Have you ever had a lazy day where you just wanted to go to work in sweatpants? As tempting as it can be, your looks play a major role in your workplace success. Although we may think it shouldn’t matter what people look like, in reality your looks present a piece of who you are to the outside world. In addition, your appearance translates into your performance.
If you wore pajamas to work, you’d most likely have a more casual attitude about the work day and productivity. Those that dress in suit each day are ready to take care of business because they are dressing to impress.
Dressing appropriately also determines if you’ll fit in with your colleagues and someone that does not is less likely to be chosen for a promotion. Dress appropriately for work and you’ll be thanking yourself later. Here are some tips on what to choose each day.
Think About your Industry
What industry do you work in? A teacher needs to dress appropriately so that students aren’t distracted by an inappropriate outfit or something that may be mocked. A doctor wants patients’ respect and should wear slacks and a button down shirt to show competence. Those that work in a small office may notice that everyone is commonly found in shorts and a polo shirt, so you can match this relaxed dress code if the boss finds it acceptable. Just make sure that regardless of level of dressiness that your clothes fit well, are clean and pressed and don’t have holes.
Don’t show up to work with wet hair or a sloppy hair style that makes you look like you rolled out of bed this way. Well-groomed hair in a common color is smarter than messy, blue hair. Make sure you don’t douse yourself in too much cologne or perfume because you’ll find that everyone around will go the other direction. This is not the way to get the boss to notice you as a likeable, go-to person for those around you.
Sometimes color choices can make a difference even on the most professional attire. Rich colors tend to portray authority. Consider a rich color choice if you plan to give a presentation because it’ll convey a stronger impression than a lighter color that causes you to blend in. Neon colors and flashy clothes are never acceptable.
Shoes and Bags
Keep your shoes polished and well-kept, especially on an interview. It’s one of the first things a recruiter will look for since it’s one of those things that takes just a little extra effort and those that don’t do that may come across as someone who doesn’t pay attention to details. Your bag should be neat and tidy as well. If it appears messy or items are popping out, others won’t be able to help but to look at your belongings. Knapsacks are not acceptable as professional.
Rules for Women
Women need to be careful about too sexy of clothing like plunging necklines and short hemlines. Nude pantyhose is a great compliment to your wardrobe and accessories are great as long as they don’t make noise or overpower your outfit.
Rules for Men
Men should be sure to trim their beards and avoid goatees. Facial hair is great on vacation but at the office, it shouldn’t overwhelm your face. Choose high enough socks to not allow your skin to show if your pant legs lift up at all.
Follow these tips to dress professionally on interviews and at the office. You never know what your appearance could be telling your boss and if it’s the reason that you aren’t getting that promotion.