Style Entitlement?

This is a guest post by Susan Mowder.  She is the owner of The STYLE Principle, a wardrobe-styling firm based in Chicago, IL. You can find and follow her on her The Style Principle website. 


The Reality of What Your Business Style May Be Saying
Like it or not, your personal style--what you wear and how you put it together--speaks volumes to anyone with whom you come in contact.  In the business setting, the definition of appropriate style is often related to age and experience.  The higher the number, the narrower the range of what is acceptable.  This is true if your work environment is business professional, or creative casual, or any place in between. Though you may think your years on the job or in life entitle you to dress however you wish, the reality is others may be interpreting your look quite differently.

Business Style

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

In your 20’s

Entitled notion: “I’m young and fun – I want to show my personality through my unique interpretation of today’s trends.”

Reality: In your 20’s, there is more leniency and acceptance of trendier style choices.  However, your seriousness about your position and career aspirations could be questioned if your style appropriateness does not develop at the same rate as your experience. 


In your 30’s

Entitled notion: “My experience can speak for itself – it no longer matters what I wear.”

Reality: By your 30’s, you are often following a particular career path.  As you garner promotions, people are expecting you to know — know your industry, know your skills, and know how to dress for the role.  Others are now looking to you for the answers, and to be an example.


In your 40’s

Entitled notion: “My “work uniform” has been effective up until now – why would I change it?”

Reality: The 40’s are often a time of transition.  You’ve evolved over the years, but has your style?  Is the person reflected in the mirror the image of how you wish to be seen today?  Your work uniform got you where you are, but your willingness to adapt—your clothes and your skills--to the present situation will help take you that next step.  


In your 50’s

Entitled notion: “This is who I am – I’ve accepted it, others need to as well.”

Reality: No one is ever too old to “put their best foot forward.”  By maintaining a current style, you are saying that your thoughts and ideas are current as well.  It shows that you are able, willing, and ready to play in today’s world. 


In the business setting, you are judged on more than just your experience.  Don’t let your entitled style notions get in the way of your next promotion.  Instead, use your style to move the process along a bit quicker!


Question:  What's your business style?   

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