From the Editor

From the EditorThe Evolution of ‘Dress for Success 2.0’

By Rosanne Dunkelberger

Earlier this year, I was invited to cover a breakfast function geared toward Tallahassee’s movers and shakers. There were lots of CEOs and higher-ups attending, and a fairly respectable number of the power people there were women.

As I surveyed these successful women, I noticed something. They all had a certain look. At the moment, I couldn’t put my finger on what “it” was, but they exuded confidence, strength and comfort. There was nothing cookie-cutter about their style, but the casual observer could tell they were Somebody.

Which got me to thinking.

Just about the time I was starting my climb up the career ladder, John Molloy’s “Dress for Success” books were hitting The New York Times’ bestseller list. And, while I was several rungs below the glass ceiling, I did manage to acquire my fair share of power suits, shoulder pads, sensible pumps and silk bowties.

I decided to gather a few of what one of my former bosses would call “heavy hitters,” ply them with a little wine and appetizers, and see what they had to say. With the help of Gail Stansberry-Ziffer, a fashionable success in her own right who knows everybody in this town, a group of seven chic and successful women spent a happy hour at Andrew’s 228 in a freewheeling discussion about style. And for a few who couldn’t come (busy ladies, busy schedules, you know), I called them later for phone consultations.

On a whim, I decided to try and connect with author Molloy to see if he was keeping up with corporate dressing and whether or not the rules had changed. I caught up with him in Central Florida and, boy, did I get an earful. More than 30 years after his first “Dress for Success” book hit the shelves, he still stands by most of his advice. (Molloy hasn’t been idling for all those decades – he has done corporate and political consulting in the meantime and also authored a book based on his research about men, women and their different attitudes toward getting married. Basically, he subscribes to the men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus model described by author John Gray, except that “he’s got the planets too close together.”)

You’ll find the results on page 98. The story was tons of fun to report and write, and I hope readers will be able to take away some valuable advice and tips.

But don’t stop at the “Dress for Success” feature; we have a great array of stories in this issue – including our annual “Best of Tallahassee” listings. 

There is plenty of personality in this issue, too. Read about Sara Blakely, a onetime Florida State University Tri-Delt who built a business empire on the foundation of, well, foundations. Or the trio of men who know their way around a kitchen in “Real Men Cook.” Or Herbert “H.J. Kuntry” Carter, a country troubadour who has been just about everywhere.

Enjoy the magazine – and the first stirrings of fall. I moved here in October, 24 years ago and reveled in six weeks of the most glorious weather imaginable. I wondered why everyone in the world wasn’t clamoring to live in Tallahassee. (I learned why when my pipes burst two months later during a cold snap and suffered through my first hot-as-blue-blazes July!)

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