Project an Image of Success Every Day

The Everyday Profesional look varies with each profession/iStock photo courtesy of  STYLEdge®

By Patty Soltis, Guest Columnist

 Each morning, we rise and shine doing our routine.  That may involve working out, meditating, getting the kids ready, and mentally preparing for the day ahead.  Then we have to go to our closet to figure out what to wear for the day.

You may be in a rush and your mind is elsewhere.  You open the closet doors and view what is there.  Most feel frustrated that it is the same old things, often purchasing the same items repeatedly, almost like a uniform.  Others feel like there is nothing there to wear, nothing that fits, nothing that looks good.  Imagine if you opened your closet and it was filled with clothing and accessories that made you feel as if you were going to conquer the world, or at a minimum off to solve your problems.

We all have to dress for work each day and that is the Everyday Professional look.  This look varies by profession, whether or not you work remotely or in an office or what activities you have for the day.

Everyday Professional attire/iStock photo courtesy of  STYLEdge®

There are some key components that work for all types of professionals.

The first one is to organize your closet.  Figure out what you want to Keep, Alter, Donate and Discard.  Have a professional help you with this, a friend or family member will either pacify you because they do not want to hurt your feelings or aggravate you with their honesty.  Classify your closet by trousers, jackets, shirts, long sleeve and short sleeve, and  for women, skirts and dresses.  Do the same thing with your accessories including shoes, handbags, jewelry, hosiery and socks.

Next, understand what is appropriate to wear to work.  Unless you are a lifeguard, flip flops are never appropriate.  Unless you are a yoga instructor, neither are yoga pants.  Remember that a first impression is made in the blink of an eye —  do not underestimate this fact.  It is better to be the best dressed person rather than one flying under the radar.  Many offices have adopted Business Casual as appropriate for the Everyday Professional, but realize who and where you are interacting with each day.

Here’s a personal example.  Like most of you, I prefer to wear more casual clothing and have to review my calendar each day to see where I am going and who I could potentially see.  Because my job takes me to many public places, I have to dress to impress daily.  Yes, I would prefer to put on a pair of jeans with a fabulous top and a pair of booties, but my appointments and locations do not allow for that.  Unless I know that I am spending the better part of my day in someone’s closet or racing around looking for the right pieces for a client, I know what to do.  So each day, I dress to impress with something appropriate for the Everyday Professional. There are countless times that I have run into a client, potential client or influential person and have always been thankful that I was dressed to be powerful, memorable and impressive.

Light colors work for this mode of attire/iStock photo courtesy of STYLEdge®

Here are some simple tips to help you with your Everyday Professional look:

  1. Build a base color in your wardrobe, something like black, navy, grey. Then layer in colors, prints, metallics, animal prints and other pieces.  As I have said in the past, build your wardrobe so that you are comfortable.  If wearing a lot of color or print makes you nervous, add a little bit at a time.  This will give you variety and help break out of your uniform.
  2. Ensure that you have basics in your wardrobe. For both men and women, a white button-down shirt and basic jackets/blazers are necessities.
  3. Make sure that clothing is pressed, this seems basic, but needs to be said. Check for hems that are falling out, buttons that are missing, stains on attire and most of all, check your knits for pilling.  These are the little nubs that form on the top of the fabric that indicate wear.
  4. Shoes need to be shined and polished. Have the taps on your shoes replaced regularly and check the soles to see if they need to be replaced.
  5. Make a shopping list of what is missing in your closet and stick to it. It is far too easy to become overwhelmed when shopping, then end up underwhelmed when you cannot find anything you like.  Remember that a list is a must.
  6. Understand your size. This is for both men and women.  Men tend to wear oversized clothing; wear attire that fits because all of the extra fabric adds weight.  For women, wear what fits you today and stop criticizing your body.  Those pieces that will eventually fit need to be removed or go to the back of the closet.
  7. Ensure that you have and are using your resource guide. Make sure that you have someone for shoe repair, alterations, grooming, jeweler and dry cleaner.  Download the STYLEdge Resource Guide from
  8. Invest in your investment pieces. A great suit can add longevity to your wardrobe as can a timepiece, an idea for both men and women.  For women, invest in a pair of diamond earrings, studs or small hoops, that hug the ear.  Shoes that fit will save your feet for the long term.
  9. Review the trends of the season to stay updated and evaluate how you can incorporate them into your wardrobe.  (Every trend is not for everyone.)

The navy jacket is a must for every man/iStock photo courtesy of  STYLEdge®

Wake up tomorrow and the next day with a closet that is your arsenal to set the tone of power, success and results for the day.  Walk out your door and get in the car with a feeling of triumph to carry you through the day.  That is the key for the Everyday Professional. 

Patty Soltis/Photo courtesy of  STYLEdge®

Patty Soltis has spent the last three years as a frequently sought-after image consultant who specializes in working with alpha business leaders to match their brand with a credible and professional image.  She worked in retail for 27 years and was the general manager at the prominent retailers Lord & Taylor and Marshall Fields.  Patty worked for nearly 14 years at Neiman Marcus, mainly as their vice president.  She has worked with thousands of professionals over decades of change on their timeless image.  Patty can be seen on television and heard on radio and podcast shows.  She has been in media in print and online regularly as an expert.  She is the author of “First Impressions Last”, a book for the professional woman to exude confidence, power and skill with her attire.

Her Five Modes of Professional Attire give the client an impression to start the journey to competence, power and success.  Most of all, her clients make an impression that exudes leadership, achievement and results as an industry leader.  As a professional speaker, Patty communicates how to dress for success in a candid and interactive manner.  She educates and trains her audience how to put the Five Modes of Professional Attire into their life with ease and simplicity.  Patty points out items to invest in for a “cost per wear” return and how to shop on a budget.

Be powerful, be impressive, be memorable.

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