They say looks aren’t everything, and they’re right…but it turns out they are 55% of another person’s perception of you.
For everyone in the professional world, that’s a pretty scary statistic. Whether you’re looking for a job, trying to impress your boss, or you are the boss, you want to make a good impression.
But the good news is, you can use this in your favor.
There’s a reason why they say, ‘dress to impress,’ and today I’m going to tell you how to do just that.
With my wardrobe tips, you won’t need anything else but a smile to ensure that everyone’s impression of you is a good one.
It might sound silly that a wardrobe change can mean the difference between success and failure, but in a recent study, employers ranked poor appearance as the number one dissuading factor when considering whether to hire someone!
Despite the old adage about judging books by their covers, it seems that we continue to do it—especially in the working world.
It’s not all bad though. Unlike in other situations, the way people judge your appearance in the professional sector has nothing to do with your waist size or hair-color, and everything to do with the amount of effort you put in to being clean, polished, and put together.
And guess what—all of those things are completely in your control!
And, even better, it’s easy to do. If you can master dressing to impress, you’ll be showing yourself for success, all day every day.
1. Stick to the basics.
It’s great if you like bright colors and patterns, but when it comes to the office it’s usually good to tone it down. Blue, black, white, grey, and kaki are your best friends in the workplace.
This might sound boring, but it works. Black and white are great choices because they go with everything, making it easier to look put together, and blue and grey illicit a sense of calm. Likewise, kaki has a warm edge to it that makes you appear friendly.
Colors and patterns can have a huge influence on people’s moods and perceptions, so it’s good to wear basic, accepted colors.
2. Make sure your clothes are pressed!
No one wants to give responsibility to someone who looks like they just rolled out of bed!
You would be amazed how often I see this, both in the workplace and in daily life. It’s as though people have forgotten how to use irons!
And trust me—employers notice.
If you take the time to neatly press and properly fold your clothes, it makes you stand out as prepared and polished in the workplace.
Similarly, make sure your shoes are shined and everything is clean!
3. Add one small pop of color.
Now I know I said to stay away from bright colors, and I meant it—in large amounts. There’s a time and place for your bright graphic t-shirts, but the office is not that time or place.
Instead, wear an outfit that makes you blend in amongst other polished professionals, and then add a bright tie or socks to give your ensemble a bit of personality.
This way, amongst all the suits, you have an edge that makes you stand out.
4. Make sure you match.
NEVER wear black with brown, and generally make sure that when you look in the mirror, the colors you’ve put together don’t make your eyes hurt.
This one is pretty easy, but it makes a huge difference, and you’d be surprised how easy it is to miss the mark.
One of the most popular mistakes is trying to match different shades of the same color. Here’s a hint when you are trying to pick out your work outfits: not all shades of brown, blue, grey, or kaki are the same, and nearly matching can look worse than not matching at all!
5. Step it up.
If the office dress code is business casual, take it up a notch and wear a tie anyway on the day of a presentation.
If the dress code is completely casual—which is becoming more and more common—remember that this does not mean you can look like a slob. Wear a blazer over your t-shirt and jeans, or wear a nice pair of slacks with your shirt.
Remember, no matter what the dress code is, you want to be one step above the standard so that you stand out as the most professional person in the room.
Right or not, it makes you appear prepared, knowledgeable, and capable.
If you can follow these five simple wardrobe rules, I can promise you that success will all but fall in your lap.
It may be unfair, but we do tend to judge people by appearances, and it’s up to you to make that work to your advantage!