I had a job interview recently, and I found myself scrambling to find something appropriate to wear. This, despite the fact that I have a full closet. My problem — I don’t really know how to pull things together to create a polished, professional, give-me-the-job look. I managed to put together something that I think looked really good. But why was it so hard?
“We don’t want to look like our moms,” says Susan Kanoff, a fashion coach and founder of the Web site A Great New Look. ”but we also don’t want to look like we’re trying too hard.”
Exactly. I knew a suit wasn’t the right thing, especially on one of the hottest days of the year. But many of my summer clothes are just too casual. And that’s a problem many women face as they prepare to re-enter the work force and are faced with the task of revamping their wardrobes.
“Women get in a groove and wear what they did in college or when they first had kids,” says Michel Little, a style and self-image expert and founder of the Web site One Chic Mama. “They get busy and throw stuff on. They forget about make-up. They don’t make themselves a priority any more and then their self-esteem plummets.”
Both Kanoff and Little agree that the trick is to resist trends, ignore what’s being pushed by the stores and magazines, and find what is truly right for you. That means assessing what you really like, what makes you feel good, and what image you want to project. Forget about what looks good on someone else. What looks good on you?
Are there any must-have’s? Kanoff and Little both resist top ten lists. But, there are things they both feel belong in most women’s closets — a pair of dark-washed trouser jeans, tanks, a light-weight cardigan or jacket for layering, a collared shirt, good shoes, and a good handbag that’s not over-stuffed.
And they agree — you don’t have to break the bank to buy these things. You can buy a good looking handbag for $20 at Kohls or Target.
To hear more from Kanoff and Little, listen to my interview with them on Back in Force on BlogTalkRadio.