They say that clothes maketh the man, and never has that been truer than in the world of business. It’s been proven that dressing well increases your chances of securing a job and, in some cases, can increase your income.
And let’s be honest, how often have you told yourself not to base your initial impression of someone off the way they present themselves… and how often have you succeeded?
Whether you like it or not, your aesthetic facade influences how people first perceive you and how successful you could become. It’s important to get it right. That’s not to say you have to have to dress for corporate success every day, but there is a way to balance practicality with personality.
Dressing for corporate success
Just to be clear, people who are successful in business come in all shapes and sizes, each dressed according to their own tastes.
But in corporate business, being well dressed has become considered a signal of status. Recent mogul Steve Jobbs has somewhat debunked that notion with his inclination for casual sweats, but generally speaking, one that is dressed well commands more attention and priority than one who is not.
Dressing by the following guidelines is a good way to project a confident, self-respecting representation of yourself whilst also communicating ‘I am observant of the settings around me and how I fit in, I am motivated to make a good impression at all times, and these attributes make me a good candidate for many a position’.
1. Dress for practicality and comfort
Dressing practically is a good rule of thumb. If you’re at a formal function, where the festivities are likely to be appropriately non-physical, dressing formally shows you understand, appreciate and respect the occasion, and the role you play in being there.
In a casual setting, relaxed attire shows you are willing to get involved, willing to regard yourself on the same level as others, and willing to show a little more humility in your approach to conducting business.
2. Dress for individuality
In a creative world, your attire is a great tool to represent your ability to see things differently, and people naturally assume this creativity carries into business in the form of problem solving and generating new ideas.
Choose to dress in clothes that represent who you are and signify your personality, individuality and creativity.
3. Be a visually commanding presence
According to Forbes, dressing 25 percent better than everyone else in the office communicates self-respect and discipline, qualities that are integral to many roles.
It takes time to have clean, pressed clothes, to shine your shoes, to style your hair and put together an outfit that is both practical and representative. By taking the time to do all of this, you are saying that you are ready to take on the world.
Did you know?
Not only does dressing well benefit your career but it can also change the way your brain thinks.
A study into the cognitive consequences of formal clothing [published in Social Psychological and Personality Science journal] found that “the clothing worn influences cognition broadly, impacting the processing style that changes how objects, people, and events are construed.
“Five studies provided evidence supporting this hypothesis. Wearing more formal clothing was associated with higher action identification level (Study 1) and greater category inclusiveness (Study 2). Putting on formal clothing induced greater category inclusiveness (Study 3) and enhanced a global processing advantage (Study 4). The association between clothing formality and abstract processing was mediated by felt power (Study 5).”
“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.” – Regina Brett, author of God Never Blinks.
By Lydia Truesdale