Guest Blogger: Gayle Petrillo
Recently I have been attending a lot of networking events, morning, noon and evening, promoting my annual fundraising event in Tucson, Arizona. What astounds me is how women in every age bracket are dressing. In fact, everywhere you go, notice the outfits women wear in the office as well as throughout the day. There are too many B’s: Boobs, Bellies and Butts showing.
In part we can blame the department store buyers. They are dressing the mannequins for the ‘perfect woman’. Ladies, she doesn’t exist.
When I gave a presentation to a group women ranging in age from 30 to 70 earlier this week, this trend was rampant. These were mostly businesswomen, in banking, real estate, mortgage lending, and healthcare. Some also were newly retired, trying to figure out their next act.
What I see around me, as most of you likely do too, are too many B’s. The first “B” is the boobs. Our boobs are hanging out of our tops and dresses. How do we accept that this is acceptable in business and social circles? When we are young, our shapely breasts are firm and high. As we age, however, they sag and droop. Thank you, gravity. Here’s a tip: Regardless of our age, I believe we should be fitted for the right size and shape of bras. It makes a HUGE difference in how our clothes fit, and in our overall appearance. Let’s leave a little to others’ imagination, please.
The second “B” is the belly. Yes, we see it everywhere. Bellies are protruding either under our mid-riff tops or through our clothes. This is not attractive. Due to our mostly overweight population, even women under 30 are showing their not-so-flat tummy.
The third “B” is the butt. Large butts seem to be all the rage. I get it; if you have it, flaunt it. Well, not so fast. Copy-catting celebrities is fine if you are going to be on stage too. In the work, and even in the social environment, less is not more. By that I mean, please cover up. It goes to having manners and etiquette. Shaking butts, baring your cheeks or butt crack is not pleasant for anyone else to look at.
What I propose is this. Look in the mirror before you step out the door. One glance is all it should take. I know most of our mornings are hectic; however, it doesn’t take any more time to dress to cover than not. If time is a concern, and you vacillate before deciding on what you will wear at any given moment (I do), choose your clothes in the evening, lay them out or hang them together so you can grab and go. Perhaps in the evening you will have a bit more time to actually try on the clothes you choose and make an informed decision. Take advantage of the spanks-like undergarments.
Is the dress or skirt or slacks too tight? Can I close the buttons on my blouse without them popping when I move my arms?
“Why is it so important?,” you may ask. The answer is very simple. It only takes someone three to seven seconds (yes, that’s all!) to make a decision about you, before you even open your mouth, based solely on your appearance, whether you are trustworthy, could be a friend or ally. We never know who we might be making a first impression on and that person may have an impact on our life… the right significant other; the right next boss; the right best friend; and so on.
So how do we dress to cover? We know, don’t we, that as women, we wear different sizes, depending on the designer, style, store brand, etc. Yet, many of us see ourselves as a specific size, whether it’s a 2, 8 or 14; small, medium, large, extra-large or larger. What we are missing is that clothes should be comfortable and make us feel good. When we look good, we feel great. We smile more. Smiles are contagious and make us attractive to others.
Choose clothes that are not too tight across the bust, that cover your tush and your tummy. I grew up hearing, “Leave something to the imagination.” We would all do well to still heed that message. We know when we are trying things on in a fitting room, in our own home after making an online purchase or checking out a gift we receive, whether the item feels good. Does it look good? If you try on a size 10, and it buckles above your bottom or the buttons gap as you move, it likely is not the right fit. Go up a size. No one but you will know; you can even cut the tag out.
Go shopping with a friend or professional shopper to get advice as to what looks good, and fits well. Ask for honest feedback and reciprocate. When you receive a compliment, remember that outfit for the fit, color, shape and style that looks good on you. Repeat it. Good fitting clothing will help you make your best first impression. Let’s start a trend!
About The Author:
Gayle Petrillo is President of First Impressions, Image Consulting. Gayle is an image consultant working with both businesses and individuals. Her services include: customer service training; team building skills; secret shopper services; gossip avoidance techniques; closet analysis; wardrobe transformations, personal shopping; employment coaching; and presentation skills. She has joined Kuel Life and will be offering an online class exclusively for Kuel Life – ‘Transform Your Threads with Gayle’. Coming very, very soon. You can email Gayle directly for a consultation.