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Via NBC News : André Leon Talley’s top work wardrobe tips for millennials

“You are not all that. You can’t wear just anything,” says the contributing editor for Vogue.

So you nailed your interview and got your dream job or internship. It turns out, what you wear at work matters a great deal too.

You may think it sounds superficial, but how you look says a lot about you—whether you’re organized, laid-back, fashion-forward, creative or serious. It influences how our co-workers and bosses treat us – and, just as importantly, how we feel about ourselves.

André Leon Talley, contributing editor for Vogue, recently shared with Mika Brzezinski and I, some tough love advice for my generation:

“Millennials need to have (clothing) guidelines. You are not all that. You can’t wear just anything.” – Andre Leon Talley null

I learned this lesson awkwardly. When I interned in the offices of Bad Boy Entertainment in New York City in 2012, I was surrounded by larger-than-life women executives who were dressed to the nines – oftentimes in brand name dresses and stilettos. So I decided to give the old “dress for the job you want” advice a try.

One morning, one of the women executives called me over to give me my task for the day. Proudly, I walked over strutting my new knockoff designer dress and high heels. I approached her desk. She looked me up and down. Surely she was going to comment on how fashion-forward I looked – or so I thought.

Instead, she smirked at my 20-year-old self “I know you’re trying to do your ‘thing,’ but right now I need you to go upstairs and assemble the swag closet,” she told me. #Fail.

Lesson learned: As an intern, dressing the part of an executive wasn’t the best idea.

But don’t take it from me. Take it from Talley. The fashion guru recently gave Know Your Value work style tips that go beyond simply “dressing for the part you want.”

Here are Talley’s dos and don’ts:


The good news? You don’t have to spend a fortune looking work-ready. Talley believes you should stick to the basics when you first start out. “You can put on a blouse from H&M.” He added, “A simple skirt, I don’t care what the skirt is, or a simple pair of pants from Uniqlo, and just a pair of black shoes.”


Talley has seen his fair share of young professionals make risky fashion choices to stand out. You may think you need those expensive shoes or brand name dresses. But the reality is, if you are an intern or are just starting out, you’ll be tasked with doing some grunt work. So keeping it simple with your clothes is your best bet.

Talley also touched on this issue in Mika’s book, Growing Your Value, when he shared the story of a time he was interviewing applicants to become his assistant.

Hoping to impress him, one job candidate came in wearing Gucci and Calvin Klein. But what he really thought was: “She spent more time preparing the right brand, or what she thinks I would like, because it’s Vogue, than the substance when I am asking her questions!”


With that being said, simple is not the same as casual, and as Talley says, “Casual is not the way.” You have to show you care.

“Casual in college is one thing. You don’t have to be dressed in a certain way, or dressed to the nines. But you’ve got to be neat. You’ve got to be presentable and mannered.” – Andre Leon Talley null


According to Talley, a big part of style (aside from the clothes you wear) is presentation. Those details matter big time. He recalled a time he was at a hotel restaurant for the holidays and a college-aged woman was waiting on him. Aside from her not being attentive and avoiding eye contact, he remembered, “She had the worst nails. She had chipped her nail polish.”

Talley, known for his bold personality, decided to do something about it. “I went to the manager of the hotel and told him, ‘She has got to get it together,’ because that girl is unpresentable.” It worked. The next time he saw the young woman, she seemed like a different person.

She changed her attitude, suddenly saying things like, “Good morning Mr. Talley. It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?” She started following up with him, being attentive and making sure he was being taken care of. “And then I see that she has clean nails! She just had simple but clean nails, not some vampire goth-looking thing,” he said.


Another big “don’t” in the workplace according to Talley? “Lots of earrings”

“I don’t care if you are male or female. Lots of earrings in the ear are just terrible. Nose rings are forbidden in the workplace. Earrings yes, but a nose ring… Nose rings are forbidden.”


Work style is also in the way you present yourself, so take some pressure off yourself by keeping it simple with the clothes you wear and focus more on the way you carry yourself.

That includes your body language and your presence. “Bottom line is you have to show you care, that you are alert, and that you are present. Showing you care in the full package,” said Talley.

Via The Financial Express : Corporate grooming and business etiquette

Renowned business personality Tom Hopkins once said, ‘You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset.’ It is imperative to practice good behaviour and etiquettes in order to flourish in your business, be liked by people and maintain cordial relationships with clients, customers and employees. Globalisation has transformed the trend of client meetings, business meetings, conferences and networking meets which are now held indoors, outdoors, over brunch, lunch etc. This demands a complete cognisance of etiquette on the part of employees to rise to the situation and make a progressive impact in all such events.

Last week’s topic of the career based radio programme ‘Follow your dreams’ talked about corporate grooming and business etiquette. M Murshed Haider, a corporate coach and CEO of OptiMA HR Solutions, along with the host RJ Nazyr discussed how learning the professional etiquettes can help the young professionals in achieving the desired success in the career path.

Murshed mentioned that the most obvious and best impression of an organisation’s image on the outer world stems off from the image presented by employees in that company. Hence, it is essential to give proper attention on hair, dental hygiene, perfume, hands and fingernails. Moreover, it is important that a corporate professional should not just look presentable, but also should be able to communicate and behave in a professional manner. Greater awareness of grooming and etiquette skills helps the executives to increase their poise and confidence. This significantly changes the impact that they have in any formal, professional and social situations.

Murshed also talked about the various types of etiquettes, such as, workplace etiquettes, dress etiquettes, meeting etiquettes, handshake etiquettes, business phone etiquettes and dining etiquettes. He then went on explaining different kinds of handshakes like sweaty palms, dead fish, early handshake, long handshake, bone crusher, top handed, bottom handed and mentioned their effects towards success or failure of any business meeting.

While talking about business meeting etiquettes, Murshed suggested that it is a must for anyone to check the type of meeting and arrive on time. While professional appearance is a key, it is also important to be conscious about small matters like exchanging visiting cards with proper handshakes, turning off gadgets during the meeting, listening with proper attention, taking notes and finally not dominating the questions segment.

Each episode of the show also covers ‘Book review’ section. Last week’s show introduced the book ‘Predictably Irrational’ by Dan Ariely who is a prominent behavioural economist. In this book, he talked about the hidden forces that shape our decisions. The writer mentioned, ‘when it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we’re in control. We think we’re making smart, rational choices. But are we?’

Career based radio programme titled ‘Follow your dreams’ is broadcast from Radio Shadhin 92.4 FM on every Thursday. Each episode of this show also contains a quiz. Winner of the quiz in each episode receives autographed book ‘Master Password’ written by M Murshed Haider and Gazi Yar Mohammed, says a press release.

via hisdustantimesGrooming Employees in Soft Skills Helps Improve Productivity

Workers with well-honed soft skills – time and stress management, problem-solving, communication and good teamwork – tend to work at better firms and fetch higher wages, a new study conducted in India suggests.

Employer surveys suggest that this set of skills is just as highly demanded as technical know-how, researchers said.

Achyuta Adhvaryu, assistant professor at the University of Michigan in the US, analysed whether providing soft skills training to female garment workers in India could improve their workplace outcomes.

“We found that despite a high overall turnover rate in the industry, more treated workers are retained,” Adhvaryu said. “And treated workers are 12% more productive than those who did not receive the training in soft skills,” said Adhvaryu.

The programme Adhvaryu and colleagues evaluated aimed to empower female garment workers with training in a broad variety of soft skills, including communication, time management, financial literacy, problem-solving, decision-making and legal literacy.

To assess the programme’s impacts, the researchers conducted a randomised controlled trial in five garment factories in Bengaluru. Workers enrolled in a lottery for the chance to participate, and then were chosen at random to take part in the programme. Those who were not randomly selected served as controls.

Nine months after the programme ended, productivity gains, along with an increase in person-days due to retention changes, helped generate a whopping 256 % net return on investment.

“Wages rose very little – about 0.5% – after the programme period, indicating that the firm keeps most of the gains from the increased productivity of labour,” said Adhvaryu, who collaborated with Namrata Kala of Harvard University and Anant Nyshadham of Boston College in the US for the study.

Via LinkedIn : The phrase “dress for success” is old. It’s dated, and no one really knows what the hell it means. If you feel certain you know what it means, you probably don’t. The thing is, “dress for success” is vague. It fails to take into account the many industries and identities our workforce represents. I prefer, “dress to be your best.” At the forefront of how we dress must be a deep and concerted respect for how we get it done.

Ever see the Disney movie Brave? I’m a mother, so frankly I’m a little embarrassed how frequently I’ve seen this animated kid-flick. By far, my favorite part is where the King of Scotland holds an archery contest to “win his daughter’s hand” and, unlike in the Robin Hood of my childhood, our heroine is no passive Maid Marian. Unwilling to be married so young, this girl stands up from her seat on the dais, and pulls out her own bow and quiver of arrows, announcing she will be competing for her own hand. She then climbs down and proceeds to hit a bulls-eye on each of the suitors’ targets, shocking her parents and the clansmen. Why is this relevant? In the moment before she releases her first arrow, she realizes her very tight, restrictive dress prevents her from drawing back her bowstring. “Curse this dress!” she yells and rips the seams at the arms so she can move freely, kick asses, take names. Girlfriend has the right idea in my book.

Our clothes must give us the freedom to do what we need to do to be our best selves. Entrepreneur and Marketer Kyle Reyes recently wrote in his post With the Rise of the Millennial Comes the Fall of the Suit ,

“You know when I get my best work done? When I’m in jeans and a hoodie. And I have music playing. And a beer next to me…”

Good for him. This guy knows how to get it done. To be frank, as a career coach, I’d like to think we all have a sense of how we work best, in what atmosphere, clothes and frame of mind. This is basic process optimization. Engineers do it all the time: assess conditions and tools for maximum production and quality. I get my best work done from 9-1 each day with a giant coffee next to me. Client or no client, I am wearing a blazer, tailored jeans and my trusty 3- inch heels. Why so dressy if I am not even meeting a client? Because this is my armor. This is my proclamation that I don’t screw around, and when someone pays me big bucks to help them reframe their career and turn their image around, they are paying for that level of seriousness. This is someone’s career. Boomers, in particular feel very strongly about traditional “work rules” and how Millennials “just aren’t in line with the real world.” The truth is, the “real world” is changing. Fast. Faster than many Boomers care to admit, and many exciting, challenging and lucrative spaces don’t give a hoot if you’re sporting Chucks, Birks or Boutins, ya dig? Since the person paying me is often a Boomer on behalf of their freshly graduated kid, I project this image to help gain their trust. Kind of like bait. Anyway.

It boils down to work style, self awareness, industry knowledge, and above all, risk tolerance. Are you willing to potentially alienate some clients who don’t feel confident in your skills if you’re wearing a hoodie and a ballcap? Maybe. It might be a sign that they can’t handle the bleeding edge in a field where what is new is critical to success. How you dress then can act as a way to vet folks who would otherwise not be a good relationship fit for you and your company. If they can’t let your work speak beyond what you are wearing, or perhaps, not associate what you are wearing with what you produce, you may not be able to have a productive relationship.

This notion of dress formality in work spaces is an entrenched idea, and it will not be purged easily from the American psyche. You want to project professionalism? You wear a suit. In the South and Midwest, women wear skirt suits…with nude hose. Oh yes. I damn near gave a Hoosier an aneurism when I told her she would look dated wearing hose to a job at a startup here in New England. In grad school I called my internship before I flew to DC to take up my post and asked “what is the dress code?” “business casual” was the reply. Yikes. So much variation there. I’ll save that for another post. Needless to say, Northeast “business casual” means pumps or flats, trousers or dresses and blouses. I showed up for my first day looking like Linda Tripp at a barbecue while my co-workers donned flip flops and tiny-strapped sundresses. Lesson learned. Now I just ask what the most senior person in the office is wearing and do a more modern spin on it.

In the end, be informed and intentional. This economy is about outstanding production and services, it isn’t going to coddle someone who appears irrelevant Ask for help from someone who knows who seems on the ball.

Your appearance will tell people a lot about you. By knowing how to dress for an interview professionally, you let everyone know that you actually understand well the attention for details that is needed for a corporate life. Thus, once you’ve granted an interview for a potential job, you might want to dress professionally. And when contemplating what to wear during an interview, remember that first impression is essential.

When the time comes for a professional job interview, aside from thinking about what you are going to say and aside from ensuring that all the essential documents are ready, you also need to spend time planning about how to dress for an interview. Though your qualifications and credentials are way more important than your appearance, your attire will be the first thing that your interviewer sees.

For women, one of the most important considerations to take into account is to dress in clothes that aren’t revealing or too sexy. Women should also avoid being overly made up. A little makeup as well as perfume is fine. There are actually lots of dresses for women that are very suitable for a corporate job interview. Business suits with slacks or sufficiently long skirts would definitely do the trick for women. Basically, the overall attire as well as the accessories that women wear should also be toned. Bright colors should be avoided for they are not a great idea. Why? Since the corporate world generally identifies better in neutral and solid colors.

And when it comes to men, there’s actually a little scope in terms of making a mistakes in their attire. Men can consider wearing business suits again in solid or neutral colors. Funky hairstyles and body piercings should be avoided. Hair should definitely be neatly combed. Generally, both women and men should know how to dress for an interview, and should always dress themselves with professional dress.

Interview Attire Ideal For Men

Men need to know how to dress for an interview because the clothes you wear will actually make a great impression on your interviewer. Thus, make sure to choose appropriate men’s formal wear, clothes that will indicate about how you take the job opportunity professionally and seriously.

  • Naturally, you’ll need to dress in a suit. You should stick with the normal, solid dark colors like blue and gray. Whatever you choose, don’t opt for exotic colors such as orange, green, or magenta. Also, stick with suits that are cut from normal patterns and make sure your suit is comfortable to wear.
  • Wear a long sleeved, normal, button-up shirt. It should also be in light color with no pattern or distracting pattern. You should consider wearing a t shirt underneath in order to prevent any sweat stain. Pair your shirt with just a plain necktie.
  • Opt to plain black shoes. They should not have fancy patterns or even shoe buckles. Moreover, your shoes must be clean and polished.

Interview Attire For Women

Women should also know how to dress for an interview. Wearing professional attire during an interview can actually make a difference. The standard dress for Interview for women is still much the same with men, a gray or dark navy suit or any other conservative color.

  • Women should also avoid wearing dresses during a corporate job interview.
  • Make up must be minimal and both their nail polishes and lip stick must be in conservative tone.
  • You should also have pantyhose without runs and make sure it is conservative when it comes to color. Try using a briefcase, not your purse.
  • If you are going to wear a skirt, make sure its length is below the knee and never far from above your knee.
  • The perfect patterns for your attire are soft plaids, solids, tweed, and the likes.
  • When it comes to your shoes, opt to conservative looking shoes with mid-level heel.
  • Make sure to wear limited jewelry, and avoid dangling earrings or too much bracelets.
  • Have your hair professionally done.

By knowing how to dress for an interview, you will be immensely benefited.

Dressing For A Job Interview – Here’s Some Tips To Consider

Knowing how to dress for an interview is very critical when you have been granted for a corporate interview that can give you your dream job. Remember that you will never get your second chance, so make the right move, dress professionally, and make that first impression.

  • Make sure that your professional attire are neatly pressed and ironed. There is nothing good about wearing wrinkled clothing.
  • See to it that your attire suits you and fits you properly. If your sleeves or pants are too loose, too long, or too tight, you will probably look and feel uncomfortable and awkward.
  • During an interview, you shouldn’t wear too much flashy jewelry. You will want your interviewer to pay close attention only to you, not to your bling.
  • Dress yourself according to the current season. Don’t wear your turtleneck sweater in the summer season; your interviewer won’t appreciate that.
  • Wear mild perfume, the interviewer might be allergic with perfumes.
  • See to it that you have a clean and nice haircut; one that will make you look very well groomed or trimmed.
  • For men, remember to shave or keep your facial hair in a minimum.
  • For women, never wear a dress or attire that’s too sexy or revealing. Know how to dress for an interview professionally. You are not in for a fashion show; remember that it’s a formal job interview.
  • Avoid attires with busy, loud prints. It is best to opt to solid, conservative colors that will flatter skin tone.
  • For women, wear appropriate pantyhose or lingerie underneath your dress. This can provide you with smooth lines, assuring that you don’t actually have any visible panty line.
  • For women, do not overdo makeup. Wear only natural colors, avoid heavy eyeliner, eye shadow, or bright lipstick.

So, you are going to a job interview, congratulations! Now that you know how to dress for an interview, grab that opportunity of having the job.