Mopdog’s In-House Fashionistas Share Style Secrets for Any Professional
You may have a clear sense of style, but is your look coming through as a successful personal brand? It is important in the professional world to take an honest look at how colleagues and clients see you, and ultimately quickly view your skill level. In this day in age, the business side of yourself is not always presented in person, but often as an online persona.
Unfortunately, it is all to common to see women (and men!) on social media platforms or in the office stumbling into fashion pitfalls, especially when it comes to clothing styles that prevent them from being taken seriously. It is important to stand out professionally, for a good reason, not look like you are heading for date night or a casual day of running errands. It is critical for online profiles, like LinkedIn, not to appear risqué, too casual or unpolished. When promoting or presenting yourself—whether online or in-person—your image should match your current position, the company you are representing or the position you wish to achieve.
Three members of the Mopdog pack are excellent examples of smart, savvy, businesswomen, who blend their personal styles into a professional, yet personal, brand. Each finds a way to express both their trendiness and expert knowledge in their client-facing roles.
As one of the youngest Mopdog pack members at 23 years old, Hannah Huie says she has definitely fallen victim to horrible fashion trends in the past, like chocker necklaces from the late ‘90s. But over time, Hannah says she has also opened her mind to pieces she at first thought were too silly, like gaucho pants, which she recently admitted might pair nicely with a pair of wedges.
Most of the Mopdog office sees her has young and fashionable, but Hannah says, “I’ve always dressed older than my age.” Growing up in a small Alabama town, her aesthetic is more conservative—conscious not to project the wrong image by wearing something too tight.
Hannah trends towards loose-fitting, long-hanging, bohemian, peasant blouses in muted, natural tones, often paired with skinny pants for her slender, 5-foot-8-inch frame. Sticking more to separates than dresses, Hannah might seem to have a laid-back style, but her professional appearance goal is “to look put together,” so it is apparent she made an effort.
Hannah, who has a Bachelor of Science in Commerce & Business Administration Marketing, has been an account coordinator with Mopdog for six months, mentoring under Account Manager Lauren Baldwin and Chief Strategy Officer Cheryl Musial. Under the watchful eyes of both of these ladies, Hannah says she has learned…“your shoes make the whole outfit.”
A young mother of a two-year-old daughter with a baby boy on the way, Lauren Baldwin says she used to try hard to keep up with trends as soon as they hit the stores. But now, Lauren is more aware of what matches her personality or flatters her body type. She is still very interested in the latest styles, “but within reason,” to appear both fresh AND age appropriate.
Lauren’s fashion sense first began to mature when she transitioned to a permanent position with Mopdog three years ago. She started seeking out many suit sets for business meetings. “I am kind of selling myself, when I work with clients,” Lauren says. Now more comfortable in her role, she knows when to dress it up or when a slightly casual look will better hit the mark. Her staples include a black blazer that can go with dress pants, dresses and the right pair of jeans—dark wash, appropriate fit, with no holes or distress marks.
For this next phase as a young working mom with a baby bump, her style is a mix of maternity clothes and regular items. It’s about finding a good balance of professional options, while still showing her excitement for this happy time. “Maternity fashion has come a long way from the horror stories of the past.”
No matter what period in her life, Lauren’s style is about being fun, light-hearted and friendly. “I hate wearing the same outfit over and over,” she says. Lauren is not afraid to mix tones and patterns, without choosing overwhelming or clashing combinations of bright colors (teal, peach, blue, yellow) with coordinated, flattering jewelry. “I want some depth or some feel to it,” Lauren says, adding that of course high heels at the office is a must, because they elevate her physical look with better posture, while also mentally giving her more confidence.
Perhaps the most dynamic fashionista in the Mopdog office, Cheryl Musial has honed her professional style throughout 20 years of working in sales and marketing—actively consulting in the health care industry, as well as various local, regional, national and global companies, and serving with numerous boards and non-profit organizations.
Cheryl says in sales, it is important to know your audience. Who are you meeting? Who are you talking with? By knowing the company’s culture, you can better dress right on target, or just a notch above, so they feel comfortable with your presence and ultimately determine you are the right fit. “Even jeans and t-shirt can be dressed up with a blazer and pumps,” she says, adding that for the first meeting with a new client, she might dress more conservative. “Your first impression is a lasting impression.”
As a leader, Cheryl says her outfit should set a tone for a meeting. “How I dress that day is a reflection of what I need to accomplish that day,” she says. If it is an important meeting, Cheryl admits she will add a pop from a power color, like bright red, even if just her nail polish or shoe choice. “Something red makes me feel more in charge.”
Hannah describes Cheryl’s look as “classy all the way.” Cheryl agrees this is her focus, sticking to a clean look with one solid color, but she always adds a fun twist or bit of flare. Working in a marketing and communications firm allows for more creativity to be unique and not corporate, she says. Her secret…when planning an outfit, she starts by picking a set from one of her many pairs of shoes—recently slimmed down after donating several to charity.
Mopdog Speaks: Your Online Persona
Our clients are often unsure of how to present themselves in the online environment. RSVP for our complimentary webcast, hosted on Wednesday, April 22, to:
- See how strategic activity on LinkedIn can help generate buzz (and leads) for your business.
- Learn how to craft unique thought leadership content to stand out as the go-to-source for industry insights.
- Hear directly from a Mopdog client about the giant following she has built by cultivating her online professional persona.
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