all boss and boardroom. A feminine three-quarter length sleeve or pretty gathered neckline can really make you stand out, softening the look without sabotaging it. Also, emancipate yourself now and again from the bottomless 'black hole' so many of us get trapped into, by trying a dark blue, green or cherry red. It could help to liven up your week a little!
3) Don’t make it casual (but don't make it complicated!)
It is true that some jobs require their staff to be more presentable than others, but let’s face it, looking like you’ve just thrown on the nearest thing to your bed, never does anyone any favours. Also, although we don’t recommend your clothes be too tight, maxi skirts and loose fitting clothes, tend to camouflage your figure and often look rather boxy. You don't want to look like you've put on the wrong suit in the morning!
That said, the time of 80s “power dressing” has now passed and we no longer need to wear over complicated, multi-piece outfits that “look a bit like suits”. Not only is it time-consuming for women to find separate items such as shirts, skirts/trousers and jackets, they often fit badly and therefore are not always particularly flattering.
Instead: Choose your fit wisely and invest in good tailoring
Properly tailored outfits create the perfect silhouette and always make you look well put together. A structured bodice with a beautiful nipped in waist, will mean your outfit will look like it was made just for you. We know it sounds silly but this can have a strong impact not just on your confidence but on how others perceive you, almost like you are control of everything – including the way your clothes fit!
Why a Dress?
It is the simplicity of wearing one piece that makes the dress such practical office wear. CECILY’s capsule collection of designs, each expertly tailored in beautiful fabrics, need only to be teamed with essential accessories - that perfect coat, bag and shoes. Also, CECILY designers have carefully considered the lengths, sleeves and necklines of their dresses so each style is not only office appropriate, but incredibly elegant, feminine and sophisticated.