Is Your Office Style Affecting Your Advancement?

Beauty & Style | Melanie Yvette Martin | 08/20/2015 | 06:00 AM EDT

Nowadays, Attire Can Trump Accreditation...

So here’s the thing: no one deserves to be discriminated against based on their look, race or any other aspect for that matter. But, in the harsh, real world, we have to stop and think about the fact that how you present yourself weighs heavily on how people receive you.

The work place is no different. It turns out that people are judged on three factors when it comes to being a contender in the top corporate leads: how you act, how you speak and how you dress. 

So, what does that mean for your fashion sense?

It depends on your career objectives. For many women, climbing the corporate ladder isn’t the focus. But for those looking to be the “boss”, or even just make a significant career jump, making a change in your style may really be inevitable if you want to be taken seriously.

While we’re not talking about dressing the way someone else thinks you should, we are talking about proactively dressing for the higher job title you may actually want. For instance, if you want to someday become the CEO of the company you’re working for, you may have to start dressing like one. This means that while your go-to, everyday basic black pencil skirt and black pumps may be “appropriate” for the office; it may not be your most eye-catching, powerful ensemble. Have you ever noticed that women in charge usually look like they’re in charge? What about the women and men that get taken seriously the most often? How do they dress and present themselves? We’re betting that they’re crisp, fashionable and appropriate.

We understand that upping your fashion sense may not be inexpensive, so that’s why we’re going to make this easy and affordable for you in three different steps.

Step up your shoe game

Save a bit of money on the side and up your shoe sense. This isn’t about having the latest red bottoms or highest heel. This is about a sharp shoe that will be noticeable, fashionable and still comfortable. Recommended are the block heels with more support, like these ASOS Pointed High Heels ($81)

Invest in a really, really good bag

Don’t be afraid to add a little stuff to your strut with a standout bag. Sometimes, a great bag says more about you than your actual fashion. We say opt for colors like black, navy, camel or even reds and oranges are always a yes. The shape of the bag is important, too. No flimsy materials allowed. Zara or H & M may some of the best inexpensive places to get your best bags from. Our pick: This taupe H&M bag ($39.99)

Get yourself the best hair cut possible:

A woman who always has her hair done, probably usually always feels very confident in herself. Having your on point for work, every single day, is going to leave a mark on your employee’s minds. Trust us. You can’t miss a woman (especially a Black woman) with a good haircut. So, spend some time with your stylist to find the most affordable, stylish and fitting haircut for you and the industry you’re looking to advance in. If you’re looking to get that Fashion Editor position, you can probably get by with a bold blonde streak on the side of your face. But, if you’re working in finance, finding your best, blunt bob may be your personal best bet. It all depends on your personal style and hopeful advancement.

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