Your Last Part of Thorough Preparation is… How You Look When You Show Up – Linda Thomas’ Color Nation Can Help

It was many years ago (literally, decades ago) that I read John Malloy’s Dress for Success, and I have basically always remembered his simple rules. I’m pretty much still a suit and tie guy (maybe my age – not sure), and I learned from him to wear a dark suit (but, not black – too “strong”), white shirt, contrasting tie. Take a look at any major speech, or the Presidential candidates debates, and the men usually wear a dark suit, white shirt, contrasting tie (frequently red).

(I’m primarily talking about the times I speak in front of others – which is quite frequent — and those “important” meetings/events to attend).

And, yes, I’m aware that we are now in an ever-more casual age. But, I learned (the hard way) that it is easier to take a tie off and loosen my collar than it is to add a tie “too late” to be dressed appropriately.

And, one other note – I’m not much into fashion. Call me utilitarian on the attire issue. I’m really only thinking one thing — “how do I dress in a way that helps my message be better received, and, avoid dressing in a way that would ever distract from my message?”  That’s my question.

Since I read Malloy’s book, I’ve never read another dealing with what to wear in the workplace — until now. I’ve occasionally read articles on what to wear, and have made the slightest of tweaks in my choices.

Color NationBut, to be honest, I have an advantage. The few times I’ve needed to know exactly what to wear, I’ve picked up the phone and called an expert. Her name is Linda Thomas, and the name of her company says it all: Powerful Appearance. She knows her stuff when it comes to how to dress in any type of setting. And more than once, she told me just what I needed to know to help me go from “OK” to a much better “just right.”

{A brief aside about deep expertise – there really is a great advantage when you learn from someone who has spent a full career building knowledge in a specific area. This is true for any and every arena — deep expertise matters! Linda has such deep expertise in this arena}.

Now, Linda Thomas has a book to help you add the next dimension to your “look.” Her goal is to help your look become part of your “tool box.” Her new book is titled Color Nation: The Power of Color in Business and in Leadership. Her point is one of those “oh, yeah, I think I get this” insights that you knew a little about, but not much; not enough.

Here’s what she says to introduce her book:

Your closet is a toolbox full of powerful colors. Each color and its various shades influence you and other people… Your closet is your toolbox.
For those how are goal-oriented, resourceful, and already have achieved many successes, colors will give you the edge that could be the difference between closing a deal or not, getting to work with a special team of people in your industry or not, or in other cases getting hired or fired. You have been experiencing the effect of color your whole life. Now you will understand the many sources that make the colors you wear so persuasive.

Though I learned plenty from reading through her book, I view this book as similar to a “reference book,” providing a checklist to follow.

For example, I’ve already learned from her book why it might be better, at times, to wear a blue shirt than a white shirt. (And, probably, that needs to be a “Pastel Blue”).

And, she has full explanations of the colors and their key “traits,” like;

Vitality calls for Red
Authority calls for Maroon Burgundy
Reassurance/Calming calls for Blue
Authority & Reassurance calls for Navy
Approachability calls for Pastel Blue

Here’s my suggestion. Order her book (you’ll want a physical copy. Order it here).

Then take a couple of hours, look carefully at the colors in your closet that you have been wearing, and decide –

• What should I wear when?
• What should I add to my wardrobe?

And, one reminder: you work hard to prepare for your speeches and presentations, to prepare for your meetings, to prepare for networking events. You do your homework, you get your thoughts in order. Don’t you think it is worth the time to dress in a way that adds to the possibility of success, and never detracts from that possibility?

Linda Thomas can provide good help for that “last step” of preparation. It really is a step you should not skip, or take for granted.



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