Your clothes influence the way people think about you at all times. Whether at work, on a date, or out with friends, your clothes speak to people before you do.
It's not to be taken lightly. Your employer’s perception of what your wardrobe says about you does affect your career.
1. How Your Look Counts
A study released by Office Team, a staffing agency that polled Senior Corporate Executives found that '93% of managers say that how you dress at work influences your chance of a promotion'.
2. Suited for Purpose
It's interesting to note that not everyone needs to 'dial it up' with his or her corporate wardrobe. In fact, overdressing is just as detrimental to your career prospects as underdressing. Overdressing can give the impression that you are a lone entity that you don’t fit within the cultural environment and that you're not a team player.
As a former people manager, these are not attributes I've ever been looking for when interviewing candidates for management positions.
Of course, underdressing comes with it's own hidden demons. Employees who arrive underdressed for interviews can rarely make up for their disheveled appearance with witty commentary.
And it's a jungle out there. The well dressed guy who interviewed next may not have had such dynamic verbal skills, but he is likely to progress further than the underdressed guy whose first impression read as lazy, unprofessional, disrespectful and shallow.
3. For or Against Quite simply put, our professional style is either working for us, or against us, there is no in-between. As humans, we have been programmed to judge on sight. It’s how we stayed alive in the caves. We recognised friends or foes by their garments or dressings and we still do it today.
The problem is, when we don't understand what our visual image is actually saying, we're not controlling our own companies branding or messaging. That can mean that all our hard work on websites, communications and culture goes down the drain every time anyone in our business has a face-to-face meeting.
4. The Psychology of Colour
The colour of our clothing has an effect on ourselves and our potential customers. Professionalism, reliability, leadership, trustworthiness, intelligence and enthusiasm can all be represented by wearing the right colour. Wear the wrong colour and you could be telling people to go away.
5. Be Busy, Don’t Look Busy
Your professional clothes shouldn’t be louder than you are. Save your flashy things for weekends and social events.
Your wardrobe shouldn’t distract you or your colleagues. They should be dazzled by your achievements, not your sparkly shoes.
A purposeful first impression should underline everything you say and be the exclamation point at the end of every sentence. Your visual image has power to it. When it is thoughtful and congruent with your service offerings people will connect to you and your business at first glance. Your visual image can qualify you when you walk in a room.
For a business image review or consultation, or to attend a business image workshop, contact Kirsty today.