If you're having trouble enforcing office dress and behavior codes, consider seeking online assistance from The Protocol School of Washington. Their recently launched Business Image Coaching(TM) (BIC) uses a scientific, in-class and web-platform combination to analyze individuals from head-to-toe to provide each individual with a comprehensive, customized action plan to specifically improve one's business appearance.

Pamela Eyring, director of PSOW said, "Business owners know their employees are an extension of their brand and want them to exemplify their companies' brand whether their business is on Wall Street or Main Street."

Consider this: 55% of a first impression is based on what clothes you're wearing. Only 38% is based on presentation, body language and tone of voice.
The BIC training (which includes a dining tutorial and field trips) covers all the business basics: common mistakes, building a travel wardrobe, appropriate attire for the company picnic, what's in the stores (now) and details like hair style, fragrance and choosing a collar style.
The company suggests some business do's and don'ts that work in any office environment.

DO:

  • Match belt color to shoes
  • Wear belts with simple, classic designs -- no big buckles
  • Keep accessories like belts and shoes in mint condition
  • Avoid too shiny, wrinkly, or clingy fabrics
  • Pay attention to grooming issues like clean hair and nails
  • Check clothing for wear, tear, spots and stains
  • Keep an 'emergency grooming bag' in your desk with deodorant, brush, nail file, needle and thread
  • Dress for the highest dress requirement of the day
  • Keep a spare business outfit in the office, just in case
  • Women: Remember to wear necklines 2" above cleavage and pull hair back if it falls below the shoulders.
  • Men: Remember to trim hair in the nose and ears and keep shoes highly polished.

DON'T

  • Use heavy fragrances
  • Extend casual business attire (such as open-toed shoes) into the formal business attire arena
  • Show too much skin; anywhere
  • Wear wrinkled clothing
  • View monotone dressing as drab -- it actually looks the most professional
  • Wear extreme fashion trends to the office -- when in doubt go classic
  • Women: Remember not to wear too large or dangly jewelry or show dark lingerie under light clothing
  • Men: Remember not to sport bracelets, chains or flashy rings

"Business leaders constantly talk about the importance of 'soft skills' which account for 85% of why a person gets hired and why a person advances at work. We birthed BIC because corporate America kept asking for it and in today's work environment everyone is looking for an edge," adds Eyring.Through August, the Protocol School of Washington is offering a complimentary online business wardrobe assessment. Click here to take part in the survey.

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