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We all do it. Sometimes without knowing it. We judge people by their wardrobe choices. The harsh, but evident reality is, it really does make a difference (and not solely in the workforce). Consider these points next time you head out to the clothing store.
Does your wardrobe keep you from getting respected at the office or with clients? Having a polished outfit commands attention to your effort. Unless you’re in a stay at home/work from home/ or in a get dirty environment, your clothing choices say much more than you do. When clients work with professionals they want to be comfortable in their selection of business relationships. (ie: A clean mechanic probaby doesn’t get much business) This applies to all types of relationships, not just professional. How many dates/encounters ended in your head after seeing the person you met? You may have exchanged info, but you just weren’t impressed? I’m not implying looks are everything, but looking like you care, holds water.
2. Dress for the job you want
This is a great piece of advice no matter where you are on the totem pole. Newer hires can be chosen over seniority because of a difference in attitude and desire to look the part. This stays true for romantic interests as well. If you show up late and don’t even appear to want to be there, it’s unlikely they see you as a serious candidate. You could know that person 5 minutes or 5 years, it won’t make a difference. When you’re dressed up, it shows a level of motivation that can get you noticed in a good way.
3. Dressing nice builds confidence
That‘s right, in addition to getting noticed, being polished will make you feel better about yourself. As most ladies have “a little black dress” or men have the “3 piece suit”, these outfits make us feel good about how we look. When we look good, we perform better. It might feel awkward at first if you’re not accustomed to it. But when you’re succeeding, you’ll get use to it. You could hire a waredrobe assistant to help navigate the task of finding pieces. (I suggest an expert in body shapes to help determine what styles are best suited to your height and body type.)
4. Your personal style
You don’t have to wear $400 shirts and Prada shoes to dress nicely. Things that fit your body shape, colors that flatter and illuminate who you are will be enough. (Just remember, for all professions, you are dressing not only for yourself, but for the respect of your clients.) Embellish your stylish outfit and accessorize with pieces that both adds a punch of your personality and stays consistent with your look. Accessories make the outfit whole. Don’t discredit their weight in the final product.
5. Drab vs Fab tug of war
Meeting with a consultant will make picking clothes much easier. I, myself are a HUGE fan of thrift stores for bargains. However, I don’t suggest using them as your main source. The clothes found are usually, over washed, overstretched, outdated or discolored. I’m not saying you can’t find good pieces, but understand they are still not unworn. These stores are great sources for accessories like jewelry and scarves. Take advantage of Salvation Armys’ 50% off days, if they have them in your area. It’s a great way to save. So why buy new? The styles are up to date, crisp and you won’t need to alter many pieces after they’re bought. Honestly, you will be best off with basics until you get the hang of trends and pairing colors and styles. Add color with accessories or peek a boo’s. A great way of getting fashion ideas is off Pinterest and using Amazon. It literally has everything and you can add or subtract from your cart without feeling the anxiety of register shock.
6. Shoes, shoes, shoes
No, you don’t need to buy a pair of shoes for every outfit. A few flats, a few heels and a couple pair of boots/sandles in neutral to begin with. No need to go wild if you aren’t a “shoe fanatic”. Don’t just buy ones that look good on your feet. That’s a horribly (literally painful) idea. I advise a shoe specialist who can show you types of shoes that work well with your feet. Insoles are also a great idea for those of us on our feet a lot. The way we stand (and sit) directly affects our posture. Posture is what makes us feel tired and achy. If you start where it counts, it relieves the pain that ales us. This makes going out after work a much less exhausting thought, thus allowing for a productive social life. Not to mention, our elder selves will thank us later.
7. So many beautiful colors
We can all agree that not everyone looks good in the same colors. This is due to different skin tones , eye color and hair color. Have your skin tested at the local Sephora. (Its free) It will print out your best color combinations for your skin tone. Hair color also makes a huge difference. Ask your stylist or consult a color specialist. They are free to talk to and more than happy to explain. Hair should complement both skin AND eye color. Your wardrobe should complement what’s going on after that. You should see the person first before the clothes. That’s right. After all that reading about how important your wardrobe can be, it’s still YOU who solidifies someone’s opinion about who you are. Clothes, hair, make up and extras just emphasize it. So go ahead, Rock it out!