The female entrepreneur is a force to be reckoned with. In Australia alone, business women raked in just under $6 billion in profits for 2013. From mining magnates to retail and restaurant chain queens, Australians should certainly be proud of their female entrepreneurs. These high-powered women know how to dress - from streamlined dresses to clean-cut business suits mix and mingle with soft feminine touches and quirky, personality building accessories and extras. Today’s female entrepreneur understands that SHE is the brand, and uses current fashion trends to optimise her business’ desired perception and persona.
However, not all of us command a large workforce; most entrepreneurs start off solo, work from their homes or visit a number of clients in different locations at different times of the day. There are a lot of female entrepreneurs in all manner of business that also need to know how to dress and accessorise appropriately, be it for a quick lunch meeting at a restaurant with a potential client, a meeting at home, a Skype call, or a visit to a client’s house. The key here as an entrepreneur is to align your clothing choice for the day to suit different situations as opposed to wearing different clothes for different occasions. The savvy entrepreneur knows how to start her day - she puts her best face forward with the least amount of fuss - her wardrobe is streamlined to fit her entrepreneurial mindset.
Designer house Celine (who started their ready-to-wear collection under celebrity head designer Michael Kors in 1997) has since had a prosperous history with their succinct and clean-cut business suits; always
staying on the classy yet feminine side of ‘business fashion.’ Their pre-fall 2013 season saw traditional chalk-striped pantsuits made modern with a slouchy, chic look. Skirt suits bore longer hemlines, paired with delicate button-down shirts, all with modern cuts and tailoring. Added to this classic style was a bit of street funk – a pair of patterned pumps or wedge loafers allowed for personality and character to shine through. Designer Stella McCartney and Diane von Fursternburg expertly add feminine touches to the business look.
A signature style adds volume to being congruent in the marketplace and it is a strategic choice as is being open to embracing changes to keep your look current and interesting. The world of accessories can make an impactful statement. The entrepreneur is spoilt for choice; envelope clutches in the season’s colours and patterns stylishly hold all important documents. Zipped portfolios fit an ipad and compartments with smaller pouches house all the stuff you need to change over from day to night.
Successful female entrepreneurs are thoroughly focussed on their success and are conscious about letting their brand shine through. The number one fashion rule for a successful entrepreneur is not to wear anything too sexy or too ‘weekend.’ Ask yourself: what impression do I want to give to my clients and employees? You ARE the brand you’re trying to project. Your fashion choice have to communicate your role, your industry and your personality. The choices out there are many and it is dangerously easy to create a fashion faux pas; a useful thing to do is to stick to just a few labels that you know works for you; they must appeal to your sense of style and personality and more importantly, their cuts must suit your body type. Don’t forget the details;touch up with interesting jewellery pieces and a pair of great shoes to take it to the next level.
Know that your business is as successful as you look.
In Part Two of this segment, we look at the different kinds of female entrepreneurs and what they should be wearing to complement their style of business personality.