A general rule for professional speakers is to dress one level up from the audience. And a way to follow that rule is to go designer. However, even if your mindset is designer, your budget may not be designer, so how can you pull this off? There are five pieces I would recommend that you begin to acquire for your wardrobe that will let you get plenty of mileage, compliments, and cache out of them. And if you need to know what to wear with a designer dress you bought, here are some outfit ideas as well.
Let’s work from head to toe.
- A designer jacket. A designer jacket is going to add some oomph to a top that may have been purchased at Target. The jacket helps to pull together any stage outfit and looks great in photos. For this designer jacket, you can go the more traditional route of a blazer or a Chanel-inspired jacket.
- A designer statement necklace. Again, a statement necklace will allow you to dress up a top or dress and completely transform the ordinary to extraordinary. A designer piece will have a unique look that will be difficult for other speakers to replicate. A statement necklace is an amazing accessory to wear with a designer dress.
- A designer dress. A designer dress will offer you the opportunity to create many different looks. Pair it with different jackets, cardigans, and necklaces. By pairing it this way, it will create completely different looks and gets some extra mileage out of this designer dress. The designer dress will probably have a better cut and a more figure-flattering silhouette. As for what to wear with a designer dress, you can pair it with the other four items mentioned in this article.
- A pair of non-everyday designer high heels. An everyday high heel would be the basic, classic black or brown high heels you could wear with almost any outfit. Now, you might be thinking, “I’ll get my money’s worth if I buy classic high heels that I can wear every day.” While that may be partially true, remember that the goal is not to get your money’s worth in the traditional sense but to make as many jaws drop as possible. So when you are deciding to splurge or bargain shop for those designer heels, you want something with a pop. You want an unusual shape, color, pattern, or height. For this reason you need something that is going to elicit the audience members’ comments on you shoes to the people sitting next to them and later have audience members coming up to you to give you compliments on your shoes.
- A good pair of designer boots. And finally, in Jacqui Strafford’s book, The Wow Factor, she writes that the way to look wealthy or Chi-Chi is with a pair of boots. I completely agree with this. Also, these boots can be an investment; if you take care of them, they will last a long time. Get these in a classic style so that you can get maximum wear from them. A pair of designer boots is always going to get you compliments from other women and speakers. Lastly, I would recommend a knee-high style in either a low-heel riding boot, a wedge boot, or a high-heel boot. Either way, the knee-high style is classic.