Have you heard of the saying that you should dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have?
While what you wear does not define your value as a person, it is a fact that what you wear influences how others see you.
Your clothing makes a strong visual statement on your confidence level and how you see yourself. It is also a way to show respect not only to the situation but also to the people whom you are going to meet and talk to. Career counsellors know this well that is why they advise people to always look good and look professional especially on a job interview.
There are several studies that prove how your appearance highly influences not just how others perceive you but also how you conduct yourself in a particular situation.
In a co-study made by Micheal Krauss, a professor at Yale University and the Journal of Experimental Psychology in 2014, 128 men from different backgrounds and income levels were engaged in a negotiation game, acting as buyer and seller. The group was divided into three: one group in business attire, the second group wore sweatpants, shirts and sandals and the third group just wore their ordinary clothes.
|Source: Wall Street Journal|
Results showed that those who are dressed up ended up with the most profitable deals compared with their poorly dressed counterparts.
In a study last year made by Abraham Rutchik, a professor of psychology at the California State University, results showed that wearing formal attire increased abstract thinking. Abstract thinking makes you think more broadly. It enhances creativity and problem solving. It helps you deal with complex data and strategies making you feel powerful.
So, the effect of dressing up affects you but also others around you. You gain confidence and you elicit the feeling of power. The observer on the other hand, could feel this feeling of confidence and in return will show you some respect.
Dressing up does not necessarily mean that you should always wear suits neither does it mean that you should invest heavily on clothes. There are many ways to dress up without necessarily stretching your budget.
Here are some tips on how you should dress for success:
Assess the Environment
Do your research first. Where are you going? Who are you going to meet? Is there a dress code? If you are going for a job interview, find out about the industry. What do they normally wear? It is very important to wear the appropriate clothes.
Don’t just pick up the first thing that you see in your closet. It helps to plan what you are going to wear the night before.
Stick to the basics
Normally, a classic and minimalist look is always stylish and sophisticated. While bold patterns and prints can work, neutral colours are the best. You don’t need to have a closet full of the latest trends, all you need is a few basic fashion must haves. Basic classic fashion never goes out of style.
Iron your clothes
Remember that how you dress says something about yourself. Showing up with wrinkled clothing gives an impression that you couldn’t care less. Perfectly pressed clothing is mandatory not just in interviews but in all occasions.
Wear clothes that fit you well
The most important aspect in dressing is the fit. The brand nor the price tag does not matter. Your clothing should fit the body perfectly. You want to avoid clothing that is too loose or too tight.
Dressing comfortably will help you relax. However, dressing comfortably does not mean baggy sweatpants or slippers. You can still wear comfortable clothes without sacrificing style. The key is balance. If you want to wear a loose top, wear something fitting for your pants.
Do not show too much skin
Never be overexposed. Unless you are going to the beach, keep your cleavage and your belly button covered. The less skin you show, the more professional you look.
Do not over accessorise
Accessories are useful in enhancing an outfit. However, if you wear them all together at once, it becomes a fashion failure. Be content with wearing just one or two. Invest in a statement piece like a watch, bracelet or bag.
It is better to be overdressed than be underdressed
Hollywood stylist Rachel Zoe believes that it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. If you are not sure what to wear, dress in such a way that you look like you have a very important meeting to attend to.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to show your individuality. Add a touch of yourself in your outfit whether it is the colour, the pattern or the accessories.