Have you heard of the old adage, “First impressions are everything.” As a business professional what you wear to a job interview, a corporate event or a power lunch can leave a lasting impression on how you are perceived by others.
Let’s face it – If you want to get ahead in your professional career you need to project yourself in a positive light every chance you get. So how does ‘dressing for success‘ fit in?
Let’s take a closer look at the phrase – “dress for success.” It implies that you are dressing not for where you are right now, but where you see yourself going – you are dressing for success.
If you want to be a leading executive, note the attire successful executives wear. In most cases they ARE dressed for success, which could very well be one of the reasons they’re where they are today.
While we’re on the topic the Summit Blog has an insightful and enjoyable blog post called the Time warp – how do you dress for success? It addresses what ‘dress for success‘ used to mean and what it means now. Julie Poland talks about how dressing for success back in the day was based on several assumptions including:
- Dressy appearance equals trustworthiness, intelligence and success. Conspicuously expensive accessories (Rolex watches, for example) telegraph power and influence.
- Women in the workplace can be dangerous. They can be distracting in their sexuality (men, of course, are victims of their testosterone you know,) and are at risk of being misperceived as provocative.
- Work is a battlefield dominated by men, so you had better be ready for combat. Women in the workplace survive and progress in their careers by being witches on wheels (with capital “B” hovering over their heads), so any would-be survivor had better button up if she wants to be taken seriously.
- A wealth of information can be derived by observing a man’s tie. Its color and pattern telegraphs power, conservatism (or not), and the looseness or tightness around the neck signifies stress or casualness. The real nonconformists back in the day of the power suit wore bow ties – truly old-school, and not particularly flattering with even a hint of a pudge around the middle. The corollary to this, of course, is the wealth of info that is communicated by a woman’s choice of shoes.
- You think better when you’re dressed up. Anyone knows that your brain can’t engage when you’re wearing sweats or yoga pants. And the language that accompanies such casual dress – shocking!Sure, it’s important to demonstrate to clients and colleagues that you care about yourself enough to brush your teeth and comb your hair. It’s a sign of respect toward them, too. But the rigid business attire standards of yesteryear can backfire. The world still has its “company men” and serious businesswomen, but the behemoth corporate environments have been infiltrated by the influence of the technology and creative crowds. The old assumptions don’t necessarily apply.
Do you think you dress for success? Check out some real testimonials of some individuals that we pulled out of the time warp and helped dress for success for the corporate culture of today!