Dress to impress yourself, not others
Dressing appropriately for the environment you’re working in is so important, but is it also worthy to still be able to express your own sense of style, too.
We all have what is known as a style personality; so whilst one woman may feel totally comfortable in a tailored suit and heels, another would feel restricted in the stiff fabrics and would feel more at home in an outfit made of softer fabric and in flat shoes.
With research showing that it takes just seconds to make a first impression, an employer will want their employees to be not only appropriately dressed but also represent their business in the best way. But what we wear affects us, too. When we feel comfortable and confident in what we are wearing, we will perform much better than if we are feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious.
Let’s take a smart-casual office environment for example. A lady with a “dramatic” style personality would almost certainly be wearing heels on a daily basis; she simply wouldn’t leave the house in flats. Those heels are also likely being in a bright colour and her outfit will be in the latest trends and colours. However, her colleague with a “natural” style personality would be horrified at wearing heels every day – in fact, may not even own a pair. Instead, she will opt for a comfortable pair of flats worn with trousers and her hair will be in a simple, fuss-free style to ensure it doesn’t require any attention during the day.
Both women are dressed appropriately for the work environment that they’re in, they just dress very differently. In contrast, someone with a “romantic” style personality may opt for some elegant court shoes. Even in a corporate environment, she will look for a way to feminise her outfit with floral patterns, scalloped edges or a small frill on a blouse. Whilst someone with a more “classic” style personality will prefer a more tailored style of outfit and in co-ordinating colours. She will love a traditional jacket and dress or separates with a classic but very smart shoe and make-up and jewellery will be minimal.
The great news is that with most dress codes, there is still an opportunity for you to express your own sense of style. Of course, what you wear at work should be appropriate for the industry you work in, and for your role within the organisation. But in order to feel comfortable and confident, it must also feel like you.
Words by Rosie Huckle