“Dress for success” is definitely not just a phrase. Of course, just looking good might not get you that job or promotion you want, but impressions matter and you might be surprised to find out just how much they can influence people’s choices and decisions. If you don’t care much for fashion, or prefer a more laidback personal style, you might be feeling lost. Fortunately, there are a few simple rules to follow if you want to leave a great impression.
Always be tidy
This is absolutely the number 1 rule of dressing for success. It doesn’t matter at all how much your outfit costs or how well it fits you, if it’s stained or wrinkled, there’s no way you will look good. Clean, fresh-smelling clothes that have been meticulously ironed are non-negotiable. Pay attention to the way your entire outfit looks together, rather than focusing too much on the individual pieces. Very often garments that don’t stand out much on their own have a way of combining to create a whole that surpasses the sum of its parts.
Accessorize within reason
Some classy accessories could elevate your outfit and give it a bit of flavor. However, when you are dressing for work, always keep it subtle when it comes to accessories. Avoid gaudy details, and don’t use too much jewelry. A delicate necklace, sophisticated earrings, or a minimalist ring can add a touch of elegance. Your belt and watch should be simple and high quality. Going overboard with accessories can seem unprofessional, draw too much attention to you, and even look cheap. Always remember to tone it down from what you would normally wear for other occasions, and just stick with one or two pieces of elegant jewelry.
Even the most sophisticated outfit will look bad if you wear it with shoes that are scuffed, dirty, or just plain inappropriate for the occasion. When it comes to shoes, it’s important to find just the right mix of comfort and style. Wearing your favorite sneakers to work just because they are comfy is completely inappropriate. On the other hand, it’s also not wise to buy heels that you can’t really walk in, just because they look great with your pencil skirt. If there’s one item you should definitely splurge on, it’s your work footwear. It’s always worth investing in one pair of stylish, high-quality shoes that won’t hurt your feet or your posture, even when you have to spend hours in them.
Choose tailored clothes
The secret to always looking your best? Wear clothes that fit. It sounds obvious, but in fact, most people wear clothes off the rack. Look around – everyone you know has a completely different body shape. Doesn’t it sound silly then, that all these people could fit in just a few different sizes of the same clothes? Nowadays plenty of brands offer lines of beautiful plus size clothing, so there is really no excuse to wear clothes that fit badly. If there are any minor issues with the fit of a piece you really love, have your tailor fix it. A tailor can also help you make a bargain item look more luxe by replacing the details, such as buttons and zippers.
Follow the dress code
Business environments are in some ways pretty strict, and people have certain expectations about the way you are supposed to dress. Deviating from these expectations might mean you will be seen as unprofessional. Always follow the dress code, and if you are not sure what it is, then err on the side of caution. In business environments, it’s always better to be dressed too formally than too casually. There are several different dress codes that you might encounter, depending on the company and the occasion. Familiarize yourself with them, and if possible, create a little capsule wardrobe of items that fit the dress code you will need to follow on a daily basis.
Looking stylish and put together doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a ton of money. Being clean and tidy, and following our basic rules should help you look great, and send the right message about yourself and your attitude towards work.