We often hear the phrase dress for success, but what does that mean exactly? Is there a secret recipe one has to follow when choosing work attire that will propel them toward instant success? And do clothes really matter that much in a professional setting?
In today’s work culture, dress codes are much more relaxed than they used to be. It’s not unusual to wear jeans and a T-shirt at the office anymore, especially for smaller companies that don’t place a great deal of importance on how employees dress, prompting people to believe they can wear whatever they like and it won’t make any difference. Larger companies however still hold on to stricter dress codes and require their employees to adopt a more formal dress style. So which path should one choose?
The truth is clothes matter. Like it or not, people will always judge you based on your appearance, all the more so in a workplace environment. Clothes have the power to convey certain messages and reflect who you are as a person. When you look great, you also feel great and perform better, so that’s why the way you dress is linked to your professional success. Long story short, if you want to thrive professionally, you better up your style game. And if you’re not sure what clothes would be appropriate to wear at work and how to build your professional wardrobe, you might want to give these style tips a try.
Look for inspiration
They say you have to dress for the job you want, not for the one you have. If you want to secure a certain position, you’ve got to look the part. So where should you look for inspiration? It’s simple, you just have to look around you and see what the people who already got where you want to be are wearing. Your superiors might be a good example to follow if you’re in need of some guidance. Also, if all your peers dress smartly, you should take a cue from them and do the same. You don’t want to stand out as the dressed down employee of the month.
Understand the dress code
It’s a no brainer for jobs that require employees to wear a uniform or have a strict dress code, but when you’re in a gray area like business casual, things can get confusing. Let’s say you’re a new employee and there’s an important meeting coming up, but you don’t know what attire would be appropriate for the event. What do you do? When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your superiors or colleagues who have more experience in the field about it. Being aware of your company’s dress code will make things infinitely easier for you when choosing outfits.
Find your style
Even if you find inspiration in what others are wearing and your company has a conservative dress code, it doesn’t mean there’s no room for creativity and you should look like everybody else. You can follow dress code lines and still wear outfits that reflect your personality. When building your professional wardrobe, you should also take into account the colors that work for you, understand your proportions and your body shape, and know what clothes would suit you. Also, don’t dress according to the latest trends if they don’t resonate with who you are.
Invest in the right pieces
When it comes to work outfits, you have to choose quality over quantity, so you must be willing to pay a little more for good quality materials and attire. But you don’t want to spend a fortune on clothes every season, which is why you should strive to purchase timeless pieces that you can wear again and again and still look great. Investing in suits, shoes and purses is always a great idea. If you keep an eye for special offers such as ILoveDooney promo codes, you can even stretch your budget a bit further.
Keep it neat
No matter what style you adopt, there’s one rule that applies to everyone: you must always look neat and fresh. Make sure that your clothes are always clean, wrinkle-free, and fit you perfectly. And while you’re at it, check yourself in the mirror before going out the door and make sure everything else is just as tidy: your hair, your makeup, your accessories should go together to complete the look. As a rule of thumb, don’t go overboard with accessorizing and take the minimalistic route instead.
Balance comfort and style
Looking professional and well put together is absolutely essential, but being comfortable is just as important. You don’t want to spend your work days feeling like you’re trapped in your outfit and you can’t breathe. Besides choosing outfits that are the right size, you should also avoid clothes that constrict your movements and make you feel uncomfortable, especially if your job implies traveling a lot. Imagine you hop off a plane directly into a meeting. A stiff suit and stilettos will make your business trip a living hell. Professional attire can be versatile and adapt to your personal circumstances, so if you put a bit of work into it, you can have the best of both worlds.
If you want to project a certain image and build your personal brand, consistency is key. You can’t dress like the ultimate CEO four days in a row, then switch to mail boy look on Fridays because it’s the one day of the week when you can dress casually. If you want to dress down a bit, you can do it and still be true to the style you’ve adopted. It really doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. You should always look presentable, if not impeccable. It’s more than creating an image. It’s a form of self-respect, of respecting your job and your colleagues. So flip flops, revealing outfits and other similar clothing items are a big no.
Published by EmmaBonney