You have heard the motto Dress for Success but do you really understand it? Many times this motto is overused but under applied. Under applied? Yes, individuals do not apply the concepts in their work wardrobe when they dress. Instead of Dress for Success, individuals need to Process Dress for Success™. This means they need to understand their industry dress whether it is professional or business casual, invest in quality clothes that gives them a return and pay attention to wardrobe details. When individuals apply this process, they will carry professionalism, reliability and credibility!
Whether you are looking for a job inside or outside your home, secure in a job (you like) or eyeing advancement, your outer appearance is crucial. There are many different industries that allow a variety of dress codes. If you work in a law firm, professional dress is most appropriate; in a creative industry (at home or outside of home) artistic attire is welcomed; and, if you work in the media or public relations field your wardrobe should include fashion. If you are unsure of what to wear to work, ask your human resources professional for your company’s dress code policy or smart business casual is most credible (that is with a blazer). No matter the industry you are in, you need to project a polished image.
Now that you know the requirements, how do you dress? First understand the difference between dressing for your job and dressing for your career. It is easy to just meet the requirements of the dress code but when you put an exerted effort in dressing for your day that is dressing for your career. The benefit: opportunity. Just as important is career dressing is calendar dressing. Dressing for your calendar, whether casual, corporate or social, will positively affect your outcome.
How do you start building your career wardrobe, invest in clothing that will expand your wardrobe rather than narrow it and compliment your body style? If you have a professional dress policy, invest in four suits then add enhancers. Enhancers are pieces of clothing that can expand your wardrobe; shirts, blouses/tops, accessories, ties, suspenders, and shoes. If your work atmosphere is more casual - , business casual (a look of professional with the comfort of casual) - invest in separates that can mix and match and multiply. In either instance, the goal is complimentary dress and expansion - creating new looks with a few, quality pieces which will keep money in your bank account.
Finally, but oh so important, details can make or break your look. You put on a piece of clothing and it is a wrinkled mess! Your smart looking outfit has fizzled. You want a look that is clean, crisp and confident. Ignoring details can put a damper of on your ladder to success.
Empower yourself and look your best because you never know who may be looking at you!
Jamie Yasko-Mangum is a certified image consultant and president of Successful Style & Image, Inc. a personal, corporate and academia image building company. Jamie is a well-known speaker locally and nationally in her comprehensive expertise on self-image, corporate and academia professionalism and academia empowerment. You can reach her at (407) 478-6800 or go to their website, http://www.successfulstyle-image.com