It’s important to exude confidence in the workplace. To up your power quotient, combine traditional styling with modern accessories. ESSENCE Associate Fashion Editor Réneise Francis says wearing classic silhouettes while adding statement jewelry against the backdrop of a crisp tailored shirt or pairing a pencil skirt with patent pumps shows “I’m confident in who I am!” Here are some of our favorite fashion and career tips to help you step up your game at work.
Lauren by Ralph Lauren cardigan, $159, Bloomingdale’s. Lauren by Ralph Lauren blouse, $159, and skirt, $189, select Bloomingdale’s. Mark Ecko Cut & Sew Eyewear Lip Reader eyeglasses, $130, ClearVision Optical, 800-645-3733. Carolee Classic Style earrings, $24, The Jackie necklace, $75, and The Michelle choker, $60, carolee.com. Tiffany & Co. Beatrice top-handle bag, price upon request, Tiffany & Co., 800-526-0649. Kors Michael Kors Iona heels, $295, select Michael Kors stores.
FASHION TIP: Pairing a classic trench with a black-and-white ensemble adds flair.
OFFICE TIP: Size up the competition at your job by identifying: Who is a real influencer? Who has the boss’s ear? Who is respected? Who champions others? These power players hold the keys to the kingdom.
Ann Taylor trench coat, $248, Perfect shirt, $68, and pencil skirt, $88, anntaylor.com. Siman Tu earrings, $300, Mariko, Palm Beach, Florida, 561-655-5770. Siman Tu necklace, $525, Siman Tu Gallery, NYC, 212-327-4626.
FASHION TIP: A form-fitting sheath is professional yet easily takes you from a business meeting to an after-work event.
OFFICE TIP: Higher-ups want to hear your thoughts for growing revenues, expanding the brand and creating new franchises. Share your ideas in the elevator, around the watercooler or at the next meeting.
ON HER: Michael Michael Kors dress, $134, Michael Kors stores. Siman Tu earrings, $300, Mariko, Palm Beach, Florida, 561-655-5770. Siman Tu necklace, $575, Siman Tu Gallery, NYC, 212-327-4626. Carlos by Carlos Santana pumps, $99, Macy’s stores. TIffany & Co. Manhattan satchel, price upon request, Tiffany & Co., 800-526-0649.
ON HIM: Banana Republic jacket, $355, woven shirt, $80, and trousers, $150, bananarepublic.com. Brooks Brothers tie, $80, Brooks Brothers stores. Kaufman’s Army & Navy tie bar, $5, Kaufman’s Army & Navy store, NYC, 212-757-5670. Tommy Hilfiger watch, $125, Macy’s stores. Dexter for Payless Camden oxfords, $50, payless.com for availability. Pocket square, stylist’s own.
FASHION TIP: Red is a power color that is perfect for a meeting with the boss or making that big presentation.
OFFICE TIP: Coming in on time, doing great work and leaving will not get you a promotion. Building solid relationships with peers, bosses and other executives will. To make the connection, offer up industry scoop or recommend a book or lecture they might enjoy.
ON HER: Lauren by Ralph Lauren cardigan, $100, DKNY blouse, $195, and Lafayette 148 New York skirt, $228, all available at Bloomingdale’s, NYC, 800-232-1854. Michael Kors earrings, $75, and watch, $250, select Michael Kors stores. Ben-Amun bracelet, $155, thomaslaine.com. Nine West pumps, $89, endless.com.
FASHION TIP: Pairing a pencil skirt with platforms and soft curls brings a feminine touch to your look.
OFFICE TIP: To find common ground with new colleagues, ask questions like: Tell me more about yourself. Or I heard you are spear-heading the company’s new initiative. How’s it going?
Banana Republic cardigan, $70, and Marilyn pencil skirt, $90, bananarepublic.com.. Lafayette 148 New York Mariel blouse, $298, lafayette148ny.com. Siman Tu earrings, $345, You Two, Cleveland, 216-932-2222. Charlotte Russe pumps, $36, Charlotte Russe stores.
FASHION TIP: A classic silhouette in neutral colors is a great essential to add to your spring wardrobe.
OFFICE TIP: You may not want to fraternize with coworkers after five, but you can best believe that others are doing just that. Have cocktails with teammates and attend industry networking events to gain access to key players.
WOMAN IN FRONT: Calvin Klein trench coat, $270, calvinklein.com. Calvin Klein dress, $128, Lord & Taylor. Melody Rodgers Victorian snake earrings, price upon request, vintage oval necklace, $175, set of bamboo bracelets, $175, and amber ring, $950, Melody Rodgers, NYC, 212-758-3164. Tommy Hilfiger watch, $165, Macy’s stores. Michael Kors Hutton bag, price upon request, select Michael Kors stores. Charlotte Russe pumps, $30, Charlotte Russe stores.
WOMAN IN BACK: Jones New York sweater, $159, and Lafayette 148 New York skirt, $228, both available at Bloomingdale’s, NYC, 800-232-1854. Melody Rodgers vintage faux-gold hoops, $275, faux-gold buckle cuff, $375, and faux-gold charm bracelet, $450, Melody Rodgers, NYC, 212-758-3164. Calvin Klein purse, $198, Macy’s stores. Nine West Kobel sling back pumps, $89, endless.com.