Reinvention week: A new year, a new you

Raise your profile at work by taking on new tasks, demonstrating your skills.

Dressing the part
Don’t forget the obvious: style. Chicago fashion stylist and personal shopper Eric Himel ( took the Tribune to Bloomingdale’s on the Magnificent Mile to offer a few inexpensive tips for the professional ladder climber. Here, Himel turns the gray suit into a power suit.

Women: Bring the shoes in your bag. Boots and sneakers are fine for walking in the cold, but at the office the idea is to look “done.” Himel picked muted, purple suede heels.

Men: Ditch the slip-ons and opt for patina lace-ups. Just because your office allows you to be casual doesn’t mean you should be.

Women: You can be feminine and appropriate. Swap the button-up shirt for a shell with a scoop neck.

Men: Try the spread collar instead of the “collegiate” button collar.

Women: Save the soft “hobo”-style bag for weekends and opt for a bag with structure (think purse chain with briefcaselike bag).

Men: Clutch a briefcase instead of strapping on a messenger bag (too casual for an aspiring boss).

Women: A thin, black belt at the waist adds a feminine cinch to a tired suit. Instead of playing it safe with a string of pearls, try a triple-stringed necklace in a conservative color. But wear studs, not dangling earrings. “Sometimes women get caught up in ‘Oh, it’s fun,’ ” Himel said.

Men: Tell a joke, but not with your tie. “The tie isn’t a place to express your sense of humor,” Himel said. Play with color with a subtle pocket square (folded to peek out of a pocket in a straight line instead of a triangle) or slip on a pair of argyle socks.


If you’re going to spend money anywhere, spend it on a good tailor. If your clothes are well-fitted, you will look more put together in the clothes you own and won’t need to buy new clothes.

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