The Psychological Power of Clothes
Have you ever walked into an important event wearing jogging bottoms and trainers feeling absolutely fabulous? (bear with me here!) If you have then congratulations to you, however the reality is that it is highly unlikely that you have. Take a minute to think how you would feel if you did do this, would you feel confident, powerful, and positively ready to meet everyone in the room? Or would you feel uncomfortable, out of place and withdrawn?
What we wear has a huge impact on our mood, how confident we feel and how able we are to perform at our absolute best. Take this into a business environment where all of these qualities are instrumental to how successful we are, how we communicate and how we are perceived by others, the relevance of clothes and grooming takes on a whole new level of significance.
As a personal stylist and image consultant I have seen significant changes in my clients after undergoing a style transformation. One of my favourite pieces of feedback from a business owner was that her husband had commented that not only did she look fabulous but that she seemed happier and more confident in herself. Indeed she herself said that is had been life changing for her on many different levels.
Even though for many of us our work environment has changed significantly during the pandemic with many of us working from home. Never has it been more important to keep our mindset in a positive place and whilst it’s not necessary to be putting on a formal suit and tie it is important to show up on those zoom calls still on brand and professional.
The good news is that as with every aspect of personal development a little knowledge will help you to make choices with your image and grooming that will help you to feel comfortable, confident and successful in any given situation. All it takes is a small investment in time up front but in the long term it can save you money, time and help you to up-level your confidence and ultimately your success.
At the very least some of the aspects that are helpful to pay attention to are:
Think about the event / meeting you are attending. Is there a dress code? if you’re meeting a new client what is their business dress code? Corporate, Smart Casual, Dressed down, Creative? You don’t have to go full on with this but just showing that you relate to their culture and style can give you a head start over the competition.
What tone are you trying to set? Authoritative and formal or casual and relaxed or something in the middle. Don’t be afraid to show your personality but do make it appropriate to the situation / business or client.
How do you feel? Does it make you feel great or self-conscious?
The fit of clothing is one of the most important factors, make sure your outfit is comfortable. The best outfits are the ones you don’t have to think about, enabling you to get on with your day confidently.
Sleeves, hems, and leg lengths should sit well and be the right length.
Make sure everything is clean, pressed and hasn’t discoloured in the wash
Use colour wisely to help communicate the non-verbal messages you want to convey
Shoes should be clean and not worn (this goes for more casual shoes as well, (not just smart or dress shoes.)
If you’re working from your home office and communicating remotely make sure that your background is professional and that you are wearing clothing that show your in the best light.
These are just some basic tips to think about when dressing for work, for more detailed advice and support feel free to drop me a note. Karen@in-styleconsulting.com.