Business Attire for Women
Wearing appropriate business attire for women is essential in the business relationship building process. There is truth to the impact of a first impression.
Paul writes to the Colossians saying to "live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity." (Colossians 4:5)
Christian business opportunities are part of what Paul is addressing. Your business will open doors into people's lives who are not believers.
Often their first impression of you will determine how far building a relationship with them will go.
Start With Standards
As business women it is important to know the standards of business attire... what others expect. Using the standard as a guideline you can then add your own personality to present yourself in a way that is professional, yet warm and inviting.
Most people are attracted to you when you are confident in who you are... not trying to be someone different just to impress people. When you are dressed in a way that makes you feel good about yourself this confidence communicates leadership to others.
Always dress to show the real you... Christ in you. Do not let your dress distract from your inner beauty. Modesty and discretion have much more appeal. They communicate strength.
People are willing to follow strength... they shy away from weakness. It all begins with accepting yourself as God created you. You are complete in Christ. With this firm foundation you will be able to dress in the appropriate attire for every occasion.
Wisdom For Business AttireWhat are the standards? It depends on several factors.
This ranges from traditional business suits to collars and coordinated separates. Consider who you will be interacting with... dress for them even more than for yourself. It is important to "fit in" so others can more easily relate to you.
This is where wisdom comes in. You want to relate to people but also carry yourself as a leader. Dress "up" one notch from your clients. There is an old saying "Dress for the position you want, not for the one you have."
Avoid business attire for women that is the latest fad. Choose a more conservative look. Wear clothes that are comfortable, don't itch, ride up or bind. If your clothes are irritating... having to tug, pull or scratch is not something you want to do while conducting business.
A cotton or silk blouse in a neutral color with a simple collar is fine. Do not wear a sleeve-less blouse, just in case you have to take off your jacket.
Your blouse should fit comfortably, and not appear to be tight, wrinkled or distracting due to loud colors.
For shoes choose a color that compliments your suit and handbag... black, brown, burgundy or navy. Pumps with 1 1/2 - inch heel are standard. Wear leather shoes. You should avoid suede and light fabrics as they attract dust.
Avoid open-toe shoes, high boots, stiletto heels and white shoes. Be sure to have your shoes polished and shined with your heels intact.
Wear light colored stockings if you wear a light colored suit. Do not wear contrasting colors. Avoid opaque and printed stockings.
Large hoop or dangling earrings should be left at home. Wear small studs or avoid wearing earrings altogether. Do not wear more than one pair of earrings and two finger rings, one watch or bracelet.
Remove all non-traditional jewelry e.g. nose rings, eyebrow rings, multiple earrings.
Perfume & Make-Up
Perfume... if you wear it others should not notice. For example, if you are in an elevator no one will know any difference upon your entering and exiting.
Same goes for make-up. It should be conservative... only used to highlight your features. The exception is if you are going to be filmed or photographed for business purposes. It does require a bit more color and heavier application in these exceptions
When attending business functions keep business cards in your pocket for easy access. This will allow you to present your card easily without having to search through handbags and briefcases. Remove the cards at the end of the day and keep them in a cardholder to ensure they stay in great shape.
Remember... it's not about you. It's about other people. Keep at the forefront of your mind who it is you'll be doing business with. Beginning a long term growing relationship is your goal.
Dress in the business attire for women suited to your personality while keeping professional standards in mind. This will keep your attire from being a distraction to both you and your clients.
When you both feel comfortable you will be more effective attending to business and building relationships.
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