Whether you’ve just bagged a new job or have an important interview or meeting on the horizon, how you dress is fundamental to your chances of success, not only because of what it reveals about you but, even more importantly, how it makes you feel about yourself.
Use the guide below to dress for success so that, no matter how nervous you feel on the inside, you’ll present a powerful image.
Get Clear on the Dress Code
If you’re attending for an interview, to give a presentation, or for an event, for example, it’s vital to find out the dress code in advance to avoid any embarrassing wardrobe faux pas. If this information isn’t readily available, then it’s totally acceptable to ask the host for their policy.
To find out about the dress code at a potential new workplace, have a look at the company’s website, or pay attention to what other employees wear.
Know When To Go Formal
Generally speaking, interviews, presentations, and important meetings require formal business dressing. A skirt or pantsuit is ideal, with a white or cream-colored blouse. Skirts are usually expected to be no shorter than an inch above the knee, and heels should be 2.5cm high maximum.
Hair should be groomed and presented neatly, and, when it comes to makeup, think subtle: avoid shimmery products or lipgloss, but instead opt for a classic, understated look using nude and light pink shades.
Day to Day Workplace Dressing
Business casual is about typical day-to-day dressing in the workplace; while it’s more relaxed than formal wear, dressing for success means paying attention to the details and making all of your outfits work hard for you. To this end, choose trousers with fitted shirts or blouses for a casual business look, opt for a knee-length, tailored dress, or use a belt to give a more tailored feel to a summer or ‘floaty’ dress.
Well-chosen accessories can add both style and personality to your boardroom outfit. The key here is to aim for a cohesive look; so, if you choose to wear a bracelet, the metal should match that of your earrings, for example. Generally speaking, anything too ‘dressy’ should be avoided; this includes long, drop earrings, bangle stacks, or anything too glittery.
Opt for chic, timeless jewelry, such as a letter necklace in silver, gold, or rose gold: this is an elegant way to inject some subtle personality into your business look. Pearl stud earrings are also an excellent choice, as is a small brooch, which is a good way to add a pop of color to a blazer or shirt. A vibrant silk scarf is another means of adding some brightness to your ensemble.
All in the Details
Paying attention to the little things can make a big difference to the success of your overall outfit. For example, well-trimmed, clean nails are essential; if you wish to wear nail polish, it’s best to select a neutral color, and remove it and reapply as soon as it starts to peel or flake off.
Leave yourself enough time in the morning to press any garments that require this, and if you have furry friends, it could be a good idea to run a lint roller over the fabric, too.
Keep some essential items in your bag to help you maintain your look through the entire day: a brush, some items of make-up, a pack of mints, and a mini bottle of fragrance are some of the essentials to ensure you look as fabulous by the end of the day as you did at the beginning!
Basics to Remember
Whether you’re dressing for the office, a day at the shops, or a night on the town, there are a few golden rules to putting together an outfit that’ll have you feeling confident and looking great. Firstly, always wear well-fitting and well-cut clothes; never be tempted to size up or down.
Next up: adding some layers and textures is an easy way to look stylish and professional. Adding a light, well-tailored jacket to a summer dress, for example, will instantly elevate the entire look.
And finally: don’t forget the footwear! The event you’re attending will determine the most suitable style, but ensuring that your shoes are kept in good, clean condition is vital. Applying a leather or scuff protector to footwear, where appropriate, is a great idea to keep your shoes looking their best and enhance their longevity.
Many people believe that success starts with the right mindset, and this is why how you dress is so important. Dressing in a way that expresses you’re not only ready for but expect success is a powerful way to manifest the things you want into your life. This is largely due to the fact that dressing in a way that makes us feel confident will affect our bearing, for example, and the way we communicate, and this, in turn, will influence how other people see us. So we may find that the ‘faking’ part of ‘faking it until you make it’ is a surprisingly short process.