By: Revanche

MSN’s take on dressing for success

July 9, 2008

It’s called dressing for the job you want. We’ve all heard that maxim, I think, but it’s easier said than done.

I’ve recently taken steps to be more formal than jeans-casual (which is perfectly acceptable here), but I can always use more polish to take the rough off my fashion edges.

Some of the advice is standard and classic, tailored to four different professions as your suits should be tailored to your body, but mentions of running around in Louboutins all day, with Oscar de la Renta flats in between are just a little too much brand naming for me. And, um, a nude G-string? Ewwww…. I’m definitely not cut out for the model lifestyle or workstyle.

Real Estate Agent

FORMALITY FACTOR:(8.5/10) “There are no casual Fridays, even on a construction site.”

THE GOAL: “If you’re showing people beautiful properties all day, aesthetics are obviously important. Your clothes signal to clients that they can trust your taste. That said, real-estate development is so male-dominated that women have to work harder to be taken seriously. Dress in a way that’s distracting and you become easy to dismiss.”

THE MUST-HAVES: “A charcoal, black, or navy suit with a single pop of color — it’s classic, with a twist. I’m an urban nomad, chasing taxis and navigating construction sites, so my shoes have to hold up. I live in these black Louboutins because they’re not too high. And as I work 12-plus-hour days, I always slip on the Oscar de la Renta flats between appointments.”

Financier on Wall Street

FORMALITY FACTOR:(10/10) “Nothing less than impeccable is what flies on Wall Street. If your lipstick’s a mess or your skirt is too trendy, it instantly devalues you. Wall Street may be 95 percent men, but don’t dress like one — but don’t dress like a girly-girl either.”

THE GOAL:”Like their male colleagues, women need great-looking go-to suits and several pairs of killer classic shoes.”

THE MUST-HAVES: “Three good suits — black, gray, and brown — off the rack that a tailor can make into great suits. Pay special attention to fit, fabric, and sleeve-cuff length: When your arm is straight down, the cuff should stop between your wrist bone and the top of your hand. And a quality watch — nothing too flashy.”


FORMALITY FACTOR: (5/10) “This is a creative environment; you can do skinny jeans and vests. A button-down shirt or a suit would be too boring.”

THE GOAL: “When we’re trying to recruit important or upcoming artists, it’s crucial to represent the gallery. Of course, no one shows up in an avant-garde tutu — it’s still a job, not a fashion show.”

DRESS FOR SUCCESS: “I have hundreds of dresses and tons of shoes, and every day I look forward to putting together my outfit. I play around with different colors and textures just like a painter does. If you have fun getting dressed, it will show in your outfit.”


FORMALITY FACTOR: (1/10) “For go-sees with potential clients, less is more: Wear a fitted T-shirt or tank with skinny jeans or shorts.”

THE GOAL: “You have to look confident at all costs. The nature of modeling is to be judged on your looks; you can’t take it personally.”

DRESS FOR SUCCESS: “Since you have to be prepared to try on all types of clothes — even bathing suits — always wear a Calvin Klein nude G-string, the industry staple given to the models at most major fashion shows.”

2 Responses to “MSN’s take on dressing for success”

  1. Dress for the job you want, using the salary of the job you have…
    That is the tough part. I’ve been totally casual lately, maybe I should step it up… but it seems so… annoying…

  2. Revanche says:

    stackingpennies: “using the salary of the job you have …”

    Yeah. That, right there, is the issue. I finally broke down and wore jeans today because I just could not deal with another “schmancy” outfit .. or really, I was just too tired to be creative. Back on the horse tomorrow!

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