How do you dress for success? What does your dressing sense and style speak about your personality? How important is it to dress right to be noticed and respected by your colleagues and superiors? What is under-dressing and over-dressing for work? How do you maintain a balance to not get showy, yet exude positive vibes and elegance in the way you carry yourself at work? In this insightful piece, we share some exclusive tips seldom chanced upon on any other channel, to make sure you dress right for success.
Importance of Dressing Up
Why is there so much emphasis laid on how you look and carry yourself at work? While we all need to look presentable, what is the extra zing touch you need to get noticed by superiors as someone most suited for the leadership role? Growing up we are made to believe that, “mind over matter” is the key to success, then how do the growth dynamics change when we grow older to emphasize on our dressing sense, habits and lifestyle choices.
As hard as we might try to pacify and ignore the noise around, at some point in time we need to accept the fact that not all are blessed with great features, perfect body shape, and perfect looks. But this in itself shouldn’t be the reason to drift off our focus from loving ourselves and not tending to our body with care to stay fit and groomed at all times.
Imagine you were the boss of a company, and one of your employees enter the office in a wrinkled shirt and dusty shoes, would you be really welcoming? You cannot ignore the immediate signals sent by your brain to the nervous system, to perhaps ignore a handshake and wonder. This is common practice not just in a work setting, but also with friends, neighbours, and colleagues.
Subconscious behaviours of withdrawal when portrayed by your boss and colleagues at work, could subtly mean you look messed up and less positive about your day at work. An improper dressing sense can overshadow your intelligence to make you look and feel a misfit in the social arena.
Furthermore, it’s equally important to dress right for the right occasion, which is where the concept of over-dressing and under-dressing comes to play. Let me quickly explain, what is over-dressing and under-dressing. The key to decoding the difference between being overdressed or underdressed for an occasion lies in details. The time invested in prepping up for the boardroom meeting for example consciously influences your actions to reflect on your confidence, body language, and overall appeal.
How we dress defines how we act. There are pros to cons to both – overdressing and underdressing. While overdressing can make you look like someone keen and eager, underdressing on the contrary can reflect badly on your confidence and aptitude for the job. It can further dent your growth levels within a company.
Not treading on the path of two opposite extremes, we would rather advise you to choose the mid-way and balance it right to not make you look heavy or underdressed as in casuals speaking volumes about your seriousness for the job.
Here are some tips to dress yourself up for success:
- The best way to dress right is to understand the corporate culture and demands of the workplace. Do not squeeze yourself into a tight pencil skirt or a pant that doesn’t fit well to make you feel uncomfortable for long working hours, or attract stares from colleagues. Stick to comfort wear fabric and if unsure of what to wear, dress conservatively.
- Deep neck tops and unbuttoned shirts should be struck off the list of workwear. Even on “Casual Fridays”, do not choose to dress for a party or a lounge evening with glittery tops, shiny blazers/overcoats or casual sneakers. Remind yourself, you are dressing for work and no cleavage revealing dresses should be a part of your work closet. Tuck them away out of sight, for a casual evening with friends and parties.
- Oversized coats and blazers can make you look shabby. So buy or borrow only a perfect fit of coat for the interview and work meeting.
- How you dress reflects in creating a positive impression on the minds of an employer to perceive you in the leadership role next. So if you are aiming at a promotion, salary hike or a leadership role, dress as you see yourself in the dream of a manager. Soon your vision will translate into reality. As you are investing time to work on the image you envision for yourself, it reflects and exudes in your behaviour mechanism with superiors.
- If you’re worried about your age and doubt if the style trend is made to suit your age then do not go back in time with your dressing sensibilities. It can only make you look like a vintage car out of the garage. Sometimes holding back can make you look outdated and disconnected as well. Be mindful of the choice of colours and the way you carry it, because playing safe as the rule goes, should not make you look boring either.
- Appearance can help build credibility, however, in the pursuit of looking good do not compromise on feeling good deep within as well. Dress for the job that you perform. If you work as a construction engineer, stick to the work uniform or a comfortable pair of jeans with a shirt well-tucked in, this should work.
Hold onto the conservative rules of dressing, if you are not sure about your personal sense of style. Observe people around, learn and adapt to keep discovering a new you every time. Have fun!
Read: How to Hustle and Meet Deadlines with Excess Workload?
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