We all want to be successful, don’t we? We all want to get promotion after promotion and eventually reach the pinnacle of our careers. But sadly, some of us may never get there because we miss out one crucial factor: We do not dress well!
I have had the privilege of working with four CEO’s and if there is one thing they all have in common apart from hard work, focus, and grit, it is that they all dress well. They are neat, they have a good sense of style and they pay attention to the details (hair, nails, feet and so on). Even from all the tv shows and movies I have seen, it is usually common to see all successful people portrayed as people who dress well.
Though some may say that the reason successful people dress well is because they have adequate funds at their disposal, it turns out that the opposite is usually the case.
I once asked my former mentor how she always managed to be so impeccable and stylish. Here is what she told me: “I set a standard for myself that I never want to fall from. So, I do what I can to make sure that I always look my best.” What is important to note is that she set this standard before she became successful, and not after. Whenever I followed her to events, I always noticed that people naturally gravitated to her because she always looked well put together. As a result, she was able to network with all kinds of people. These are the people who patronized her business, which eventually led to her success. What this shows is that there is a positive correlation between dressing well and being successful.
If you search on the internet, there are many articles and books on how to dress well, so it is easy to get overwhelmed with the information. In my bid to find a way to simplify the art of dressing well, I found ten tips by Nicole Williams (Career expert at LinkedIn) and Barbara Pachter (Etiquette coach) – Article by Vivian Giang for Executive Style. These tips have the potential to change the way you dress, which could eventually give you that success you have been yearning for.
- Understand what’s appropriate in your industry
“Everyone draws their lines differently,” says etiquette coach Barbara Pachter. “If your company has a dress code, follow it.”
- Make sure your clothes fit
It may sound obvious, but many get it wrong. “If your clothes are too big or too small, they are not going to look good. Ensuring a proper fit applies to everything you are wearing,” says Pachter.
- Pay attention to your bag
You don’t want your personal things jutting out of your purse. Keep your bag clean on the inside, especially if it doesn’t have a zipper, which allows others to catch a glimpse inside from time to time.
- Don’t wear strong perfume or cologne
“Anything that anyone else can smell is not good,” says Williams. To get an idea of whether someone can smell you or not, ask someone you trust.
- Wear well-kept, polished shoes
“One recruiter told me the first thing he notices about a candidate is his or her shoes,” says Pachter. “Make sure your shoes are polished and in good condition.”
- Pay attention to your watch
“When I ask the participants in my etiquette classes to name the one accessory that they notice most on both men and women, the watch is the most common answer,” Pachter says.
- Don’t be too sexy
Not only is wearing inappropriate clothing distracting, it can also give off an inaccurate impression. Avoid too-short hemlines, too-tall heels, plunging necklines, and exposed under garments. “A lot of women are oversexualized in the office,” says Williams. “People end up discrediting themselves by looking too provocative.” Pachter agrees: “What do you want to be remembered for? What you wore or what you said?”
- Get regular pedicures
Williams tells us one of her biggest pet peeves is when women wear open-toed shoes without getting pedicures. “If you’re going to show your toes, make sure your toes are well-groomed,” she says.
- Don’t over-accessorise
Accessories are meant to complement your outfit, not overpower it. “I once met a woman who had a ring on every finger,” Pachter says. “You couldn’t look at anything else.”
- Your jewellery shouldn’t make noise
It’s really distracting when someone’s dangly bangles make noises when they move their arms, says Williams.
So those are our ten tips for dressing well.
Do you have any more tips you will like to share with us?
Leave them in the comments section below.