I’m so excited to share today’s interview with Cassandra Sethi of Next Level Wardrobe. As a career expert, I’m not a fashion expert by any stretch of the imagination, so I was excited to pick her brain on the secret to looking professional while staying comfortable. Cassandra has over 20 years of background in the fashion industry, and the most recent one as a senior buyer for Equinox. She created her business Next Level Wardrobe, which is a luxury personal shopping service for successful professionals, over three years ago and has already been featured in New York magazine reader’s digest and men’s health.
How to Look Professional & Stay Comfortable
If you’re looking to create a minimalist wardrobe, or put together clothes that match your personal brand, then I highly recommend watching the full interview with Cassandra in the YouTube video below. Otherwise, here are some main highlights:
Can you share what Looking Your Best and Feeling Your Best means to you?
“If you have great style and you feel confident, other people can see that, can feel that, and great things will happen as well.”– Cassandra Sethi
For example, once she had a client who led Google’s sales department and often met with external clients. He hired her to essentially revamp his whole wardrobe and image to present himself with confidence and use his style to convey trust, approachability, and dependability. It was incredible to see him radiating and being complimented after that.
How do I start building a wardrobe?
Cassandra has a 3 step system to start up leveling your wardrobe:
Step 1. Invest in Essential Pieces
Great style begins and ends with your closet!
Cassandra’s philosophy is style is all about building a long lasting style system. This means a versatile wardrobe that is able to fit into any dress code context event and ultimately create more outfits with less stuff in your closet. She suggests a few key items that focus on your essential pieces in the right colors and in the right fit so you will be able to easily and effortlessly move in and out of any event and feel confident at the same time. For men and women, the one must have piece of clothing is a collared shirt. Particularly on Zoom calls, it’s important that you’re portraying and communicating without looking like you’re trying to hard, and collared shirts achieve that!
Step 2. Find the Perfect Fit
The next step is to find the perfect fit. Cassandra highly recommends the brand Theory for its sleek, sophisticated look that are high quality, timeless and versatile. For more affordable options, Uniqlo carries great essentials as well.
For plus size men, Bonobos offers high-quality garments with core colors that are great for professional environments. And for plus size women, 11 Honoré has beautiful professional wear blazers and sweaters.
While finding the perfect fit, an interesting fact is 99% of clothes off the rack are not meant to fit you. If it does, it’s a bonus. Otherwise, she highly recommends getting high quality pieces that last altered.
Step 3. Get Trendy with Core Colors
Cassandra recommends that seasonal pieces are not worth getting altered since you’re probably gonna donate them after. Timeless pieces such as a black trouser and navy blazer are worthwhile. So it is absolutely worth the investment to get them tailored. Additionally, you don’t want your closet to be too dark in tones, but you also don’t want it too light with lots of prints and patterns and colors. You want it in the middle where the right balance of color comes in.
How do you dress for a video interview?
“We are living in a virtual world now. And so I had to make the shift over and moved my business to a virtual business, which has gone great. And virtual will be a part of my business of my life going forward. I’m sure yours and everyone’s watching as well.”
It’s not a surprise that the world we live in is digital. To prepare for upcoming interviews, Cassandra shares its importance to think about your personal brand. This means getting clear on what you’re communicating and saying through style from a digital lens.
This in mind, she advises against wearing a suit during video interviews. It looks out of place. Instead, she recommends looking at the company website; checking out what is the industry norm. A collared shirt can be great for formal to casual interviews. To elevate the look, she recommends throwing a cardigan or sweater on top with the collars and sleeves popping out.
How do you define your personal brand through clothing?
Before defining one’s personal brand, Cassandra wants to first know what their goals are and what they envision. She’s a big proponent of finding role models (hers is Oprah), that they have wardrobe-envy of. A daily outfit should leave a positive first impression and be part of a cohesive style that fits this vision
Emily Liou and her team believe that everyone can land their dream job. Want to find out more about how you can wake up happier on Mondays? Whether you like to work at your own pace or have a group to hold you accountable, there’s a Happily Hired program that fits your needs here.