After hitting snooze 7 times, most of us stumble out of bed and give little thought to the outfit we pick for the day. Usually, our outfit choice is based on what is clean and doesn’t need to be ironed. But, as a professional, you should make strategic outfit choices based on these three things:
- People judge you based on your appearance. When you first meet someone, they immediately judge you based on your appearance. Your outfit, hair, makeup, shoes, and accessories all play a role in how you are perceived. Even after people know you and your work ethic, they continue to judge you based on how you present yourself on a daily basis. So, how do you want to be perceived? If you walk into a meeting with a wrinkled blazer, pants that don’t fit properly, and messy hair, you look unprepared, unorganized, and disheveled. But if you walk in wearing a tailored suit, killer heels, and a little makeup—unless you’re one of the lucky few who don’t need makeup to look awake—you look put together, organized, and ready to tackle the day’s tasks. How you present yourself directly effects how others judge your abilities: this is the harsh reality of the corporate world. So, don’t let your outfit ruin your career opportunities.
- Dress for the job you want. If you want to be the boss, dress like the boss. This can be accomplished without blowing your entire paycheck on clothes. Make sure that your clothes fit properly and invest in a good tailor to make less expensive clothes look like designer labels. As pieces in your wardrobe become worn out or the color fades, toss them.
- You might run into someone you know. Weekends are for relaxing, but they are not for running around town in pajamas. As a professional, you must seize opportunities in every setting. You need to be ready to meet people and to be seen. Dressing in anticipation of these encounters, will help you thrive. Every time you leave the house, make sure you are presentable. If you run into your coworkers or boss will you be embarrassed? If the answer is yes, then you should reconsider your outfit.