Why should you dress for success? Does your image say a lot about you in the workplace, agree or disagree? In today’s working world, many more employers are becoming more casual in their dress code. Most employees greatly appreciate this, however employees maybe go a little “too” casual and don’t realize how it affects the non-verbal queues they are putting out there. The way you dress at work can say a lot of about your confidence (or your overcompensation for it). How you dress tells people how you want to be perceived, your commitment, and it ultimately contributes to whether or not you are taken seriously at work.
If “casual” is allowed at your workplace or even if it is only allowed on Friday, please realize that although it is accepted it still means people (supervisors, managers, employees, and customers/clients) pay attention to how you dress. Like it or not, we are judged on how we do our job by how we look, how we dress, and even our grooming. Granted, it isn’t fair and may even be discriminatory to judge your performance on your physical appearance. But we know it happens and because we do, aren’t we are better off to deal with this head on?
Most people have a style they naturally gravitate to and I recommend you evaluate your own sense of style. Your appearance at work can still include your own style if it is done right.
I believe the right approach is to choose your “style” with clothing and accessories and even make-up to reflect how you wish to be seen as well as gaining you credibility and integrity. The goal is to create a workplace “style” that tells people the instant they look at you of your confidence and your own sense of worth. Here are some additional ideas and thoughts about creating your workplace “style” to do just that.
Here’s some tips for how you can dress for success.
Choose clothing that fits as opposed to being too big or baggy and not too tight. This will help you look and feel more professional too. We all have that one sweatshirt or hoodie we love to wear that is a size or two too big. Although wearing this feels cozy and comfortable, it also looks that way to others. And when you wear it, it likely doesn’t make you feel as professional either. It can change your attitude, how you problem solve, and how you communicate with others. This might be fine for your evenings and weekends, but not for the workplace where wearing something “too” casual also creates a “too” casual attitude as well.
Wearing shorts to work may sound wonderful, however it isn’t the best idea and should be carefully considered. Rare are the situations where showing too much skin in the workplace is a good idea. This includes mini skirts, tank tops, spaghetti strap or strapless tops, tops that have a deep neck cut, and shorts. Nothing good can come of showing too much skin in the workplace. Think about it, do you really want to see armpit hair in the workplace? Showing cleavage is always a distraction. And who needs to see your co-workers bacne?
Dressing for success also means being particular about wearing clean clothes and making sure they are not too wrinkled. This might mean you need to spend five minutes in the evening picking out what you are going to wear to ensure everything is neat and clean. If ironing is not your thing, take it one step further and buy clothing that never needs pressed.
Wearing sandals at work is more prevalent today, even in professional workplaces. Wearing comfortable shoes is a great idea, however please consider whether open toed shoes are appropriate. Flip-flops, in my opinion, are never appropriate in the workplace. Most of us don’t work on the beach.
Pay attention to why you are wearing clothing such as graphic tees, jeans with holes and rips, or that oversized flannel shirt. What is this saying about you? Is this truly dressing for success? Also give yourself a “once over” before you leave the house to avoid pants that show panty lines and other wardrobe mishaps. Dress for success and be the kind of person who understands how your appearance is perceived. Your style can be a distraction and take away from who you really are inside and how you want others to see you.
Most people want their strengths, skills, and potential to be what people see in them. And to do this, you have to pay attention to how your outward appearance may enhance this or take away from this. You want your appearance to help the hard work you put in at work to mean something. We all want our contributions to matter and be acknowledged. Don’t let your appearance get in the way of this. Your appearance should at least match the confidence, self worth, and potential you have of yourself and wish to portray to those around you. There is no doubt the concept of “dress for success” can help you do this.
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