What Wardrobe Brings Her Success?

Jul 8, 2019 | Work Wardrobe

Angella Wilson wears lots of hats. She’s a management executive, a college teacher, a businesswoman, and a wife and mother.

As program director for KentuckianaWorks, the workforce development board for the seven-county area, she provides strategic guidance on contracts, budgets, and also helps job seekers find jobs and good careers, education, and training. She helps employers meet their workforce needs by connecting them with skilled, qualified employees. 

“It is enjoyable work,” says Angella, 41, whose name is pronounced ann-GEL-lah. “I absolutely love workforce. This is my second time working for KentuckianaWorks. I worked for them as a consultant in 2012 and 2013. Once that contract ended, I worked for Leadership Louisville for five years. But I missed workforce development and the ability to work with people who need assistance the most. I was blessed and grateful to come back.

“I have a chance to provide strategic guidance so that people have a great experience when they come through the door and get the help they need,” she says. “How can we best help this population? We recently received grant money to hire a consultant to provide basic computer training. Not everybody is computer literate.”

As an adjunct teacher at Jefferson Community and Technical College, she teaches Achieving Academic Success, a course for first-time college students. “We cover a variety of subjects to make them ready for their college and career experience,” Angella says, including researching salaries, looking at possible jobs one can get with a certain degree, and addressing financial literacy. “We talk about student loan debt, credit card debt, different types of loans. I get real realistic with people, so they know the impact.”

Angella still operates the Clark Consulting Group, which she started in 2012 to provide financial literacy and career counseling as a consultant for KentuckianaWorks. “I started that out of passion,” she says. “It was an opportunity to help people on a one-on-one level. Now I have individual clients. I counsel people who are in some type of career transition. It’s about learning how to network in a successful way, how to utilize their resources, which could be the people that they already know,” says Angella, who with her husband Troy, has two daughters, ages 21 and two years old.

Angella’s dressing philosophy is as strategically measured as her work. “For me, it’s about creating a wardrobe that is my signature style — classic with a little bit of modern,” she says. “I like to wear one item that represents how I feel about myself that day. For example, I will wear a black suit with a leopard print shirt. It’s business and professional, but the leopard print makes a powerful statement. Or I will wear a blouse in a bold red. That shows just a little bit of personality for that day.”

Her go-to is a structured blazer. “I’m out at the career centers several times a week. I dress for how I want to be perceived every day,” Angella says. “I am 80 percent of the time in a suit jacket. They go with a great pair of slacks, a skirt, even with a nice pair of curvy slim jeans.”

Curvy and tall at 5 foot 11, she says, ”You can dress for your body style and bring in trendy items with a purse and jewelry. As for a fit, I like high-waisted skirts. If I’m wearing a dress, I like to wear a fitted dress with a lot of stretch, or I go with the A-line.”

She loves statement accessories. “I love pearls. They don’t have to be your grandmother’s single strand pearls. I have a set of chunky pearls, and it has about 10 strands. I wore those chunky pearls with a denim shirt and slim fitting jeans, and it took that outfit to the next level without it being like a frumpy jean outfit. I had on a burnt orange blazer.”

A brick and mortar shopper. “I’m one of those people that likes to go into a store. I like to feel and touch and try on, because of my shape. My favorite store was The Limited. I know that store went out of business in 2017, but 80 percent of my wardrobe is from The Limited. I also shop at Ann Taylor and New York & Company.”

The Gabrielle Union line at New York & Company is her favorite label. “Gabrielle Union used to be the star of a TV show, Being Mary Jane. I absolutely loved her wardrobe as the character Mary Jane Paul. New York & Company created a fashion line based on this character’s wardrobe. It’s kind of my new go-to since The Limited is no longer in business.”

Advice for others: “Always be neat, clean, and presentable. Definitely look like you put some effort into your work wardrobe. Wear a structured jacket — it completes a look, highlights your frame, brings your waist in a little bit, fits around your arms, and helps define your upper body. That helps you look more polished and put together.

“Your work wardrobe will help you command attention. People will notice. Make sure your shoes are clean and polished. Shoes are a nice place to make a statement. My preference is a heel. But it doesn’t have to be a six-inch heel.”

P.S. Learn a few wardrobe tips from an interior designer.

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