It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?
True, but we’re also human and being human makes us unavoidably prone to making judgments. In the end, it’s an efficiency thing—we have to make decisions about whom to trust or not, whether to spend time with certain people or not—and that often must happen quickly based on the factors that are easiest to discern.
The point is that it’s the form and the substance that comprises the full picture. Our personal brands are layered, starting with the outside and moving in from there. Your external self—how you look, sound, and “come across” to others—is more important than most of us realize or frankly want to face. Most of us believe that who we are on the inside will determine our success, that the outside stuff shouldn’t matter and people should judge us for whether we’re nice or smart or creative. Yet, the unavoidable reality, the cold hard truth, is that how you look, sound, and “feel” (more figuratively than literally) matters...a whole hell of a lot. It influences every last interaction we have—big and small, significant and irrelevant, and everything in between.
At work, our personal brand impacts whether we’re included in the room and not, whether we’re a part of key decisions or not. Those kinds of dynamics ultimately affect your position in the organization, your career advancement, and even your compensation. Over the long haul, you might look around and think, "why did he or she get that job and I didn’t?" "Why did they get invited to that meeting or event and I was overlooked when I know I’m smarter, harder working, and can add more value?" There’s a myriad of things that play into all of that, and it's definitely not just your appearance or what you’re wearing. However, it’s inevitably a key ingredient of who you are, your credibility, and how others will interact with you.
Without a doubt, your “packaging” is one of the most important factors that can make or break your career. As such, it warrants the same amount of attention as your education and your deliverables to bring to life and round out the incredible talent that you are. So where do you begin? How do you figure out what to wear and how to stand out in executive meetings and interviews and your day-to-day interactions?
We think the best place to start is right here. :)
Fashion@Work is a career girl’s guide to creating a personal brand. It’s jam-packed with advice on what to do and avoid in building your best self—both on the inside and outside—in a way that will get you noticed (in a good way) and keep you comfortable in your own skin. It provides specific actions every woman can take to complement their great skills to ensure they capitalize on their hard work with all the key ingredients needed to be included and heard.
The ultimate goal of Fashion@Work is to help working women realize that nailing your personal brand opens up a world of opportunity that might otherwise elude you. Maximizing all of this is that big of a deal—it can uncover powers you didn't know you had, turbo-charging everything else that's great about you and helping others see it. We believe that figuring this out for yourself can be utterly life-changing.
Not to mention…this fashion stuff can be a lot of fun—at least we think it is—and boy did we have fun making Fashion@Work. From the honest and heartwarming stories from some of our favorite working women to the GORGEOUS art by the amazingly talented Danielle Rose Fisher, we made this book with a whole lot of love. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did creating it.
The perfect gift for new grads, savvy career veterans, and everyone in between
What’s inside Fashion@Work?
The Lucky 21 Club
While there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to fashion, there are definitely practices that generally work...or don’t. We’ve nailed it down to 21 “guidelines” or “commandments” or what have you that will help maximize your personal brand and career success.
Be “TCP” (The Complete Package)
Confidence—we’re all constantly told that it’s the sexiest, most appealing trait a person can have, and yet achieving it is so damn hard. But…it doesn’t have to be. We lay out the actionable steps anyone can take to grow their confidence, uncover their inner gravitas, and achieve their unique version of TCP.
Mastering the Event
In every woman’s career story, there will be events that are utterly game-changing. Fashion@Work defines four—the big interview, the executive meeting, the main-stage presentation, and the customer pitch—and explores what your objective should be, what to wear, how to prepare, what obstacles you should anticipate and how to overcome them, and ultimately how to realize success in each particular event and more broadly.
Fashion Road Warrior
There are trips that refresh, energize, and make you feel like a superheroine. And then there are others that completely defeat you and take years off your life in as little as twenty-four hours. What are the determining factors that make or break your business travel experience and can you control them? Not always and not entirely, but yes you can make choices that help you own your destiny while putting distance between you and the misery. We’ve laid out our greatest tips and tricks that will turn you into a seasoned road warrior overnight.
Realizing Ageless Style
Age is such a tricky topic and potentially the most taboo within a subject that’s already awkward or even off limits. To net out the challenges and opportunities, we’ve created a framework that lays out what’s at stake for each decade—the pros and cons of a given age, your goals and objectives based on your life phase, and finally your key challenges and how to overcome them.
Fashion & Fitness
In the journey to maximize your own economic advancement and self-reliance, there’s nothing more critical or actionable to realizing your best personal self than making fitness core to your everyday life. Fashion@Work’s guiding principles for getting strong are crafted for busy working women and moms, covering everything from how to muster the enthusiasm to hit the gym after an endless day of meetings to how to get the best workout possible when you’re on the road.
The Power of After Hours
What are you doing to maximize the value of “You, Inc.”? How are you going above and beyond your day job to bolster your career profile? We break down the steps to making your personal brand concrete and bringing it to life. Learn how to create your own tagline, build a meaningful online presence and following, start a passion project that can advance your career and personal fulfillment, and more.
There are undeniable differences between all of us. Everyone has their strengths and the things they love about themselves, and, of course, the things that they wish they didn’t have. Fashion@Work’s diverse portfolio of fashion stories provides perspectives from a range of working women on how they interpret fashion’s written and unwritten rules to realize their best professional selves.
Fashion Story Sweepstakes
Have you ever dreamed of owning a beautiful watercolor portrait of yourself, painted by a genius artist? Post a photo of your favorite outfit on Instagram for a chance to win!
Here’s how it works:
Post a photo of yourself in your favorite outfit on Instagram with the hashtag #FashionStorySweepstakes. And don’t forget to tag us: @women_at_work_
We’ll choose three winners at random on 12/31.
Winners will receive a watercolor portrait from Fashion@Work artist Danielle Rose Fisher and a signed copy of Fashion@Work.
Download the Fashion Scorecard, the only packing list you’ll ever need, and more.
Check out our fitness guides! They’re specially crafted to help busy working women find their inner superhero(ine) and get strong.