Even Pippa Middleton makes the occasional faux pas! Pippa was seen wearing a green dress and stilettos to a country wedding. Proper etiquette indicates that stilettos are inappropriate attire for a country wedding and wearing green to such an occasion is considered unlucky. (Wedding’s and green should never be seen.)

Although stressing over the outfit worn to a wedding may seem trite,

you only ahve one chanse to make a furst impresshun.

Hopefully you get the message – To adapt a phrase, “ What you look and act like speaks so loudly I don’t care what you say.” Individuals spend precious time and dollars improving job skills specific to their industry and often ignore the most important element for career advancement – business dress and deportment.

You may not recognize your personal faux pas but trust me, others do. Whether you are on a job interview, meeting a client, at a networking event or business luncheon, others are observing and making judgements based on how you look and act.

Seem a little radical? Let’s bring it closer to home. Ever see a professional woman presenting to an audience with lipstick on her front teeth or a man so ample around the girth he cannot button his suit jacket? What is your image saying about you?

Here are a few well meaning suggestions for putting your best foot forward.


1. Look at your head.
Ladies: Is your hair style current (from the last 5 years). Is the color and style flattering. No white/black roots. Get rid of the frizz.
Gentlemen: Hair must be well groomed – no hair on back of neck – No hair sprouting out of any orifice. I hate to be the one to break the news but 10 strands of hair combed across the top of the head is not fooling anyone but you. Bald is in – even Prince William is loosing his hair so I am sure it’s the craze. If you shave your head make sure you do a good job. It makes me cringe to see nicks up there.

2. Look at your face.
Ladies: Wear makeup and lipstick. Have you had a make-over in the past 5 years? If not, get one. Make-up styles change. Look at your eyebrows. There are supposed to be two. Eyebrows frame the eyes. Have them professionally done and again, up to date. Use a good skin care system.
Gentlemen: Be clean shaven and if you have facial hair make sure it is well groomed. Eyebrows should not look like the Grinch that Stole Christmas and please, no visible nose hair, blackheads or blemishes. Real men – men who want to move up in their career – use skin care regularly.

3. What about your teeth?

Have them cleaned at least twice per year. If you have any broken or discolored teeth get them fixed. Yes, it may be expensive but much more important for your career and success than the new smart phone or ipad. Check your breath – when in doubt, assume it’s bad. Bad breath is one of the main reasons people will not do business with you. Use breath mints, tic-tac, spray, etc. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly will help with this.

4. What are you wearing?

Do your clothes fit you? A favorite outfit that looked great on you 2 sizes ago is not flattering. Again, you’re not impressing anyone but yourself wearing clothes you had to squeeze into with seams that are aching to pop. Look in the mirror. If your waist is looking more like a ‘muffin top’ you might want to spend some time in the gym.

5. Ladies: What are you selling – professional skill and competence or sex appeal?

Statistically, women who wear suggestive clothing in the workplace are less likely to be promoted. Cleavage is totally inappropriate and no one wants to see your underwear, regardless of how much money you spent for it; not your bra straps or the top of your thong when you bend over.

In today’s market it is not mission impossible but mission critical that we put everything in our favor. Your image speaks volumes to others before you open our mouth. What is your image saying about you?


Dawn Pici is a sales strategist, master trainer and co-author of the book Sell Naked on the Phone. She, along with her husband Joe, has developed a results driven sales methodology that can be utilized in any industry, with any product or service. Contact – [email protected]; [email protected] or call 407-947-2590.