‘Dress for Success’ is the new Mantra. The way you turn up professionally gets people to perceive you first and then based on that perception they add or subtract value to your authority, capability and credibility. However unfair it might sound, first impressions do make a huge difference. Sometimes, it is what takes you to the finishing line, helping you score over your rival.
Dress For Your Goal
Firstly understand your role in the kind of profession you are in. Next, mark out an immediate goal for yourself. Do not just dress for your role, instead, dress for your goal. Notch up your appearance to create a Powerful impact. Many times it makes people notice you, even if you have been meeting them day after day and why not? As Mehrabian (psychology professor) says, 80% of the initial connect is fueled by what is visually in front of you.
We often judge a Corporate office from the way it appears, the ambience created, the kind of people working there and make our own estimate about how well the company could be doing. If we can do so about spaces made of brick and mortar, don’t you think people do the same about us and then even do guesswork on our status, education, family background etc. Such is the power of appearance.
The Do’s and Dont’s
Every profession and Company has its own norms, but within these norms, there are a few things in common- A neat and well-groomed person always stands out. A neat hairstyle for women and men, in case of men having a beard, neatly trimmed beards work. No visible tattoos, pierced lips or eyebrows in most professions.
Tips For The Ladies:
For ladies, makeup which is not too overpowering, e.g. loud eye makeup or blood-red glossy lips, dramatic Bindis, or distracting nail art. Makeup is a must, but it should not distract the internal or external customer from the work agenda.
A jacket always adds to your confidence and authority. Try not wearing wide open necks, T-shirts without collars, or cleavage-revealing necks for women. Wardrobe neutral colours like navy, grey, black and white, blended with pastels always work well.
Bright Colours: to be or Not to be
This does not mean you cannot wear bright colours, but keep them smaller as per the law of areas and also keeping the activity of the day in mind. If there are serious meetings that day, men can limit the bright colours to a pocket square or a tie and women can add a bright scarf or dupatta or a bright accessory like a bag or an attractive but not oversized neckpiece. Even earrings add a lot of colour but no danglers for work. Men’s ties should be an average of 3 to 3.5″ at the widest. They are the best work ties.
Tips For The Men
For men, belts and shoes must be matched. The belt buckles should be medium and not overly decorated. Please do not forget to match your socks with your pants. Even men’s shirts in pastels, whites, pinstripes, small plaids work well. The collars should make you appear alert.
Women can wear floral prints but not oversized ones. Geometrics and solids work very well. Fabrics like chiffons are best suited for social dos’. Take your pick but combine your colours, fabrics, textures and shapes in a way which makes you look professionally attractive, knowledgeable, confident and assertive. First Impressions take only 3 seconds, and you rarely get a second chance to create the right first impression!
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