Putting one’s best foot, shoe forward

Annie Lane, syndicated columnist

Dear Annie: I’ve been working as professional for more than 10 years, and I’m arriving at the point in my career where I’m now responsible for spending more time meeting with clients. I’m excited for my continued growth and success, and I’m always seeking ways to grow. I have a handful of mentors who teach me, and I frequently read about management philosophy and practices. I believe that I’m helping myself through these activities.

One of my mentors always encourages me to optimize my confidence. She believes one of the keys to becoming confident is to dress for success. She recommends to never dress casually and always wear clothes that look good and fit perfectly. This will ensure that first impressions of me are always high. Then it’s up to me to be confident in my knowledge and ability to deliver that knowledge.

My question for you is how to find a wardrobe that is powerful yet affordable. My mentor is not on the same budget as am I, and I can’t shop where she does. Are there alternatives for me? — Stylish on a Budget

Dear Stylish: Your mentor sounds like she has a lot good advice on offer. It is important to be dressed appropriately in a professional environment, and you can never go wrong by being overdressed. Thrift stores could be a great option. And going high-tech is an option, too. Technological disruption continues to change our lives, and within fashion that is also true.

Several online companies, such as Sumissura, use technology to tailor clothing for your shape. You may choose your fabric, which allows you to work within your budget. If you prefer to be fit in person, there are several reputable tailors from Hong Kong, such as Raja Fashions, that travel to various U.S. cities and fit people in hotel rooms. They will build the suit for you in Hong Kong and send to your home. You may select fabric that works for your budget.

Custom-made clothes can make you look good and feel confident while sticking to your budget.

Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.