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Women in Business:
3 Fashion-based Career Killers

A personal branding report says any of 3 fashion mistakes will derail a woman’s career faster than outing the boss’ new hairpiece. Every office in America has these career-challenged fashion victims and no one will tell them it is the number one roadblock to career success for women.

According to Fame 101 , a new book on personal branding, millions of talented women block career advancement because of the “Terrible Too’s”: too much style, dressing too young, and sporting too-bad hair. Author Maggie Jessup says the quickest career killer can also be the fastest career fix if you simply repair 3 fashion mistakes.

Career Killer No. 1 – Too much style.

Some women in business believe that because they spend insane amounts to wear the latest styles from New York their career look just couldn’t be better. They’re wearing the Rolls Royce of outfits and if anyone doubts how great they look they must be mistaken because these are “this year’s colors” or “how they’re wearing slacks in New York” and after all, “they’re Jimmy Choos”.

Unfortunately many of these styles only look good if you’re an underweight 6 foot 19 year old and very few women in business fall into this category. The style rule you must follow to look great and have presence is to make wardrobe decisions based on what looks good on you; with what’s in style only a secondary consideration.

Career Killer No. 2 – Too young.

This wardrobe trap can snare even the smartest of women in business and it is deadly for a career. A simple example will make the point. If you are a forty five year old office manager, don’t shop at Forever 21.

For some reason a surprising number of women believe they can take off 10 years by dressing 20 years younger; when actually the opposite is true. It may be fun but you will never achieve the look you’ll need to be a leader in your field. The people who could put your career on the fast track won’t take you seriously. This is about appropriateness; dress just right for your age.

Career Killer No. 3 – Too bad hair.

We live in a hair-obsessed society; yours must be great or at least really good. Have you ever had someone look at your new cut or style and say “Ouch, that’s too bad?” Likely not, because even your best friend will lie to you about this career-builder or career-killer for women in business.

So what can you do to get that great look? Follow a few simple rules: Never do a home perm, under no circumstances have your best friend dye your hair, if you have the same cut you had in high school it is wrong, and work nights at the Dairy Queen if you must so that you can afford a quality style, cut, and color.

Note here to watch out for the too much style trap because something that would rock in New York can make you look foolish in Phoenix.

“You can make a powerful lasting impression in a business setting with fashion” said Maggie Jessup, Fame 101 author and co-founder of Platform Strategy, a publicity and branding firm. “These fashion errors are the most overlooked elements of building great careers for women and they are also the quickest, easiest, and least expensive to fix.” - the home of professional expert advice and  information for women and their family

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