Dressing like a young female CEO has been one of the more difficult parts of running two businesses. As a professional, I realize that there is this delicate balance between being liked and respected. Something like fashion may seem trivial compared to other challenges as a boss. I honestly don’t care. Instead, I’d rather help to set some standards on my attire. Hopefully, I can help explain what has been working for me lately.
How I Found my Young Female CEO Style
Growing up, I never thought I’d be a young female CEO so early on. I figured it would happen eventually, but not right out of college. I had no idea I would be running two businesses before I was 24. Who could I go to for role models other than pop singers, Instagram models, and stay at home mom-bloggers?
All we need sometimes is just a little help
The closest I have been able to emulate is silicon valley executives. Even then, most of these women are in their mid to late 30’s. Their style doesn’t exactly mirror the kind of impression I want to give off as a young female CEO. Neither do the mom bloggers. Thus, I am left with emulating other men in their early 20’s who run businesses and finding a way to blaze my own trail.
Focus on the Impression
What I found is that this kind of young female CEO style is new, but it’s all based on the type of impression I want to give. Impressions are based off how something is interpreted and makes someone feel when they see it.
For me, I wanted to give off an impression of balance: Respectable, in-control, and personable. Then I put together a Pinterest board to figure out what kind of aesthetic would best suit me. This part was hard because again, there weren’t a lot of types of styles to emulate. I either had to be 30+ or look like an Instagram blogger and there didn’t feel like a middle ground.
The best advice I could give is to stick to more conventional pieces over crazy trends. It’s more sustainable in the long run anyway, and most likely the garments will last more fashion-wise. I went through at least 10 different types of blazers before I found one that worked with everything and still made me look super professional.
Invest in pieces that you know will go with everything. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. For me, I had a harder time embracing my feminine side because I’m such a tom-boy at heart. I found a pretty happy medium, and I’m sure you can too.
The variety in women’s fashion I see as both a blessing and a curse. My male counterparts have it a lot easier because they can wear the same suit every single day and no one will notice the difference. It’s a little bit more difficult to come up with a new outfit every day, and part of me still resents it.
However, I started reframing my perspective and now see it as an opportunity to experiment. I can express myself a little bit freer. It’s also nice to have this level of freedom when it comes to the changing seasons. I don’t have to wear long sleeves in the summer and I can wear a big fluffy coat in the winter and still look professional. Meanwhile, my male friends have to wear the same goddamn suit every single day regardless of the weather.
So take it as an opportunity to experiment, and find a style that works for you. As a young female CEO, we have a lot more freedom anyway. Might as well use it.