So my last two posts dealt with the importance of image and marketing yourself at professional engineering event such as conferences and seminars…
…and how to dress the part….
For this post, I want to wrap up by going into a bit more detail on key items that (in my opinion) every woman needs in her closet to be Engineer-Chic!
Engineer-Chic Must Have # 10: Colour
The cardinal rule of professional dressing is to stick to sober colours. You can’t go wrong with black, grey, navy, beige and chocolate brown as the basis of your suit or ensemble. But its still important to let your personality shine through! This can easily be done by pairing a neutral suit with a brightly-coloured blouse or shirt. I have been quite daring with this, pairing grey trousers with a fuscia top, but if you prefer to stick to a muted colour palette that’s ok!
Try to stick to the same hue, and ensure the colours you choose always complement each other and never clash! Also, try not to mix up beiges and greys. If you’re wearing a beige suit, choose brown shoes. If you go for a grey suit, choose a daring midnight blue (matched to the same colour of blouse). Black is safest and usually goes well with everything.
Engineer-Chic Must Have # 9: Understated Accessories
Invest in a good pair of diamante earrings, a classy watch and a delicate necklace to add a timelessly classic look to your outfit. Alternatively, you could opt for just one, strategically placed fashion item such as an over-sized bangle or cute belt. Stay away from chunky or dangling jewelry that will detract from others concentrating on you when you talk.
A neat, oversized handbag could work well to keep your conference material in so you won’t have to carry papers around all day (and its always handy to keep your make-up with you in case you end up going out for an impromptu dinner with colleagues).
Engineer-Chic Must Have # 8: The Skirt-Suit
Always remember to stay feminine, no matter how submerged you are in our manly field. During the work-day, we trudge about mines and plants in our overalls, but we are equally as capable of looking fabulous in a skirt! Choose one that works for your body shape, and try not to bury it under tights or leggings. As long as it’s around knee-length, show off those gorgeous legs!
Engineer-Chic Must Have # 7: Leather Document Folder
No plastic! Leather will last you years and looks professional. Invest in something quality!
Engineer-Chic Must Have # 6: Good Maintenance!
No excuses. Even if your nails are short, manicure them and make sure they’re neat and pretty. I know you don’t have time, (which is why I do my nails myself on a Friday night!) Get your hair done for the event. You need to take care of yourself once in a while – you deserve it! At the event, wear your hair clipped back or let it hang loose. Don’t be afraid to turn on that glam!
Engineer-Chic Must Have # 5: The Wedge Heel
I personally love the wedge heel. It gives your body the height and the streamlined shape without killing your feet or causing you to hobble around all day in pain! As an engineer, you will appreciate the support – simply, you’re spreading the pressure surface right? Plus, they still look great and can be very sexy, while remaining classy at the same time! Try them, you will love them!
Engineer-Chic Must Have #4: The Crisp, White Shirt
This item is an amazing must-have of every woman. Its versatility, simplicity and professional look adds style and class to most ensembles. It’s the trusty friend you can rely on when everything else fails. Choose a good, trendy fit and replace it often to avoid yellowing or fading.
Engineer-Chic Must Have # 3: The Famous Shift Dress
Now I appreciate that not all body-types look good in this style. Curvy and hourglass shapes (myself included) beware! But if you can its great – see previous post. But if you happen to be ‘gifted’ with a full or curvy figure, try a simple A-line fit that nips at the waist and flares out to the knee, or pair with a belt for a trendy look. The reason that this is #3 is that it can be dressed up or down or spruced up to go out for cocktails!
Engineer-Chic Must Have # 2: A Signature Item
Every woman is unique, so let a little personality finish of your look. My personal signature item is stone grey pendent of Africa I wear on a black string around my neck. It almost doesn’t fit in with some outfits, but in a way it works! I love it because it’s unique to me and shows where my heart is J (and I love the conversations that it sparks up)
Engineer-Chic Must Have # 1: Clothes That Fit!
And the number 1 must-have is definitely a good fit for your clothes. I know you may feel self-conscious showing your shape, but if you’re swimming in your clothes, it only makes you feel uncomfortable and look 10kgs heavier than you are! Likewise, if you’ve recently gained some due to a very happy Christmas (trust me, I know the feeling), its ok to get a slightly larger size of pants (I know you plan on losing the extra few pounds soon, but you don’t want to feel uncomfortable in clothes that are just too tight!)