Magazine article Black Enterprise

The Dress Code: How, Business Style Is Communicated

Magazine article Black Enterprise

The Dress Code: How, Business Style Is Communicated

Article excerpt

Today, business style means being ready for anything. A typical day for a female executive could begin by deplaning from business class and heading straight to a client meeting, then leaving a conference to meet associates for cocktails.

"These are people who are leaders, who set standards," says style expert Constance C.R. White. "They should set a standard in appearance as well. Part of that is wearing the best quality that they can afford."

Wanda Richard, a mid-level CPA manager at one of the big four accounting firms, travels 30% of the time performing due diligence on firms in acquisitions and mergers. White selected outfits for a more conservative environment and combinations that would be appropriate in creative settings. All offer the versatility required for today's business challenges.

Work the Suit

1. The basis of any executive's wardrobe is a "killer suit," says style expert Constance C.R. White. "It's sexy, not masculine. You can wear it anywhere ... or break it up and wear it separately. This suit has some stretch in it, some give. That is key to looking as great [at 5 p.m.] as you did at 9 a.m. or looking [good] when you get off a plane," Black Elie Tahari suit ($198); alternate with James Perse black knit T-shirt ($32); Majorica three-strand pearl choker ($85 each); Camel Stuart Weitzman pumps ($198).

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2. Color can enhance your wardrobe. "It's not your boring, straight dark-skirted suit," White explains. "Professional and conservative do not have to mean that you totally disappear into the clothing and that there's no sense of who this woman is. …

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