Designer suit, the latest shoe trend or dark wash denim. They can work for you - or against you. It’s much less about what you wear and far more about how your wear it. So whether your budget is high street or bespoke you can give yourself a real edge to climb the career ladder and make sure that it’s your professionalism and expertise that are remembered, not your attire.
It’s well known that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The most recent research finds you have just seven seconds to make it - so it follows that when you feel good about how you’re presenting yourself you will be confident and memorable for all the right reasons.
But it’s not simply about good looks and the most expensive suit.
It’s more about understanding your own personal style characteristics and making the most of them. Combined with your role, career aspirations, company dress code (should they have one) and brand, reflecting your personal style will go a long way to creating a look and wardrobe that works perfectly for you in the workplace, no matter your grade, sector or area of expertise.
What does it mean to be well dressed?
There are 4 attributes – clothes and accessories which:
- flatter your physical characteristics (colouring & bodyshape)
- complement your personality
- are appropriate
- are current
Dark colours portray authority; so does high contrast (e.g. black & white). Medium depth colours and a more tonal look will always be more approachable. Light colours have little credibility in a formal environments but are great in a more casual workplace.
Your appearance is a vital part of business behaviour and shows consideration for others. It is important therefore to dress to:
- show respect to others (for example, cultural norms when travelling abroad)
- fit the environment (this could of course include safety requirements or your industry sector traditions – for example, in tech environments the look is far more casual with jeans, tops and sneakers the norm, but you’ll notice this look is still well-groomed and current)
- suit the occasion and your role (a board meeting or dress down Friday?)
Complete the look for that professional edge
Clothes must be well maintained
Avoid extreme high-fashion looks
Have quality accessories (includes tools such as pens, folios, laptop bags & phone cases)