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Valerie Burns: Dressing for Success in Casual Santa Barbara

A comment I often hear from business people and entrepreneurs in the Santa Barbara area is that it’s casual. While Santa Barbara has a casual feel, it’s still important to have a polished look in business.

Valerie Burns
Valerie Burns

A potential client will stand up and notice if you have a dynamic, pulled together appearance. It is often a matter of energy that assists in attracting business and clients from an empowered place. In fact, it takes less than 10 seconds to make a first impression, so why not really make it count?

If your client wants to wear shorts and flip-flops, that’s one thing, but business is business.

For example, Realtors often talk about how their potential buyers are casual. Well, if a real estate client has $1 million to $10 million to spend, he or she wants to feel confident with a powerful Realtor. This is where “dress for success” comes in. When you feel empowered by a polished, professional and stylish look, I guarantee that you will be a magnetic force in business.

With the seasons changing from winter to spring, perhaps it’s time to let the forces of nature drive your personal appearance.

Spring is a great time to clear out what does not serve you any longer, and integrate pieces for the “wow” factor. Most people wear only 25 percent of what’s in their closet. My goal is to make sure that everything in the closet is something a client feels great in. It’s also a goal to have multiple ways to wear these clothes so your investment truly pays off.

It’s a competitive world, and it’s crucial to utilize all the tools in the toolbox. Whether you are an entrepreneur, interviewing for a new job or working in a new job (corporate or not), presenting a polished look shows respect and that you are a professional who means business.

— Valerie Burns is a Santa Barbara-based image and design consultant specializing in personal image and interior design makeovers. Her blog will appear periodically. Click here for more information. The opinions expressed are her own.

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