Web 2.0 Style: How to Dress for Success

September 17, 2009

Web 2.0 Style:  How to Dress for Success

Image by ariwriter


The global prospects that professionals have an opportunity to engage in these days the Web 2.0 way is exciting! The overall objective is to create and to deepen relationships with consumers…employees…colleagues, to strengthen one’s appeal within a particular niche market or to broaden one’s market share as a whole. A quick and effective way to instantaneously reinforce your professional mission statement is to have your online business attire support these values, skills and objectives too. To stay on top of your game, it is important to think about the different scenarios that will provide you with planned and unplanned online business marketing opportunities. Create outfits and make clothing and accessory purchases that support your business aspirations. It is vital to not forget that the way you present yourself is another marketing tool – one that can span the globe within seconds.

There is definitely a different approach to dressing for each of the various media outlets. Online means “keep it simple!” Make sure you do not wear items that distract your viewer from paying attention to your message and the product or service you are presenting. Any visual distractions will compete with your message. This includes stage settings, scene backdrops, lighting, and fellow contributor’s attire. To get you started, I want to share some general style ”no-no’s” that will guide you to dressing for success online. Here are 10 style choices to avoid when engaging the public the Web 2.0 way!:

Online Style Tips

1. Avoid ill-fitting clothes.
It is visually distracting to viewers when your clothes don’t fit correctly. This mishap is glaring on film or in photographs. Pay particular attention to shoulder seams. Make sure they start at the outside tip of the shoulder depending on the design. Plus don’t forget about the length of skirts or pants. The aim is to make sure clothes are not so big or long that they overwhelm the body or so tight or short that they over expose the body. In both circumstances, observers end up paying more attention to everything but you!

2. Avoid black.
I love black too, but here’s the deal. Black can be lovely in person but on film or in photographs the color black tends to make you look invisible – the opposite objective of your marketing efforts. The design and fabric details on the garment, that you probably paid extra money for, vanish as well. Plus black materials can be deceiving under different lighting situations. HERE we can learn from some celebrity misfortunes. And let’s not forget that, albeit misinformed, most everyone will already have on black attire. Try to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

3. Avoid white.
I know…I know…everyone loves a crisp white shirt. However, white will overwhelm your facial features on film and in photographs even when you have a darker complexion. Oftentimes, your viewers will see white as glaring. The bold white color is an unnecessary visual detour for a viewer. Make it easier on yourself and stay clear of white, especially for headshots. There are so many other colors to choose from that would work much better online.

4. Avoid red.
To find the right shade of red that compliments your skin tone is already very tricky. A little known additional challenge is that the color red changes hues depending upon the surrounding light source. This ‘new’ shade of red could end up being an unflattering shade on you, actually highlighting any blemishes on your skin or creating the appearance of blemishes where none actually exist. There are easier and better color options out there for you. Why take the chance?

5. Avoid looking boring.
It inspires observers when you wear flattering, age-appropriate, contemporary business attire. The audience, the employees, the viewers, the clients, the customers – they are all looking to you to inspire them. When you present yourself in a professionally dynamic way you attract positive attention. So, don’t be boring…be inspiring with your ideas but don’t forget to support your ideas with your attire!

6. Avoid shiny fabrics.
In person, shiny fabrics produce a wonderful glow that reflects onto a woman’s face making her skin appear more plump, dewy and younger. On film, however, shiny fabrics appear cheap regardless of actual price. And cheap looking fabrics make a woman appear juvenile. A better choice would be to wear matte fabrics on camera.

7. Avoid prints or horizontal stripes.
I love both prints and stripes however; on camera, solid colored garments are a full proof approach to keeping attention on an individual’s face. To make it easier on yourself, it is best to avoid prints and stripes and try to create more visual interest in your outfit by mixing complimentary solid colors, wearing garments with modern cuts and details, and adding flattering contemporary accessories.

8. Avoid cutesy (or quirky) details.
In an attempt to appear modern and on trend with their attire, many women wear garments that have some sort of cute detail or they add a quirky accessory to their outfit. In terms of fashion, cute or quirky is distracting and perhaps even dated and will rarely support your business endeavors. There are better options to differentiate you.

9. Avoid large pendant or choker necklaces.
Yes, pendant necklaces do grab your viewers’ attention and draw the eye up towards your face but, necklaces that have large pendants are out-of-date and are visually distracting to the viewer. A necklace that has a smaller, more delicate looking pendant that blends into the skin tone is more contemporary and is not distracting. This type of pendant necklace actually does the job it was intended to do by bringing the focus to the face; the center of communication. And beware of choker necklaces; they look like a noose which is extremely distracting to viewers.

10. Avoid unkempt hair and too much makeup.
Both will detract from your message. Your hairstyle and makeup should have enough pizzazz to highlight and to enhance your facial features but, not so much that again distracts your viewer’s attention away from your content. You want to look polished but not overdone.

Read more at Part I or Part II – after an examination of our professional online image, discussing ways to take control and tips to make it happen.

Did you realize that what you are wearing today while engaging in your business activities could show up all over the internet? If so, I would love to hear your online style strategies and share them with Corporate Fashionista’s readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Kristinia…what colors would you suggest for a Skype presentation where just the upper body and face shows? Would the color be dependent on hair color, skin color, or both?

  • MooreOnStyle

    Hi – Welcome! That’s a great question! Yes, hair color, eye color, skin tone plus background and lighting should all be taken into consideration. Colors that are flattering off camera on you will be flattering on camera as well. But camera and film lighting can place a gray overtone to colors. Here’s a surefire trick that would work great for a Skype presentation and override this problem – select a flattering solid color but pump up the volume slightly with those colors. In other words, wear colors that are SLIGHTLY bolder than you might usually select off-camera. Not too bright…not too loud but have a little more richness to them. Some of the best colors to choose from are those in the blue and green family. Select a flattering shade of blue or green in a slightly bolder hue and your skin tone, eyes, facial expressions will become enlivened on screen. Even your teeth will look whiter and brighter. Skype participants will be drawn to you.