It's the inside that counts as well as how you carry yourself and dress in your own style. Here are my tips on dressing for success as written by Lacy Matsumoto in her weekly Island LookBook article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
As a corporate and life coach, Cynthia Yamasaki’s clients range from top executives to young entrepreneurs. She has more than 30 years’ experience in human resources, talent development, finance and “doing business local-style in Hawaii,” according to her website. After retiring from her position as director of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership at the YWCA O‘ahu in 2014, she started EEpath as a passion project to help people live and work better.
She works better from her home, which is filled with stacks of books, a Zen water fountain and trinkets from Bali, India and other exotic locales, souvenirs from her extensive travels. Her daily routine includes meditation, reading, mentoring and volunteer work with nonprofit organizations that promote education and learning.
As a single mother who raised two sons, now ages 27 and 23, and a small-business owner, Yamasaki said she is budget-minded. “I consider myself a ‘value buyer’ when it comes to fashion,” she said. “I like to support locally owned, operated-by-women, artisan-type boutiques, and stores that provide good value and service. I also love a good trunk or trade show that offer prices that customers can really appreciate.”
>> Describe your style: “Basic, low-maintenance — clothes that do not require dry cleaning — and easy. Over the years, what I learned and share with others is that it’s the inside that counts. It’s all about feeling comfortable and confident with yourself with humility no matter what you wear. Carry yourself with ease and grace in a professional, respectful and approachable manner to foster good relationships with others.”
>> Home-office attire: “It’s good to get into daily rituals to set your foundation for mastery. That includes getting out of your pajamas and dressing for work appropriately. I wear a T-shirt and shorts for administrative type of work and a free-flowing dress to get into a creative mindset when I’m designing programs or writing my blog. I wear business casual when clients meet me at my home office and easy-to-wear dresses on the road, especially when I have a day full of different meetings, speaking engagements and evening functions.”
>> Favorite boutiques: “For business looks, I like Stephanie C located on Bishop Street, which is owned and operated by Stephanie Choi. She has great taste, gives personalized attention and the best service. For fun fashion, I like the online shop Dolkii.”
>> Beauty must-haves: “Abundance essential oil by Young Living and several shades of red lipstick.”
>> Wardrobe MVPs: “A basic business dress that can be jazzed up with accessories, a colorful sundress for easy wear, red handbag and comfortable yet flattering footwear.”
>> Dressing for success: “How you present yourself is a reflection of your self-esteem as well as your commitment to your business/employer and team. Your first impression is a lasting one, not only in what you wear but also how you carry and care for yourself. Be aware of your surroundings and situation, and dress appropriately. If you’d like to represent your brand as a business professional, as well as your company’s brand, I do not recommend that you dress as if you’re going to the beach or a nightclub. Check the company guidelines or employee handbook for the appropriate attire.”
By Lacy Matsumoto, special to the Star-Advertiser. Island LookBook is a weekly feature that spotlights local trendsetters. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.