Just like actions speak louder than words, which is cliché for a good reason, your style of choice is worth more to your potential employer or future client than any promise you make.
As a key part of your non-verbal communication, your wardrobe plays a pivotal role in defining your reputation, the famous first impression, and how others will continue to perceive you in the work you do.
To quote yet another classy cliché, you truly need to dress for success, no matter your field of work or level of expertise. In order to create the perfect professional dress code that still leaves room for a personal touch or two, let’s see how you can master the art of dressing up for the sake of your career.
Neatness before price
Although a fashion enthusiast will spot the difference between a fake and a real Gucci purse, brands and price tags have little to do with the impact your appearance can have in business. Sure, they might be impressed by your choice, but it will have no relevance to the impression you leave, especially if what you’re wearing isn’t spotless.
And by spotless, we don’t mean just free of marks and blemishes, but with no wrinkles, loose buttons and threads, free of anything that might signal a messy, disheveled persona hiding behind a fancy suit. A “brandless” blazer and a pencil skirt that suit you well can be a more appropriate solution that an entire seemingly elegant pantsuit ensemble that is shabby despite its quality.
Accessorizing with style
There are divas out there who will be tempted to embellish their regular work attire with a slew of lovely gems and jewels, just to keep things lively and in their own style. However, the office doesn’t typically appreciate a flashy approach, so little can go a long way to achieve the same authenticity goal.
For instance, a pair of classy ladies’ shoes can instantly elevate your entire look, especially when they combine a basic nude shade and an accent one for effect. Solid hues still work well with floral blouses and fringed bags, but you can also go for a fun texture such as suede or velvet. When it comes to your baubles, pick less conspicuous earrings such as studs, or a delicate layered necklace for a crisp white shirt. Of course, the red lip is always welcome, even in the world of business!
Makeup or nude?
While we’re on the subject of lips and tints, you might be wondering what elements of your makeup kit are welcome in the office, and which ones you should leave for your night out. First of all, a touch of the right makeup is more than welcome, since studies have shown that you are perceived as more competent and likeable with it.
Since just a dab will help you look refreshed, stick to a bit of blush, mascara, and steer clear of too much dark-toned eye-makeup. These bold looks are more appropriate for cocktail parties, not the office. Anything neutral and skin-toned such as pale pink or nude looks wonderful, just make sure that it fits your overall look.
Size does matter
Even if you do work in a casual office where jeans and sneaks are the go-to meeting attire, leave your oversized sweaters at home. Apparently, what you wear has the ability to affect your cognitive processes and your mood, so those who feel unhappy tend to stick to their comfy college hoodies, while on a good day, they’d opt for well-tailored garments.
Trick your own mind into feeling better and working better, by putting on a combo that will inspire you to take action – and that massive pullover can only put you in instant hibernation mode. Form-fitting, but not to tight, and definitely not too short or revealing is the best option for your day at the office to increase your productivity and create the right image!
Colors for confidence
Just like colors affect our mood, they have the power to boost our confidence. For instance, wearing something red can inspire you to take initiative, or express yourself more assertively, since it’s considered a color of power and domination.
However, it’s important to have a low-key palette that you can wear every day, with a few accent pieces in bolder shades, including red, purple (or ultra violet for 2018, according to Pantone), green, and royal blue. Of course, you can opt for a whole range of other colors, as long as you’re skilled at mixing and matching efficiently