Your Professional Brand over the Holiday SeasonAs holiday parties kick into high gear, remember dressing inappropriately can change the playing field with clients and colleagues long after the holiday parties are over!

Top 10 Tips for maintaining your personal and professional brand during the holiday season:

  1. Deck the halls – just not on yourself. Leave the Santa hat & antler headbands, glitter hair extensions, ornamental battery-powered necklaces & pins, shoes with bells, holiday sweaters & ties, novelty socks, plaid skirts & jackets at home! Instead, opt to be memorable for all the right reasons!
  2. One statement accessory is just the right touch! For women, if you are going to add a little bling, don’t overdo it! For men, a pocket square, cuff links, tie, or a statement watch adds just the right touch of sophistication.
  3. Daring to bare too much cleavage or skin—fatal mistake! Leave your micro-mini and plunging necklines at home!  Counterbalance bare legs with a covered-on-top look.  Showing too much cleavage can leave you isolated—while men might enjoy a little cleavage (or a lot), women definitely don’t want to look at other women’s cleavage. True story!
  4. Don’t look like Santa’s Helper – pairing a red dress with red shoes, a red bag or other red accessories is over-kill!
  5. Sequin and metallic accent tops can be festive and sophisticated—just don’t wear it head to toe (unless it is a formal dress).
  6. Wear lace the right way! Many times lace can actually make you appear to be older and it can look like lingerie or be too see-through. Avoid anything sheer, except for hosiery.
  7. Avoid showing tattoos and body piercings. Need I say more?
  8. Know the dress code before you get dressed – if you are unsure based on the verbiage in the invitation, it is OK to contact the party organizer and ask for clarification.
  9. Don’t overdress—going all-out can make you seem out-of-touch with the company culture or your clientele—or like you don’t get out enough. You want appear to be approachable and sharply dressed.
  10. Don’t under-dress! Just because you work with people day in and day out or think your clients and colleagues don’t care how you show up—think again! You should reflect your personal and professional brand. More than likely people will be snapping photos. Will you be standing tall, proud and confident or trying to hide in the back where you hope no one will see you?

When in doubt, err on the side of classy and chic. A nice warm smile and being authentic to you and your personal & professional brand goes a long way! You don’t want to be the water cooler talk for all the wrong reasons.