Ever heard the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? It may sound trivial but putting this in practice can have numerous benefits. Dressing professionally and appropriately for work can not only open many doors, but it can significantly raise your confidence and creativity levels. In a study published by the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, results suggested that people engage in higher levels of abstract thinking when they dress up, compared with when they dress casually. Work environments within the government are different, and while this may apply to most, there are other work environments where casual clothing makes more sense, like engineering fieldwork for example. So for the purpose of this post, we are referring to the business-office work environment.
Whether you are looking to make a great first impression in a new job, trying to get ahead in your existing one or just trying to improve your performance, upping your dressing game may help you get there. Here are 3 things you can start doing today to up your dressing game without breaking the bank:
1. Suit up- We are not talking about an expensive tailored suit, but rather a blazer or a sports coat. For women, adding a blazer to a simple pant-blouse or skirt- blouse ensemble can make a huge difference. Similarly for men, a well fitting sports coat can add elegance and class to a simple pant-shirt outfit. Blazers and sports coats are inexpensive since they are sold as a one piece, while a two-piece suit that is sold together can get costly.
2. Accessorize- If you want to take it a step further, a few accessories can take you there. Accessories are not just for women; there are plenty of accessories that a man can use to take their professional wardrobe to the next level. For example, a tie, a bowtie, or a hanker chief on your sports coat pocket can make you go from looking nice to looking sharp. For women, a nice accent necklace can make a simple outfit look elegant.
3. Grooming, grooming, grooming– Ah the wonders that a fresh hair cut and nicely brushed hair can do! This may sound trivial, but imagine walking into an important meeting and the person running it has messy hair, or is not properly shaved and just looks sloppy…how seriously are you going to take this person? Your appearance matters in the workplace! You don’t have to get fancy here, just make sure that if you are a guy you shave regularly, and if you are growing a beard, keep it groomed! Also, keeping your nails clipped and clean says a lot about your personal hygiene.
Make sure that you are never overlooked for an opportunity to attend an important meeting or to meet an important executive or client because you were not dressed properly for the occasion. More often than not, dressing for success leads to success! These are only a few things that you can start doing to take your professional wardrobe and appearance to next level.
Michelle Rosa is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.