I recently attended a work conference out of town. The conference had begun and the room was full. In walked a woman who had PRESENCE to spare. Most folks watched her find a seat. One man even got out of his seat to offer it to her.
It struck me. She really knows how to make an entrance.
The next morning, another woman walked in before the conference began and folks looked up from their iPhones and breakfast plates. She comfortably chatted with those at the table next to her but eyes didn’t quickly move away.
Finally, one last woman, with less presence than the first two, but an entrance maker nonetheless, caught people’s attention coming in from the outdoor lunch.
None of these three women were 22. None had smoking gym bodies. On close inspection, not one of them was flawless. They were each pretty, in a relatively unremarkable way, and in decent shape, but in different clothes with a different attitude I don’t think people would have noticed.
They had a few things in common which helped them each make an entrance. No one wants (or should want) to make an entrance in a overly sexual or unprofessional way, but having presence in a room can go a long way in bolstering your career.
What did they share?
First, confidence. I know you can’t style that in a fashion blog, but so much of fashion is how you carry yourself. You need to be comfortable in your own skin and believe your capable and interesting. While their outer layers contained some things in common (more on that to come), their basic pieces were unremarkable. One had on a simple black patterned dress. Unexceptional and not expensive. Another had on slim black pants and a brightly colored tunic top. The color transmitted some confidence but otherwise not noteworthy. The final one had on medium wash jeans and an animal print shell. But each of them walked in standing tall, making eye contact, smiling, and being comfortable in the room.
Second, sunglasses. This sounds silly, and would be completely ridiculous as an add on if it was nighttime or raining, but when each woman walked in from outdoors, they still wore their sunglasses. They removed them (they’re not Bono), but your first impression of each of them was wearing sunglasses. It telegraphed cool. It exuded polish. Again, I have no idea if these sunglasses were $10 or $200, but the simple look of dark oversized sunglasses kicked up their entrance.
Third, a belted coat. Two of the three had on camel colored trenches. One in a more weather resistant fabric which fell below the knee and one was made in something akin to cashmere which fell to mid-thigh. I know you can’t pull this off in August in Houston, but boy that coat was cool. Even the third, who didn’t have a trench, had a belted leather moto jacket. A belted jacket can really pull an outfit together.
If you are at all on the fence about the trench – look at every royal or pseudo-royal (aka Jackie) and see how they rely on them to make an entrance.
Finally, height. I love me some heels. And the reality is, adding height to an outfit pulls it together and amps up your confidence quotient (if you can walk in them). The first, and my favorite entrance maker, had nearly knee high black heeled boots paired with black tights. I didn’t see the simple black dress for a while because it was cold in the room and she kept her awesome trench on. She had her hair done and she walked in like she owned the place. The boots really pulled it together. The second woman paired black high heels with her narrow black ankle pants. Simple, no embellishments, but sharp and confident. The final woman had heeled booties with her jeans. She’d pulled her hair back in a bun twist and her ankle boots were solid, not fussy, so her look read strong but also comfortable.
I’m not selecting specific trenches, shoes or sunglasses on the market now because you have to wear what feels strong and flattering to you. But here are a few more examples of how you might use the look as inspiration for when you shop: