The clothes we wear to work make a huge difference in how others perceive us. Consider the following questions: Do you want to be viewed as successful? Are you hoping for a promotion? Do you yearn to make a positive impression on both colleagues and clients? The key to all three is dressing for success!
Maybe you’ve heard the old saying, “the clothes make the man.” Well, in today’s work world, the right clothes can do the same for a woman. For instance, not only can clothes make a woman look successful, they can make the boss take notice of her professionalism, and they can even help her win over clients.
More good news. Your quest towards successful office attire, does not have to be expensive. Consignment shops and discount clothing merchandisers offer quality items at reasonable prices. Instead of thinking that you must own only expensive designer clothing, realize that no name pieces can present the right image as well.
The first step in dressing successfully entails what not to wear. Vow to forgo clothing that will automatically defeat your goal of looking professional. One example: skin tight, lacy camisoles. Instead of these barely there undergarments, opt instead for classy silk shells. Remember, if you want to be taken seriously, you can’t come to work looking like a sex kitten.
Another example of what not to wear: worn out shoes. This is because people do notice your feet, and nothing screams second-rate more than a scuffed pair of heels or a stretched out pair of flats. Instead, invest in shoe polish, as well as a buffing cloth to fix minor flaws, and then toss any shoes that look worse for the wear. It’s better to have three pair of good-looking shoes, than six that look dilapidated.
So, what CAN a woman wear to work in order to look her professional best? Classic clothing rules. For instance, a patterned blazer, a crisp white blouse, and a well-fitting pencil skirt portrays a timeless, trustworthy appearance. Another outfit idea: tailored dress slacks paired with a dressy sweater. Finish the look with a quality scarf or a statement necklace, and you will be ready for any business encounter.
Keep in mind that work clothes should be stylish but sensible. Unless you work for a fashion magazine or another company that values the latest wardrobe trends, dress on the conservative side. On the other hand, if you haven’t added any new pieces to your wardrobe since 1995, you need to do so ASAP!
A final way to make sure you dress successfully for your particular job is to study those around you. Identify the most successful women in your company, then tailor your wardrobe accordingly. If they wear panty hose, you should too, or if they steer clear of capris, you would be smart to do the same.
The steps outlined in this post may seem simple, but if you take heed, you are bound to be viewed differently at work. You will become one of “those” successful women.
(Photo courtesy of Justyna Furmanczyk)