In my career, I have seen accomplished professional women make fashion faux pas that affected their image and credibility. I’m about to reveal a few of these mistakes so you don’t have to make the same slipups that undermine your image. I will give 10 specific examples of fashion mistakes no one talks about that you should not do to make sure you look polished and sophisticated.

Mistake Number 1: First, to show you a few key examples you never want to wear an average priced 100% polyester dress. I call them the Macy’s polyester dress. I have talked about it before but I am restating it because it’s so important. It doesn’t make you look sophisticated or accomplished even if it’s in a nice jewel color and even if you pair it with a blazer of similar quality. These kinds of dresses will not do it and will not make you look like the highly credible expert that you are. If you are going to go for a polyester dress, it has to be from a higher quality store if you want to look the part or if you want to come across as a competent and successful expert. Most executives wear clothes that look more sophisticated, which means that are higher in quality or made from natural fabrics like silk or wool blends. These fabric blends can include polyester, which is fine as polyester adds resistance to the clothes. As long as it’s a blend and it’s good quality, you are good to go.  

Mistake Number 2: You don’t want to wear a casual fabric such as this rayon dress. It will not make you look professional either. I know they are super comfortable, but keep the rayon dresses for the weekend. You especially want to avoid a stretch bodycon tight dress made of rayon with high heels. Not only is it too sexy, but it’s also inappropriate and too casual for a professional work setting. So save these sexy casual fabric dresses for a date night. 

Mistake number 3: Cardigans. One of my biggest pet peeves. I see women wear them all the time and I can’t help but cringe every time because it just doesn’t do you any favor. It doesn’t make you look credible or professional. Cardigans also look too casual and have a bit of a drab or shabby look. Especially these see-through vests that women wear to hide their arms. They are the least professional-looking cardigans and the least stylish piece of clothing there is. I know it’s blunt, but it’s true and I want you to look as credible as possible. Go for a blazer or a long sleeve top instead. Do you see how much more polished and professional the woman on the right looks. Blazers or structured jackets add more interest than wearing a cardigan, which is not only bland looking, but also much less polished or professional. See the difference if I wear a cardigan instead of my blazer Please stop wearing those cardigans over your dress, which only make you look older than you are and not stylish. Blazers are not what they were 20 years ago. There are all kinds of fun blazers and jackets with cool shapes and details now. If you don’t like fun stylish blazers or get too hot wearing one, then try and pick dresses that already have long sleeves, so you don’t have to wear an unstylish cardigan.

Mistake Number 4: I see some women wearing clothes that are too tight. This is not a chic look and I know it feels good to see we can wear a smaller size, but trust me, it doesn’t do you any favor. You NEED to wear fitted clothes. If the fit is an issue for your body type. Buy a size larger and bring the garment to the tailor to have it altered. Some people think that wearing a size bigger will make them look smaller, but it does the exact opposite. Wearing bigger clothes will make you look like you are trying to hide something and it will actually make You look bigger.

Mistake Number 5: Miniskirts or dresses are not ideal. You want to keep the length at the knee or at the most just 1 inch above the knee if you really like to show off your legs. The exception to this rule is if you wear the dress as a tunic with pants or with opaque stockings like this which looks really stylish.  If you do wear a mini skirt, make sure you don’t have a cleavage showing.

Mistake Number 6: Sometimes see women wear casual knee-high boots with a dress. It doesn’t work. Instead, make sure the boot is dressy looking. Look for leg tight boots (not loose at the calf) made of a nice leather. 

Mistake number 7: Exposed Bra straps. Don’t do it. A top with fun straps is always interesting looking and different, but you need to get a bra that will be concealed completely. Period. No exceptions.

Mistake Number 8: Cork wedges. They are too casual and not appropriate for a professional setting.

Mistake Number 9: When going for a classic sandal heel, make sure the strap going over the toes is straight and modern looking. Anything that resembles this silhouette will date your look instantly. Fashionistas can pull it off really well if done correctly and if it suits their personal brand style, but it’s not for most people. You will see some fashionistas wear this style with a big platform, which to me makes it look better and more stylish, but as I said it’s not for most people’s brand style. If it becomes a trend, then I would say it’s ok as you will then look modern, but if it’s not the trend of the moment, I would not even try to pull off this type of shoe myself because I know it doesn’t suit my brand style and it would make me look less stylish instantly.    

Mistake number 10: Low-quality handbags and shoes. Handbags and shoes are worth investing in to look the part. You don’t want handbags or shoes that are cheap looking. The best way to ensure they don’t look cheap is to make sure they are made of genuine leather.  

You just learned some fashion mistakes to avoid namely wearing lower quality clothes. I know it can be confusing to know what quality is good enough, so I created a 2-page guide called quality meter that helped many of my clients take the confusion out of shopping for professional clothes. This free guide will tell you exactly at which point the quality is good enough and when it will make your outfit look cheaper. Click here to access it.

You can also click here to check my youtube video called super stylish outfit formulas. This will give you great ideas that will support you in looking more polished and stylish.

Au revoir! Xx

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