Sales Tips >> Browse Articles >> Fashion & Professional Attire


For the Saleswoman: A Guide to Business Accessories

For the Saleswoman: A Guide to Business Accessories

Diana Pemberton-Sikes |

Originally published on

What do your business accessories say about you?

For most women (or men), they don’t say much. Accessories are often an afterthought, thrown together without a plan. So when you do meet someone who’s got her act together, it often leaves an impression … a very favorable one at that.

Most image experts agree that you should allocate 40% of your clothing budget to accessories. If that seems high, remember that these well-chosen appointments can last for years with routine care. You’ll also probably be wearing them more often than your wardrobe items, and some — like handbags and shoes — may see use everyday. If you choose wisely and use clothing capsules, you’ll only need a few pieces to coordinate with your entire wardrobe.

One of the most telling descriptions I’ve read about accessories comes from John T. Molloy’s New Dress For Success. Here’s what he wrote in his observations about accessories for men:

“There are very successful men in this country who wear expensive suits, expensive shirts, expensive ties, and who drive expensive cars. Some of these men are $200,000-a-year pimps, some are $200,000-a-year executives. Without seeing them, but merely having their major articles of clothing described as expensive, we would find it difficult to distinguish between these two groups. By describing their accessories, we would know the difference immediately.”

So what’s my point? That the business accessories you choose are very revealing — whether you realize it or not. Depending on where you work and the impression you want to make, “appropriate accessories” can mean different things.

Read on for some guidelines.

Start Here! Jewelry →