So here it is. Let’s break it down, first, checking to make sure it meets the professional dress criteria:
- Two things on top? There are three. Check.
- Focus on the face? The face is the only skin that shows. Check.
- Equal power? It all looks respectable, nothing looks cheap, tired or dingy. Check.
This was an experiment in dressing according to the old standards. Let’s look at each element.
Jacket: Gray, because it’s softer on the face than black. It’s very nice wool with a soft hand and that shows in the photo. I like that but other than that, it’s like a man’s suit jacket in every way except for the cut and I’m tired of my mansuits.
Shirt: White cotton, pressed, with a bit of a standup collar to give it more gravitas. I like it except for two things. One, it’s a little floppy on the right side of the photo (left side of my body). That happened because it was coming untucked. I had checked it twice in the photographer’s hand mirror but it must have shifted. The other part I don’t like doesn’t show in this photo, but it’s the buttons. When men are in full business attire, you never see their shirt buttons because they are hidden by the tie. I don’t like seeing buttons. They are a point of vulnerability.
Scarf: I bought this the day before the photo shoot, when I realized the scarf I had packed (I was in Cincinnati) had a yellow cast and didn’t look right with the white shirt. Macy’s had about 30 different scarves but most wouldn’t work. They were too floral, too sparkly, too fringy, too thick. This was the only one. This one was perfect. It had enough heft to stand up without falling down my neck and enough softness to tie nicely. It has hints of gray that echo the suit and white that echoes the shirt. It also has blue, which is most people’s favorite color. It’s the perfect scarf. It is the best thing about this outfit.
Jewelry: Silver necklace resting on scarf, silver company pin (mandatory!), silver earrings. I like this jewelry a lot. It has presence. It’s not old fashioned, it’s not foo-foo. The line of the necklace echoes the neckline of the shirt. It’s perfect.
So I now have a new corporate photo with appropriate clothes and my new hair. The next task will be harder. I plan to create a new, more contemporary work wardrobe. The hard part is that no one makes the kind of clothing I have in mind. The good news is that I’m resourceful.