Dress for success
Unfortunately, the world of work is often characterized by unwritten
rules, including how to dress appropriately for your job or organization.
Unless your company requires you to wear a uniform, deciding what to wear
to work each day is among key decisions you need to make to ensure your
success on the job. How you dress on the job is just as important as how
well you follow instructions, meet deadlines and interact with others. Your
clothes are your "packaging" and as such, they say a lot about
you: it's the first impression people will have of you when they interact
with you face to face; it will color their opinion during subsequent
contact, whether in person, by phone, or through correspondence.
What's more, what you wear reflects how you weigh the upcoming
events and tasks of your work day. Trendy clothes may communicate
to others that you view your current position as a "job"—routine,
unexciting—rather than as your "passion"—that
part of your career you own and embrace. You'll stand a better
chance of being seen as serious, meticulous and dedicated if you
wear clothes that mean business. The following tips are intended
to help you "dress for success".
Remember: head to toe—maintain
Ensure your shoes are well
maintained—the way you look after your shoes says a lot
about you. Do you pay attention to details, or are you more apt
to let things go?
Remember: head to toe—clean,
Be sure to get your hair cut
at regular intervals—usually every six weeks. Don't wait
until your hair looks like it needs cutting. A fresh hair cut
has blunt ends that look clean. Don't skimp on your haircut—be
prepared to pay for a good cut; after all, your hair goes everywhere
with you. It's important that it look neat.
Iron out the rough spots—press your
Have you ever noticed someone in a wrinkled dress shirt and
wondered whether they slept in the bus depot or on a park bench
before coming to work? Did they dress in the dark? It's important
to make sure your clothes are neat and pressed. Touch them up
to give them a "finished" look.
Clark Kent had a superhero outfit—be
prepared for emergencies.
Yep, it's true—Superman was always prepared for contingencies.
Some career experts recommend keeping a "business professional"
outfit on hand at your office. Just in case an emergency stakeholder
meeting or last-minute client presentation comes up. Better to
dress the part than to wear something inappropriate and feel awkward.
It doesn't hurt to keep a sewing kit on hand either, even if it's
just a needle, some thread and a few buttons in an empty plastic
There is such a thing as too much
of a good thing—go easy on the accessories.
Count what you have on: earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets/bangles,
brooches, belt. Career experts advise against overdoing it. Wear
one ring on each hand (unless you wear an engagement ring and
a wedding band), one earring in each ear, and only one neck chain.
Wear your watch on one wrist and only one bracelet on the other.
Large, dangling earrings and ornate brooches can often be a distraction.
It's better to err on the side of conservatism.
Who wears short shorts?—"business
casual" doesn't mean super mini!
Remember that on "business casual" days, your skirt
or shorts (if you're permitted to wear shorts, culottes or skorts
to work, that is) should never be shorter than on "business
professional" days. Looking fashionable is important, but
dressing professionally to ensure you grow with your company is
Follow the leader—don't wear slacks
if the top female brass don't.
Take your cues from the top-level women in your organization.
If you've never seen any of them wear slacks, take the hint. Again,
if you want to succeed and if you aspire to positions higher up
in the company, be sure you dress the part.
Be afraid of the dark—watch your shoes
A good rule of thumb is never to wear hosiery or shoes that
are darker than your hem. Instead, choose a matching color or
something a little lighter. If wearing a short-sleeved jacket
or dress, aim for a nude or skin-toned hose; this will provide
balance by having as much of your legs showing as your bare arms.
Dress for succcess.
This means dressing for the job you want, not the job you have.
Suprising as it may sound, it often happens that although people
may have the skills and talents necessary to climb the corporate
ladder, if they don't dress the part, they are passed over for