Keep in mind that people are not only looking at your professional and personal behavior. Guests, vendors, fellow associates, and the public will be judging your personal appearance. This is especially true at business and social events. On property, or when out and about, you are representing both yourself and your brand.
- Watch: Your watch is your most noticed accessory and is a symbol of status and efficiency. This is your one most important purchase. Invest in a classic and sophisticated timepiece; avoid digital watches unless you are on your way to a workout at the gym.
- Pen: Your next most visible accessory is your pen. Your guest will notice your writing implement. It cannot be a felt tipped pen. For the present, use your brand’s pen with the logo. When you are able, invest in an excellent pen that is in keeping with your quality wardrobe. Keep your pen in your portfolio or with your clipboard or in a portfolio. Never keep your pen in your shirt pocket. Pens kept in shirt pockets are for order takers. Your guest expects a hospitality professional, not a clerk.
- Portfolio: You will carry either a portfolio or an attaché case (also called a briefcase) to meetings. The more supple the leather and the less your attaché case or portfolio bulges, the more competent (and in charge) you will look. Attaché and portfolio power colors are black or brown.
- Electronics: Unless issued to you by your property, or considered a part of your uniform, personal cell phones, pagers, and Bluetooth® headsets must not be visible while you are working and/or in public areas. Remember to turn off all electronics prior to entering a meeting with guests.
- Shoes in general: Your shoes say a lot about you. Your guests and others will look at your shoes the moment that they finish assessing your hair and face. Shoes help you to feel confident and look pulled together. Invest in two pairs of very good black (or another neutral color that goes with your wardrobe) shoes that you can rotate. Keep your shoes polished, heeled and soled. Shabby looking shoes scream poor performer!
- Shoes/Women: For women, slingback and opentoed shoes are not professional footwear and may pose a safety risk on property. Check your dress code before spending money on shoes which may not be appropriate.
- Shoes/Men: For men, the basic black leather oxford is an excellent choice. This shoe has between three and six eyelets and will take you right from work to a business cocktail reception. You can add to your professional shoe wardrobe as your budget permits.
- Hosiery: Your brand’s dress code will specify whether or not hosiery is required when wearing a dress or a skirt at your property. In addition to tropical and more casual properties, many brands no longer require women to wear hosiery in the workplace. Should you be required to wear hosiery, keep the colors sheer nude, sheer black, or opaque black. Your hose may be lighter, but never darker than, your shoe.
- Jewelry: Wear very simple, high quality jewelry. One piece of jewelry makes a well-dressed statement. Professional women will never wear more than one ring on each hand. A combined wedding band and engagement ring worn on one finger are considered as one ring. Men in hospitality must never wear neck chains.
- Belts: Our belts must be of fine quality leather. They must be well-maintained.
- Handbags: Women, invest in one high quality black handbag. I suggest a shoulder bag. This is a versatile piece that carries the message of being competent. You can wear this every day, with all of your work outfits. It is easy to travel with and to have on your shoulder when you are at a business reception and need to shake hands with your right hand and hold a cocktail glass in your left.
Follow these simple and effective guidelines whenever you are acting as an ambassador of your property. Do so, and you will always appear polished and competent in business and social manners. Good luck!
Excerpts of blog may have been taken from the book: Hospitality Management – People Skills & Manners on and off the Job. Copyright © 2015 Lyn Pont, Ph.D.
“Pont’s book is a must-read for anyone considering a career in hospitality.”
— Isadore Sharp, chairman and founder, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
See the book at: www.HospitalityManners.com
Visit Lyn at: www.MannersForBusiness.com
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