During COVID-19, I had some time on my hands, as did many of my fellow image consultants. We had a couple of Zoom meetings to discuss business, whether we were doing it, how we were doing it, and how we were possibly working in the future. It was fascinating and a great time of inflection. Anyway, after this, I decided to add more Indianapolis Corporate Styling virtual services in addition to some offerings I already had.
Has COVID Changed Your Professional Image?
I can say that my time during COVID-19 was productive, stimulating, and really a sweet retreat from the normal business of life. Was it that way for you? It was quiet around our busy city neighborhood, I relished our evening walks and eating at home. Yes, I missed certain things, but after a while, I didn’t even notice it. What does this have to do with the business of styling? It is a business, believe me. What you wear on the outside and reflect the person you are on the inside.
That is why most image consultants I know talk about how they really explore a client’s goals, present outlook, and willingness to venture out and try new things. Really when a stylist does an outstanding job in working with a client, there will be a change in appearance, for the better. Only when a client truly shares their thoughts and feelings and how they want to become. That’s when the image can move forward.
Let’s talk about making outfits. In my experience, I have found some clients really struggle with making outfits and selecting items for certain looks or events. This is where I find my expertise is needed. First, as an Indianapolis Corporate Styling expert, I have a whole range of tips about dressing for work. Looking professional, whether on a Zoom call or even back in the office, can mean several things. It’s true: we don’t dress as formally as we used to in the office. Who knows if this will ever change. If I could wave my magic wand, I would, and we would truly dress business casual again. Now, we dress more “casual” and “athleisure.”
Keeping A Professional Look Is Still Essential
If someone is in a middle layer position but wants to be promoted; I advise them to follow the principle we’ve all heard: dress for the job you want, not the job you already have. You want to appear that if you are chosen for an executive or management position that you can look the part. Research has shown that employees who dress more professionally are the ones a company will select to represent the company outside the office. If you’re in sales or already take on a leadership role, dressing up might still be expected of you from home whether it’s been explicitly said or not. Take it from am Indianapolis Corporate Styling expert, it never hurts to overdress for work (no matter where the office is for you).
Beyond that, clients are often “obsessed” with their style and how best they can show that. I often say: “we’ll be true to your style and personal preference, but we won’t necessarily reflect it in your work outfits”. You can still show off your personal style at work, but some styles should be saved for after hours. For instance, the dramatic client who loves hoop earrings. Not just any hoop, the ones that are huge, three-inches, or larger. Is this a look she should wear the office? No! But hanging out with friends over the weekend? Yes!
Keep it sassy, Indy.
Beth Divine, MA, AICI Certified Image Consultant & Indianapolis Corporate Styling
President, Beth Divine Style