A proverb says that the clothes make the man or in this case the woman.
Is that true or is it just a relic of the past?
Let’s face it – the way we dress for work is important, and not only for making a first impression. It’s a reflection of how we want to see ourselves performing our business roles, and how we want others to perceive us. And what we wear, we tend to become. Our clothes and styling and how we perceive it, influences our psychological processes, and we start to fit into this picture. We can use this phenomenon called enclothed cognition at our own benefit, and if we want power, we can try to put it on.
Here are some power dressing tips for women who want to learn how to dress to impress at work.
Avoid Casual Clothes
Although wearing casual clothes at work may seem attractive to you, because it makes you feel comfortable and relaxed, it’s probably not the message you want to send. Your casual styling may give an idea that this is how you handle all your other work-related issues, such as your customers or your employees –casually. So, to avoid falling into this casual trap, you should better avoid that laid-back clothing style, and let every part of your attire bring a sense of professionalism into the game.
To feel confident and authoritative, your clothing needs to fit into some standards, which are related to the type of business and the company you are in, as well as your working environment. If you work in a bank, the norm is to dress more traditionally, while working in the creative industry will give you more freedom to experiment with your styling. Consider all the people you get to meet during the day, and who you want to make an impression on and send a message to. Are those your clients or your colleagues? And how can you dress to fit both their expectations and your own style?
Many women avoid wearing suits as they are afraid suits will harm their feminine look. But with all the latest cultural changes, fashion trends are following, and these traditionally masculine items of clothing are being freshly recreated and redesigned, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find perfectly cut and completely feminine suit pieces. You can even make a routine out of your suits, and be creative with your accessories. This way you can stop wasting your valuable time deciding what you are going to wear every single day, but still, look and feel great.
Fit your clothes just above your workplace expectations, adding your own personal signature to your styling with the accessories you choose. Even in the company with the strict dress code, you can find a way to differ and make an impression. It may be your top-notch bag, a splendid piece of jewelry or a pair of stylish zip-up heels you’re wearing. These little add-ons to your attire radiate power even if you’re wearing a dullest uniform.
When shopping for work clothes, remember to choose wisely. Don’t shop impulsively, as owning a few high-quality pieces, which never goes out of style, is often worth more than a wardrobe full of clothes. Go for minimalistic, sharp and elegant clothes, and make sure they fit your body perfectly. It may be a wide-shoulders blazer, a button-down shirt or a midi dress, just as long as it’s smart and flatters your body – in a word, opt for a capsule wardrobe with a couple of essential, versatile pieces.
Also, remember that if you want to be confident and powerful in your workplace, you’ll need to feel comfortable in the clothes you are wearing. Some women are never on good terms with wearing skirts, while some dread suits, so it’s best to stay true to personal preferences you are comfortable with.
When thinking about your next workplace styling, think of the message you are sending with your clothes, to all the others but also to yourself. If you like the message you receive, go for it, but if you’re having any doubts, think harder. With these tips, you’ll find your solution.