Could the Wrong Bra Derail A Career? Study, Image Experts Agree: If You’re Unkempt, You’re Busted In More Ways Than One

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A woman's attire reveals more about her detail to management than she might think. On a nonverbal level, bra lines and bulges across a woman’s back convey a lack of thoroughness and attention to detail in her work ― which equates to demotion, not promotion. A new bra on the market is specifically designed to deal with this very common fashion problem.

You might think it’s a benefit that your boss is watching your back, but it all depends on his vantage point. A simple walk to the water cooler could elicit an informal performance review that ultimately taints the perception of your true job potential.

A Stanford University communications study indicates that a person’s appearance plays a larger role in image perception than even a person’s verbal tone or language. Weighing in with more than half of the significance are visual indicators, like attire and grooming. Tone, emotion and volume represent 38 percent, while words earn a surprisingly low seven percent in the communication model.

“Your attire reveals more about your detail to management than you might think,” says Sherry Maysonave, author of “Casual Power” and president of the communication-image firm Empowerment Enterprises.    Â“To get ahead in today’s competitive business environment, it pays to watch your back. Others do.” Maysonave explains that on the nonverbal level, bra lines and bulges across a woman’s back convey a lack of thoroughness and attention to detail in her work ― which equates to demotion, not promotion. High-level executives, both male and female alike, consistently ask Maysonave how to handle the pervasive but delicate subject of bra bulge when it comes to their employees. Reporters from The Wall Street Journal to InStyle also tap her expertise on the role of image-making and -breaking apparel.

Just as the wrong bra can ruin more than a snug-fitting outfit, the right bra can easily upgrade any woman’s image. Maysonave, who recently tried the new Sassybax bra, claimed amazement at its ability to smooth the back under clothes and plans to recommend the bra to her executive clientele.

Donned the “Smooth Operator” by Women’s Wear Daily, Sassybax launched a line of seamless stretchy bras to combat the image-busting bra-bulge problem. The figure-flattering undergarments envelop vulnerable spots on the torso, specifically the underarm area and upper mid-section, rather than pinch and crease the body. As its name implies, the Torso Trim design slims the entire back area; the shorter Bralette lies flat across the back mid-section without creating a bulge where hem and skin meet.

“Our customers may vary in their job type, wardrobe and size,” says Sassybax CEO and founder Amanda Horan Kennedy, “but they all realize that a bumpy back leaves a lasting impression that goes beyond their clothes.” By fall, Sassybax will introduce additional designs and sizes, including under-wire versions and plus-sizes to help more women smooth things over at work.

According to Maysonave, it’s costly to ignore your back landscape. Otherwise, it’s like only styling the front of your hair, failing to fix the back of it. And who among the 58 million women in today’s workforce combs only her bangs and expects to climb the corporate ladder higher than the second rung?

About Sassybax -- A privately held company located in southern California, Sassybax is the brainchild of Amanda Horan Kennedy. In 2004, she introduced a collection of bras that bears the company name to help women with real bodies eliminate bra bulge to make them look slimmer and more polished. Sassybax is available throughout the country at better clothing retailers like Neiman Marcus, Web retailers like, and at Sassybax’s own site online at

About Sherry Maysonave – Sherry is the founder of Empowerment Enterprises, one of America’s leading communication-image firms. Specializing in business images, Sherry’s work addresses empowering individuals through verbal and nonverbal communication, apparel, demeanor, and all aspects of presentation. Her clients include business professionals from a variety of industries, nationally known political figures, writers, university professors, seminar leaders, and entertainers. Corporate clients range from international companies in technology, finance, advertising, law, real estate, and retail, to insurance and health-care companies. Sherry is the author of the best-seller “Casual Power” and the creator of the DVD series “Brand a Positive Business Image.” Her Web site is


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