Your clothes are important. It’s doesn’t have to be a designer suit or really expensive shoes, but when you’re dressed well, you feel good about yourself. Confident. Competent. Motivated. People can tell a lot about you when they first meet you and take note of the outfit you’re wearing—not that you’re into fashion or pretentious, but that you’re driven, conscientious, hardworking. Here’s how your outfit can affect the way you view work.
Boost your confidence
A good outfit makes you feel more confident and capable. When you look good, you know people perceive you as someone who’s successful, hardworking and high achieving. When you’re perceived that way, you start acting that way. Meanwhile, when you wear tattered, unclean, outdated clothing, or even a shirt that has a stain on it, you tend to focus on the imperfection and assume everyone else is noticing and judging, too. At that point, it’s difficult to concentrate on your work or get a lot accomplished.
Increase abstract thinking
More formal attire tends to increase social distance. People don’t feel as congenial or bonded to the people they work with. It’s almost as though putting on a suit is like putting up a social barrier. However, this barrier allows people to think in more abstract and creative terms. So, if you need to brainstorm or generate innovative ideas, more formal attire might improve your ability to do so. But if you’re looking to build relationships, something a little less formal might be better.
Make strong first impressions
Besides your outfit, think about your accessories, hairstyle, fragrance, posture, body language, makeup, tone of voice and inflection. Depending on the situation, the person you need to be will change, so dress accordingly. Dress and accessorize in a way that will help you become that person.
Take command of your outfit
Every detail about your presentation communicates something. As people take note of your appearance, they’re making new judgments every few milliseconds or so—make sure it’s the message you want to be communicating. For example, a tie or nice suit might make you look dependable and experienced, which is perfect for some professional settings, but it also might look snobby or too traditional in a social or creative setting. If you want to look responsible, wear the tie. If you want to look innovative or new age, ditch the tie. Your outfit can empower you, and if you dress the way you want to feel and be perceived, it can be a really powerful tool in your professional arsenal.
For more tips on presenting your best professional self so that you can advance your career, contact our team today.