We’ve all heard the old adage “dress for the job you want” – but what does that really mean? In the professional world, dressing for success means wearing the right attire, or “the uniform” of your respective industry. While certain aspects of a specific look vary depending on the industry, the general idea is to project a polished, professional image that conveys confidence and competence.
The way we dress impacts the way we’re perceived by others. Studies have proven that people who dress appropriately for their environment are judged as higher in status, more influential, and more socially and professionally capable than those who don’t.
For example, if you’re entering a corporate office with the hopes of getting a job, you will definitely want to dress for the part. That could mean a dark colored suit with a tie, professional shoes and a polished appearance. This kind of ensemble conveys to your potential employers that you’re serious, competent and have a good sense of style.
Similarly, if you’re working in the creative field and have an upcoming meeting with a potential client, you’ll want to dress a bit differently; think casual, but still professional. A collared shirt, well-fitted blazer and a nice pair of trousers or skirt should do the trick.
The point is, whatever industry you’re in, it’s important to dress for the job you want. Not only will you look the part, you’ll gain a sense of confidence in your professional ability and you’ll be taken more seriously by the people around you.
How to Dress for Success
Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and start dressing for success, the first thing you’ll want to do is find out the dress code for your specific industry.
Do some research, ask other professionals in your field, and look at what others in similar positions are wearing. Remember, you don’t have to go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe; you can always choose to add a piece or two or simply invest in higher quality, better-fitting garments.
When building your professional look, it’s important to keep in mind that less is more. Think quality over quantity; a few classic pieces that look good and are tailored to your body will speak volumes and give you a polished, confident appearance.
Accessories should be kept to a minimum, and don’t forget about the little details like well-groomed nails and a tasteful fragrance.
Dressing for Different Environments
Of course, no matter what “the job you want” is, it’s important to remember that dress codes can vary based on the environment.
Let’s use the corporate office example from above; if you’re going to a meeting with a potential client, you’ll want to dress more professionally than if you’re sitting in the company’s office.
When attending in-office meetings, the rule of thumb is to dress one level up from your normal office attire. This conveys that you’ve made an effort to look professional and have respect for the company and your colleagues.
The same concept applies to other scenarios, like industry conferences or networking events. You’ll want to find out the dress code for the event beforehand, and then make sure you’re appropriately dressed.
Q1.Do I need to buy an entire new wardrobe to dress for success?
No, you don’t necessarily need to buy an entirely new wardrobe. Instead, focus on buying high-quality pieces that are tailored to your body and that fit the dress code of your industry.
Q2.How should I dress for an in-office meeting?
When attending in-office meetings, it’s best to dress one level up from your normal office attire. This conveys that you’ve made an effort to look professional and have respect for the company and your colleagues.
Q3.Should I wear accessories to an interview or professional meeting?
It’s best to keep accessories to a minimum when attending a professional meeting or interview. Focus on wearing clothes that look good and are tailored to your body. A few tasteful accessories can add flair to your look, but in general, it’s best to keep things simple.
Q4.What kind of shoes should I wear to an interview?
When attending an interview or professional meeting, it’s best to wear a pair of leather shoes, preferably in a dark color such as black or brown. Wear socks that match the color of your trousers, and make sure your shoes are polished and squeaky clean.