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Angelfish – A Female specialist’s drsssing tips

Yesterday I blogged, or at least attempted to blog on dressing the female specialist.  Today I am cutting one of my own loose on the blog to give you an expert’s perspective on the same subject.  Today’s blog is by BPI’s own, call-sign “Jedi”.  Although this blog is directed to the female specialist, everyone can learn.  I would imagine that every trainer, company owner and specialist has been asked by incoming female specialist about attire.  Well here is your chance to hear it from THE EXPERT.  Yea I said EXPERT…..read and you’ll agree.  I introduce to you Jedi.

Jocelyn holds her Bachelors Degree in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice. She also holds degrees in Fashion Design and Advanced Fashion Design/ Apparel Manufacturing. In addition to holding degrees she has won awards for her designs ranging from junior apparel to couture. Jocelyn has worked in multiple facets of the fashion industry including several luxury brands before entering the Executive Protection field as a Director of Administrative Operation and Operations Manager eventually leading her to become an Executive Protection Specialist.

Being a female in the Executive Protection male dominated industry you have to walk a very thin line. You have to be able to balance yourself and your abilities at the same time being feminine…..without being too feminine or too masculine and crossing a line you will not be able to come back from. In a world where people view perception as reality there are certain aspects of our nature that we HAVE to be aware of. Being able to dress and be groomed appropriately for our situation is the best way to combat how we are perceived so that we do not hinder our growth in this industry.

This is where the concept of an angelfish comes in which is inspired (by Eric Konohia ) by the concept of a catfish in the male version. An angelfish might look great in your tank but they will be preyed upon by bigger more aggressive fish out of means for survival. There is another side to the angelfish, which we will get into later.

So….here are my tips for Dressing and Grooming the Female Specialist from my experience not only in the EP industry but the fashion industry as well. On a side note in true Boanerges Group fashion this is a little uncensored and plays into a specific MINDSET. Since my experience comes from dealing with corporate clients and conservative principals I cannot speak to the celebrity protection side of the industry which can be much different from what I am accustom to. Also if you need suggestions of brands (I have very specific suggestions), please contact me offline I am going to try and not list them below.

Business Suit– Custom made are always the best option they do not cost that much more than a ready to wear suit, will last you much longer and will fit your body better than any suit that you buy off the rack. I do own suits that I have bought off the rack, however I have only found one that is appropriate for all occasions. So let’s define appropriate… Not too tight, jacket needs to hit you mid to low gluteus area and you should be able to do a squat in them without ripping any seams. If you cannot move in your clothes you are doing it wrong. However, you also do not want to look like a box with your shoulder seams half way down your arm. The best advise I can give is if you are having trouble make sure the shoulder seams fit and buy suit that a little too big and have it taken in at the waist on BOTH the jacket and pants. Also you want to pick a fabric that has a little stretch in it, as females this is an added bonus because males usually don’t get this option. As an EP specialist it is also a very good idea to have multiple pockets on the inside of your suit jacket for whatever you need to store (med kit, flashlight….lip stick…whatever don’t judge) carrying a bag around is in most cases not an option.

Dress Shirt– Stay away from bright colors and keep the tones to black, white or muted. For females especially the button positioning on the shirt is very important, try to get a shirt where there is a button on the mid point of your chest so that it doesn’t pull with movement. That brings us to BUTTON IT UP…. be able to breathe without exposing your whole sternum. Collars and cuffs should be inside your jacket, it’s not the 70’s anymore and it is not seen as professional.

Shoes– I wear flats at all times when on detail. If I am sitting in a meeting or know I am NOT going to have to do a sprint at a given moment I will wear heals. Heals throw off my center of gravity and I do not need to add working out in heals to learn to balance myself out in my workout regime. If anyone has the time for that I would say go for it but wearing flats is much easier.

Casual Wear– I would say this is dictated by the situation that you are in. Use the same rules as above. Be able to move, look professional and keep it covered.

Hair Grooming– PULL IT UP. I have no idea how anyone goes on protective detail with their hair not pulled back and in most cases not touching their shoulder. If your hair is too short to pull into a pony tail or bun I would say you are safe but if your hair is longer I would say pull it up in a simple style (ponytail or bun). It is much more professional to see a female with her hair out of her face then not.

Compression Gear– Wear it! This can be explained offline if needed.

Make-up– Keep it simple and make sure that it can last 12 plus hours. I have specific brands I prefer we can talk about offline. Makeup is meant to enhance not distract.

Jewelry– Don’t wear anything that cam harm you or your principal, no sharp edges, distracting or bulky. I wear my Shambala bracelet for protection (spiritual) tucked into my shirt, that’s it.

Eyewear or Sunglasses– For the best quality I would go with Oakley, in most cases I wear Oakley US Standard Issue. I have multiple pairs ranging from SI Ballistic M Frame 3.0 because they are amazing to wear on the range also doubling as great running sunglasses since they are very light weight, to Daisy Chain aviators, which were chosen out of the many aviators for my face shape. Keep it simple, classic, professional and safe.

Belt– Simple belt that has some size to it, skinny belts don’t really do their job that well.

Communications Earpiece– If you do not have a custom made earpiece sometimes it is difficult to fit the earpiece to your ear. For mine I place the ear bud in my ear, run the clear cord straight up my ear, then tuck it down behind my ear and secure it with a very small clasp barrettes like the gymnasts wear. This allows me to kick it in and out of my ear if need be and not have to totally readjust. This also keeps it stable and secure in your ear.

I think I covered it all. If anyone has any comments, suggestions or questions I can be reached at JBearden@bpigroupusa.com

Oh yea the other side of the angelfish……… they are ambush predators.

Thank you for your time and reading what I hope will be the first of my guest blogs for BPI.

JGBR / Mentored by Eric Konohia / Trained by Mark Fair

8 comments

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  1. Raffaele Di Giorgio

    Congratulations on your first blog. Hopefully the first of many more to come. fashion and presence. This something that is universal to both the male and female protection professional. I am glad to see a professional being able to address this from a female perspective.

    It was concise and to the point, and in language that even me (a man) can understand. You may have just influenced(or written) the new SOP for female agents in quite a few different protection companies across the United States.

    Of course, now that you have started writing about the profession. There is no going back. Good luck and keep doing great things!

    Very well done. Look forward to hearing more from you.

  2. Ann Marie Gray

    What an interesting blog. I found some of your suggestions very impressive and I will use this to look my best. Also, I would be e-mailing you later for more informaton. GREAT!

    1. Eric Konohia

      Thank you Ann

  3. Chantelle Taylor

    Great advice from Jocelyn as always. In addition always be mindful of the way that your principle is dressed. I tend to go with Grey and muted colours also, and the squat advice is a must. Heels? I have never known of a situation where a heel was required, having said that my Timberland ankle boots are probably not going to fit in at a cocktail party………….this comes down to role specific, if its a heel then be sure that you can manouvre in them.

    1. Eric Konohia

      Thank you Chantelle

  4. claire

    Great advice

    1. Eric Konohia

      Many thanks Claire

  5. Pamela Bannister

    Great advice and thank you for writing this. One thought to add for EP – note your principal’s recreational activities and always keep a bag in your vehicle just in case. That way if your principal decides out of the blue to swim, horseback ride, etc., you are always prepared and still polished. I definitely want to hear those brand recommendations so I’ll email you.

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