Category Archives: professional, professionalism, career, success

What to Wear? Comfortable yet Stylish Shoes for Work

As an image consultant and personal shopper one of the questions I get asked most often is where to find comfortable yet stylish shoes for work. It amazes me that many women will forgo wearing skirts and dresses because they do not have the right type of shoes that give them the comfort they desire yet not  frumpy. My answer is typically that options now are so much more plentiful than they used to be. Designers like Naturalizer, Aerosoles and Cole Haan have made comfort a priority in their shoe designs.

Naturalizer has a whole line–the N5 comfort series designed for women with these challenges in mind. There are also brands like Sofft shoes, Born, Dansko and Munro Italian that can be found in major department stores that offer designs that are a more fashion forward than your grandmother used to wear, while still keeping the ‘comfort first’ mentality in tact.

I typically advise women to look for a shoe with at least an inch and half heel to wear with skirts and dresses because a slight heel will be more flattering than no heel at all (in other words ballet flats really can’t be worn with a sheath dress!). Also examine the type of heel. A kitten heel with a narrow base on the bottom is infinitely harder to walk in than a block or wedge heel. Some platforms can also be forgiving in the comfort department.

So you don’t just have to take my word for it, here are a few stylish options for work that keep your foot comfort in mind (all available at Nordstrom).

Anyi Lu Dainty pump

Sofft Napoli III

 

Cole Haan Lainey pump

 

Munroe Odetta pump

Anyi Lu Soul pump

Naturalizer Verstood Mary Jane

Paul Green Faith pump

Trotters Jaden sling back

ECCO Coventry pump

Softspots Sherise pump

Colre Haan slingback

Natalie Jobity, image consultant, Elan Image Management

 

 

 

Dress to impress: 5 tips to dressing like a winner

We’ve all heard the phrase “dress to impress” but when you get to the nitty gritty what does it really mean? Dressing to impress is more than just the clothes you wear. It is your total image presentation, including your clothing, how you accessorize, how groomed you are, your poise and posture, non verbal cues, and more. Because research has proven that people make first impression judgments about us primarily based on how we look, the “dressing” part of dressing for success is very critical.

Dress like a winner and you’ll find that the way the rest of the world interacts with you will change for the better. So how does a winner dress? Here are five tips.

 

  1. 1. They own their signature style. Your style is an integral part of who you are—it is your personal stamp. A woman of style has a particular way they carry themselves–it stems from confidence but its more than just that. It’s perhaps the ultimate physical manifestation of their self expression.
  2. 2. They understand the benefits of investing in high quality clothing. High quality is not mean the same thing as “expensive” or designer brands. You can find quality clothing at many price points. But the common denominator is that the clothing is manufactured well, holds up to multiple washings and wears well over time. Moreover it fits well because it is made with better fabrication and attention to detail.
  3. 3. They ensure their clothing fits them impeccably whether they are wearing a suit or a sheath dress. Have your clothing altered by professionals as needed or pay attention to the designers and brands that work well for your figure and proportions. When your clothing fits you well you feel better in it and are able to exude mire confidence.
  4. 4. They pay attention to the accent pieces that impact their image and make them a stand out. Accent pieces are like the bow around the wrapping of a present—it makes the gift look more pleasing to the eye, more polished. It is the same with your ensembles. Accents your shoes, handbag, jewelry and scarves punctuate your look and takes your image up several notches.
  5. 5. They look fabulous regardless of the occasion and know that the way they dress speaks loudly about the type of woman they are. They choose classic or timeless designs. They don’t follow fashion trends but instead invest in clothing uniquely appointed to reinforce their style, lifestyle and preferences. In many cases they are the type of women we all look up to and admire.

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, an image consulting firm

Natalie Jobity’s Joins College World Reporter with Fashion Statements Column

Little Rock, AR – January 11, 2011 – The College World Reporter (CWR) is proud to announce the addition of fashion expert and certified (AICI) image consultant, Ms. Natalie Jobity, to our team of professional writer advisors.  Ms. Jobity will assume the responsibility for writing our CWR Fashion Statements column.

Ms. Jobity is president of Élan Image Management and founder of "Mission 1 Million Makeovers: Change Your Image, Transform Your Life," and she is a sought after image consultant based in the Washington, DC metro area who provides services to both women and men nationwide.  She is also the author of Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It. Your Ultimate Guide to Effortless Style. 

Natalie conducts workshops and seminars on a variety of image topics for organizations, companies, women’s groups, teens, and college students, including ‘Dress for Success’ seminars and workshops. Ms. Jobity works with young women and men individually to coach them on how to dress to achieve their highest image potential which facilitates their future success.

"As America’s premier online student empowerment and career transitional magazine, The College World Reporter has the responsibility to help readers understand the importance of dressing appropriately in today’s highly competitive marketplace. The addition of a quintessential fashion expert and image consultant such as Natalie Jobity provides our readers with a resource that we feel is unequaled in the industry," said CWR publisher Donell Edwards.

Natalie is a graduate of Rutgers University (B.S. in Accounting and Economics), Cambridge University (Masters in Finance), and City University of New York-Baruch College (MBA in Marketing).

Edwards says "Anyone with an interest in learning how to improve their skills in dressing professionally will benefit greatly from reading CWR Fashion Statements and learning from Natalie ."

For more information contact The College World Reporter at TheCWR@CWRMagOnline.

About The College World Reporter:  The College World Reporter (CWR) is the premier online student empowerment  and career transitional magazine in America.  The magazine provides information and expert advice to students and all readers, and also has a number of outstanding student reporters in many foreign countries who participate in the magazine’s Virtual Cultural XChange (VCX) Program.  The magazine is at the forefront of a growing student empowerment movement and is evolving into a full fledged student empowerment organization.

Seven Secrets of Successful Well-dressed Women

What is it about the successful well dressed woman that makes her stand apart from her counterparts? She looks the part and owns it. She knows who she is and what she stands for. Her inner core and outward presentation are perfectly aligned. She is acutely aware of her personal brand and executes upon its tenets every day, every time—consistently. I work with women like this as a personal shopper, image and fashion consultant. She gets it. She understands the power inherent in having an image that is a notch above.

If you want to be perceived as such a woman read these seven tips for guidance.

1. Have a Defined Signature Style
Know your signature style. Your style becomes part of your personal brand which in business is critical. Your personal brand is your advertisement about who you are and what you stand for. It must be credible, authentic and sustainable.
2. Invest in Quality
Well dressed corporate women understand the benefits of investing in high quality clothing. They are aware that quality is associated with success. They invest in themselves before asking others to invest in their company, product or service.
3. Utilize  Experts
Be clear about the limits of your own knowledge. Women who look fabulous don’t wing it. They don’t leave their personal brand to chance. They hire experts to perfect their image and mold a personal brand that is a slam dunk.  Many invest in stylists, image consultants, or personal shoppers to help them execute upon their brand.
4. Be Organized
An organized closet is one that is easy to work with. You see everything, things are organized by color, function, or item and you can mix and match with aplomb. A well-ordered closet is a key to creating polished ensembles and avoiding unnecessary wardrobe duplication.
5. Pay Attention to Detail
Not paying attention to the little details can be a deal breaker. The most high end designer  suit won’t send the right signal when paired with a scrappy handbag or when saddled with a pair of shoes that need to be retired.
6. Have outfits for every Occasion
Successful women own a well-rounded wardrobe that mirrors their lifestyle, personal style, personality and goals. So whether it’s a board meeting or a fundraiser, they always have the the right outfits to shine
7. Timelessness not Trendiness
Smart women focus on style and its impact, not fashion trends. They care less about trends and invest in clothing uniquely appointed to complement their image goals, figure and personal brand. They ensure they invest in timeless pieces that fit impeccably.

Your wardrobe is a mirror reflecting the woman you present to the world. If you aspire to be perceived as successful, then your wardrobe should be outfitted with items befitting the power broker that you are.

Elan Image Management Interviewed on NewsChannel 8!

Elan Image Management, image consulting, was honored to be a guest on NewsChannel 8, Let’s Talk Live segment. The show is DC’s only live and local talk show. It was a privilege to share with viewers of Let’s Talk Live on Thursday at 12:15pm about the importance of first impressions and tips for pulling together an effective business look. My host Natasha Barrett was an awesome sport and the interview felt less like one, and more as if I was chatting with an old friend.

 

Being in studio live was a bit unnerving at first, but after a minute, I didn’t even notice. The time literally flew by and before I knew it we were done. There was SO much more to share–truly I was just getting started! But I appreciate the 7.5 or so minutes of camera time-more than I expected. And folks, it was so much fun!! I LOVE TV!!

I shared tips for dressing for success with viewers and showed makeovers of a few of my clients. 

Thank you to my clients who allowed me to show their photos–so we could add a visual to my words. And thank you News Channel 8 for having me as your guest! It is an honor to be a guest on the only live and local talk show in Washington DC!

In case you missed it on my home page,  watch MY INTERVIEW with NewsChannel 8 by clicking the link.

 

As always, here’s to purposeful presence!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Want to create your Signature Style? Some tips!

Yesterday an interview Elan Image Management  did for Brandmaker News, on developing a signature style just was posted on their site. Visit: www.brandmakernews.com/interview_detail.php for the full interview with Natalie. For a great snippet read on!

"What specific advice do you have for professionals who are working on their signature style?

Their professional presence needs to be commanding, polished, pulled together and credible because people make at least 12 assumptions about us based entirely on their initial perceptions of our image.

Understand the basic wardrobe ‘do’s for business attire. For example, a man’s suit should fit impeccably, and his shirt cuff should show through his jacket. It’s important to know that the little details like scuffed shoes, poor grooming, bad manners and poor communication can all be deal breakers.

Look at their TOTAL image package: Image is so much more than the clothes you wear. It is your total package including your clothing, but equally as important, how you accessorize, the way you communicate, how groomed you are, your poise and posture, non verbal cues, your ability to maintain eye contact, and so much more.

Have ‘Presence’ -that ability to project a sense of ease, poise, command or self-assurance. It is an energy and an attitude. It can be magnetic. It draws people to you. When it is purposeful, it can be one of your most effective tools in professional interactions."

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Dress for Success: Tips!

I am often asked what’s the secret to creating a professional look that also shows off personal style. Here are a few guidelines:

  • When you think of your professional image as a walking business card communicating who you are as a professional, you will look at your business style in a completely different way.  For optimal impact, you want to be sure you make very focused and conscious choices about the messages your image ‘business card’ is transmitting, noting especially if it is aligned with your professional aspirations.
  • The secret lies in the power of becoming clear about the message you want to convey and how to meld that with your personality and sense of style.
  • It is also about picking your battles: in the interview, you want to conform more than stand out. Once you get the job and you have a sense of the culture of the firm, you can flex with your style at that point.
  • Not all companies require employees to wear a suit every day. Understanding the nuances of tailored professional business casual attire is key!

Common mistakes interview candidates make when dressing for an interview include:

  • Underestimating the importance of their image to their success in getting a job.
  • Not understanding the impact of first impressions and how indelible they are especially in a job interview context. The power of image in influencing first impressions and hiring, firing  and promotions is unquestionable.
  • Not knowing that their professional presence needs to be commanding, polished, pulled together and credible because people make at least 12 assumptions about us based entirely on their initial perceptions based on our image.
  • Not understanding the basic wardrobe ‘do’s for business attire: For example for men, knowing that their suit should fit impeccably and that their shirt cuff should show through their jacket. For women, wearing separates in lieu of a suit in fabrics of poor quality. Or wearing inappropriate accessories such as dangly earrings or skirts that are too short. For both, understanding that the little details like scuffed shoes, poor grooming, bad manners and poor communication can all be deal breakers.
  • Dressing for their current position. Always dress for a higher position than you currently occupy.  Dressing for the position you are aspiring to will also   boost your confidence in your ability to achieve it.
  • Not looking at their TOTAL image package: Image is so much more than the clothes you wear. It is your total package including your clothing, but equally as important, how you accessorize, the way you communicate, how groomed you are, your poise and posture, non verbal cues, your ability to maintain eye contact, and so much more. Do you know how are you stacking up? Answering this question is key.
  • Not having enough ‘Presence’ -that ability to project a sense of ease, poise, command or self-assurance. It is an energy and an attitude. It can be magnetic. It draws people to you. When it is purposeful, it can be one of your most effective tools in professional interactions.

Want to rock a signature style in the workplace. Here are some ideas:

  • Know your personal style and personal brand. Your look must be in synch with these
  • Use accessories to express your unique flair/panache. For some men it might be a tie clip, unusual ties, a killer watch. For women it could be the creative use of color and pattern in suits and blouses. Using belts, scarves, shoes, bags all as part of their signature look.
  • Know the silhouette, cuts and designers that flatter and enhance your body
  • Invest in quality pieces. Your clothing can be one of your more important career “investments”. Look for timeless well made designs and mix these up with more stylish accents depending on your personal style.
  • Know your power colors and use them!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

 

The Elan Blog is 3 Years Old!

Dear Readers,

 

I’ve been blogging about image, fashion, wardrobe, style and all things fabulous for THREE years! Hard to believe how fast time flies. April marks the 3 year anniversary of the Elan Blog and I wanted to take a quick trip down memory lane about some of the topics I’ve blogged about:

  • Fashion do’s and don’ts
  • New Trends
  • Celebrity Face-offs–who wore the same dress better and why
  • Fashion icons-Michelle Obama etc.
  • Defining your personal style
  • All about color and how to wear it well
  • Developing a brand YOU
  • Accessorizing
  • Embracing your body and figure
  • Wardrobe advice
  • Organizing your closet
  • Bargain shopping
  • Dressing for interviews
  • What’s hot
  • I’m lovin…
  • Where to shop for what
  • What’s your signature style
  • Celebrity fashion and commentary
  • Projecting an authentic image
  • Fashion designer spotlight
  • Professional Presence
  • Fashion events in the DC metro area
  • My Musings on style, fashion, and whatever happens to be on my mind..
  • And SO much more

I wish I could blog each day, truly, because I have no shortage of things I can talk about. But you know when I do blog, you are getting real content and advice and not ‘fluff’–there’s enough of that to go around. I invite you to browse the archives for real content on a host of topics under the image umbrella.

My blog had been hit hard by spammmers so now leaving a comment is not as simple as it used to be. I truly apologize but the spammers won that battle. To leave a comment you need to register with your e-mail address. I would love to hear from you, my readers, but know how annoying it is to register. I’ll continue to work on that.

I have been dying to get you PICTURES of the hottest Spring trends I’m digging and I promise by next week you’ll have more eye candy than my mere words. In the meantime, here’s a picture of me that is over 2 years old but still on trend-the accessories, cinched waist, poppy red tunic and skinny jeans (cropped out):

Until then, here’s to purposeful presence!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management, your go to wardrobe consultant

Interview Fashion checklist

Dear Readers,

Did you know that how you dress equals your perceived level of professionalism? How professional you look can impact whether you are perceived as smart, competent, detailed oriented, moving up or down the corporate ladder or credible. Especially when you are dressing for a job interview, make sure your image communicates exactly how you want to be perceived. The way you dress for work is a communications tool that can be used strategically to your advantage. Here are twelve tips from Élan Image Management to guide you to project the highest level of professionalism to ensure you nail that job interview.

Do’s: 

  • The greater the number of items of clothing you wear at one time, the greater degree of formality/professionalism you express. For most interviews, you will want to always wear 3 core pieces — skirt or pants, a jacket or cardigan and a blouse, shirt or shell (sometimes a dress can sub for a skirt and shell). Consider very tailored or polished looks, like a matched pants or skirt suit paired with a blouse or shirt in a flattering color or print. Alternatively, a knee length or below skirt or a classic sheath dress that is figure flattering but not tight, topped with a tailored jacket in a contrasting color is good interview choice.
  • DO always wear a jacket to an interview to quickly establish presence in professional environments. It communicates confidence, command and authority-all great first impressions.
  • For interviews, choose skirts and dresses no shorter than 2 inches above knee. Also do wear a slip if the skirt is unlined
  • Especially in conservative businesses, stockings should be worn with skirts. Neutral or close to skin tone is best choice. Black, grey, and navy are acceptable if they match shoes or skirt. 
  • Get your hair professionally cut and colored. A bad/un-groomed hair style diminishes professional impact.
  • Do walk with a quality portfolio or tote (preferably leather) to carry your interview essentials. Consider all your accessories as part of the image you are projecting.

I’ll share my Dont’s in an upcoming  post.

Happy New Year!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Holiday How-To’s: The Office Party

Dear Readers,

Dressing for the office Christmas party can put anyone in angst. You want to look festive but you still have to play it safe. What’s  a girl to do? Follow these suggestions and attend your office affair with conffdence!

  • For office parties, you want to be more conservative than other events while still looking festive. Avoid provocative necklines and short skirt lengths. Separates are a good choice. For office events, I personally like this crisp white ruffle Lauren by Ralph Lauren top from Bloomingdale’s paired with a black bottom.  Sophisticated and feminine this look is very office party appropriate and very chic.

Available at Bloomingdales

  • Want to make a bold color statement? Pick a party dress in an unusual color like this bright blue number from Karen Miller. This sleeveless satin sheath dress is conservative enough (but not at all boring) for an office party. And it has enough zest (the color, the shimmer, the unusual neckline with bow accent) to make everyone know that you’re there to have fun.

  Available @ ASOS.com

  • The silk charmeuse top with a peep hole and neck tie  is also an excellent option for an office party when paired with a black pencil or A line skirt or tailored trousers. The empire waist and cap sleeves are very figure flattering and the aluminum grey color is very of the moment. This ensemble screams effortless style. And you can tie the bow so the peephole is hidden or shows a little ‘peek a boo’. Great for the casual office party.

  Available @ Victoria’s secret

  • If your office party is more dressy you might consider a dress like this black lace dress  that suggests a bit of the glamour of "Old Hollywood". It is feminine, dainty and romantic for the woman who wants to be sophisticated and festive with a dose of classic. Note how well the model is accessorized.

 Available at Barriepace.com

 

Next up, suggestions for the non-office party.

Copyright, The Image Diva, Elan Image Management