Confident Personal Style: What will people say?

Having dealt in previous posts with the money and time excuses for not making a start on developing your Personal Confident Style, this week let’s look at the fear of other people’s reactions.

If you start to take your appearance seriously and change your look, your work colleagues are likely to comment on it. They may think you’re trying to get one step ahead of them. They might be right! When you hear negative remarks – remarks often borne out of jealousy – the simplest response is: “I haven’t got time to mess about in the morning, so I’ve decided to adopt an easier way of dressing. Getting myself together makes my life easier.”

If you’re worried that being seen to spend time on how you look will mean that you’ll be taken less seriously, here’s something that may change your mind. Some years ago an internationally renowned business school carried out a survey to find out to what extent a professional woman’s wardrobe mattered. Half of the respondents – all MBA students – listed their appearance as a top priority; half claimed not to pay much attention to how they looked. Five years later, those who had made the effort had progressed far more quickly than those who hadn’t considered it a priority.

A good way of judging your female boss is to study her reaction when you change your appearance. A confident boss will be delighted if her subordinates look good because it reflects well on her. She’ll be the kind of boss who will enjoy helping you progress. My husband developed a theory during his time as a management consultant that first rate managers hire first rate staff; second rate managers hire third rate staff – usually because they feel insecure about their own careers.


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