When you run a small business, you are selling yourself. The first time you meet someone, they form an opinion about you in a matter of 3 seconds based on your appearance alone. People like to do business with people who are successful — or who at least look the part. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, you can still create the impression of success. With a few simple steps, you can send a positive message and make a great first impression. Here are 7 ways to update your look in 2013.
1. Clean out your closet. People tend to hold onto clothes until the closet is overflowing. Ask yourself: Does this piece represent who you are? Make three piles –
one for items that fit well and look great on, one for items that no longer work or are inappropriate for your image, and one for items that need altering. Clearing out clutter helps you determine what you still need, decide what is working for you and what is not. Once your closet has been cleaned, then shop for staple pieces like jackets, pants, skirts and tops to add to your now revised closet. These pieces will give you a variety of looks for different occasions.
2. Wear undergarments that enhance your body shape. Wearing the right underwear or shapewear for your body type is essential. A good undergarment shapes your bottom end and it allows your clothes to fit flawlessly, free of lines, bumps and lumps. For the best results, choose well-fitting undergarments that will enhance your body shape and figure where you need it. Be sure to choose features and benefits, over color and brand. Choose the right size and look for quality fabric. If you need a little help determining your bra size, head on over to places like Nordstrom or Victoria’s Secret for a bra fitting. Don’t forget that what you wear underneath your well-chosen clothes also makes a big difference to the way you feel!
3. Build around classic wardrobe pieces. The building blocks to creating a stellar wardrobe often lie with shopping for classic pieces. Classic wardrobe pieces seem to never go out of fashion, no matter what the current trends are. These classic basics are versatile and can be mixed, matched and layered to create a variety of looks. When choosing great quality and a neutral color, these basics never seem to go out of style (Black turtle neck, little black dress, a jacket the defines your waist, white T-shirt, white button down shirt, pencil skirt, cardigan, trench coat, pea coat, solid colored stretch shirt, tank top, black slacks, black pumps, khakis, jeans, riding boots, pearl necklace, pearl or diamond stud earrings and a pair of sunglasses). Your wardrobe should consist of both the old and new. With the perfect fit and fabric you will look both chic and well put together.
4. Accessorize. The art of accessorizing is the secret to looking great in even the most basic clothes. Choose colors and themes that go well with your outfit. Update your look with variety of accessory styles that will bring color and character to the outfit. Choose a body part to focus on and stick with it. For example: If you choose a chunky necklace, then wear understated earrings like diamond studs or pearls. Don’t be afraid to: mix textures and prints, add bold colors, add a belt, rock a shiny clutch, wear chunky jewelry, accessorize your hair or slip into a pair of sassy heels. Buy pieces that express your personality and remember not to overdo it.
5. Add a few trendy pieces. Buy a few trendy pieces but try not to spend too much money since they only last a little while and will eventually go out of style. Pay attention; if you don’t keep up with the latest trends, your style might look outdated. To avoid looking like everyone else, mix your trendy pieces with classic pieces. Try to stick to one or two trends in an outfit. Add pops of color like tangerine and yellow to update outfits for spring without overdoing it. Wear a trendy garment like a patterned dress or skirt as a focal point and tone it down with basics like a solid colored cardigan. When you are not sure; check in with your wardrobe stylist.
6. Makeup and skincare. Bold lips are a classic way to add both impact and femininity to your look. Your nails may seem like minor details, but they say a lot about you. Your skin is another important part of your body, so treat it kindly and with care. Exfoliate and it will glow for you. Apply a face mask at least once per week. At least four times per year, you should have a professional facial with a licensed esthetician. Healthy skin will take years off of your look and will boost your confidence. Bold brows, minimal makeup and experimenting with color are all themes for 2013.
7. Try a new hair style. Give your hair a makeover. You don’t have to make drastic changes – simple highlights, low lights or a blowout make an amazing difference. Repairing and trimming your split ends can change the way your hair falls and lays. Something as simple as moving the part from one side of the head to the other can make it look as if you have a whole new hairstyle. Try parting your hair on an angle, or creating a zigzag part for a funky look. Consider going for bangs; they create a dramatic difference. Would you believe there are hair extension bangs? Give them a try. For the most dramatic look see a professional hairstylist.
Leave a comment and let me know how you will update your look in 2013.
Tracey Evelyn Reed is a visual brand specialist with over 15 years’ experience in the beauty industry. An accomplished wardrobe stylist and make-up artist, she’s also a licensed esthetician. Tracey provides customized skin-care programs, make-up lessons and workshops, wardrobe consulting and personal shopping services.
This article is from the SmallBizLady special blog series: 31 Ways to Boost Your Small Business in 2013. #Boost2013
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