By Rebecca Taras, Refinery29
When it comes to landing your dream job or nailing that big presentation, confidence is everything. But if you feel like you're lacking a little good, old-fashioned chutzpah, don't sweat it. You can make up for the void with a killer ensemble.
But don't take our word for it. Lema Khorshid, founder of self-improvement networking group BizOver, thrives on helping Chicago businesswomen and entrepreneurs look and feel their best. Khorshid says, "When a woman looks great, she feels great and that energy makes everything she does magnetic."
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What if we aren't rolling in dough? What can we do to keep our wardrobes and personal appearance looking fresh?
"Looking great and being stylish is not about having a lot of money. It is about adopting a fashion philosophy that works well for your body and your budget. It is about being creative and conscious of your fashion aesthetic and building a style that reflects who you are and not what everyone else tells you it is. It eliminates a lot of needless spending. That way, you are not chasing fads that look ridiculous on you, nor ones that have you on credit card lock down. I live by the rule of choosing classic, quality made pieces because they are timeless and can be integrated in your wardrobe for many seasons. I also invest in a couple of must-have accessories (i.e., the 'It' handbag or shoes of the season) that I can also carry forward. That way, I am building a wardrobe that does not need to be replenished in its entirety every season."
What key pieces should every woman have in her closet?
"Cashmere sweaters in a neutral, black, and gray; a black pencil skirt; a well-tailored suit, and a pair of black stilettos. And, of course, a great lamb skin handbag."
What's the best ensemble for an interview or big presentation?
"A well-tailored, well-made suit that is appropriately accessorized. Less is always more."
What are some ways a gal can sneak health and wellness into a busy work and (if applicable) family life?
"Food is the majority of the battle - stay away from processed. If it is sitting on a shelf, steer clear. Take time out for a walk or meditation (even if it's at your desk!). When you are good to yourself, you are good to other people."
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What advice do you have for a women entrepreneur starting a biz in a shaky economy? How can she stay motivated and encouraged?
"It is mind over matter. So, make a mental pact with yourself not to give up and stick to a plan. But, definitely surround yourself with 'doers.' You are the company you keep and will be motivated by the people around you. And, accordingly, don't be shy to ask them for help."
What are some of the best networking opportunities every woman should be involved in?
"I've found the best networking opportunities are those that enrich your personal and professional growth while still providing you an outlet to business develop. There is no particular group, per se. But, I always say follow your passion points. They will always lead you to boards and organizations that work for you -helping you to grow your network, and your skills, while opening up new business opportunities. And, of course, you will be involved and engaged in something you love."
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By Rebecca Taras, Refinery29