How To Dress for Success

Dressing for success is about more than just wearing the latest fashion trends or knowing the best fragrance brands. It’s about understanding how your clothing affects others and being mindful of how you want others to perceive you in different situations. Your clothing, including your shoes, can make a big difference in how people perceive you, so it’s important to dress appropriately—not just when applying for jobs or interviewing potential clients, but every day at work as well. If you run a business, you can meet a potential client anywhere. That means you’ve got to be prepared to look your best. Here are some tips on how to dress for success, including suggestions about the right outfits, and appropriate yet styles shoes that will ace your look for your professional triumph

Clothing Is Communication – But Shoes Provide Foundation

Remember that clothing is a form of non-verbal communication, and that it pays to have certain “staples of the language” in your wardrobe. Clothes can express many things about the person wearing them. It can share a bit about your personality, status, mood, and even social class or occupation. When people are invited to an interview or other professional event, they typically choose clothing that expresses their best image. They choose something that’s considered professional but not over the top. That image will influence how others perceive them during the interview or event.

Too often, shoes go overlooked when assembling a winning outfit.  In reality, you should start with shoes because they lay the foundation for the rest of your ensemble.  For example, smart-looking work shoes for women should provide adequate support while also conveying a polished look.  When selecting shoes for success, try to avoid overly flashy shoes and stick with the classics.  Flats in neutral colors are ideal. Heels can also provide a stunning look that says “I’m a winner” – however keep your audience in mind.  If you’re dressing for success in a conservative environment, stick to sensible shoes that are clean and practical. 

Consider the Situation

A bikini is fine for the beach, but probably not for an office meeting. Wear clothing that is appropriate for the situation and occasion. Dressing appropriately for the situation and occasion can help you gain a foothold in your career. Even if you’re not interviewing, others in the company may perceive you as more professional if you regularly look more put together.

Be Aware of Your Body Language

You can also make a good impression by being aware of your body language and posture. When you’re sitting, make sure to sit up straight and not slouch—you never know when someone might take a quick glance at you. Similarly, don’t fidget or play with things in your hands, especially your hair or jewelry.

Avoid crossing arms tightly across the chest; this is considered defensive and closed-off behavior that may come across as unfriendly or even hostile. Try and relax when you’re at work to give an air of confidence. Look people in the eyes when you’re talking to them as well.

Use Appropriate Accessories

Don’t be afraid to accessorize, when it’s appropriate. Accessorizing can be a great way to bring out the personality of an outfit, but it’s important to use accessories appropriately. Anything from boots to hats and jewelry can suit a situation well. Choosing a necklace is fine as long as you’re not in danger of getting it caught in machinery. The same goes for hats, scarves, and wearing the right shoes for the work you do.

Dress for the Job You Want

While you may not be the CEO, it’s never too early to act like one and dress like one. Whether you’re interviewing for a role, or you’re already working for a company, dressing for the job you want can help you get noticed when promotions are available. In addition to the obvious benefits of looking professional, there’s a more subtle reason why you should dress up. 

Remember, dressing for success also includes paying close attention to the right shoes.  Shoes put that finishing touch on a power suit or professional outfit that can make all the difference. This is especially true when selecting the proper shoes for the type of job you want. While those killer stilettos might make you feel like a million bucks, they might not be ideal for certain jobs for which you’re applying and interviewing. 

Dressing in a way that reflects your goals can help you achieve them. It can also give you a confidence boost. While your work can reflect how good you are at your job, dressing for success means you already know where you want to go next. Even if you don’t feel successful yet, you can dress as if you are already there. There are even ways to rent clothing so you can dress up for occasions even if you don’t have the money for high-end fashion.

Wear Clothing That Fits

Dress for the body type you have, not for the one you wish you had. When it comes to dressing for success, there are a few simple rules that can help you look your best. First and foremost, wear clothes that fit. If your pants are too tight or your shirts are too loose, this will detract from how sharp you appear in the workplace.

Second, make sure that what you wear and how much of it is appropriate for your body type. If you’re petite, don’t wear oversized clothing as it will make you look sloppy and disheveled. Likewise, if you’re tall or have broad shoulders and wide hips, avoid wearing anything too tight as this might accentuate these features in an unflattering way.

You should also be mindful of the right-fitting shoes.  That’s not to say those gorgeous pumps that pinch your big toe aren’t completely out of the question.  Simply schedule the right shoe (according to fit and style) for appropriate days. For instance, if you know you’re going to be sitting in meetings all day, that’s the time to wear that smashing pair that bite your toes a bit. Alternatively, opt for those shorter, more comfortable block heels when you know you’re going to be doing a lot of walking or on your feet all day.  Moreover, don’t sacrifice style without substance.  You might have a pair of “knock ‘em dead” shoes, but if they’re killing your feet at the end of the day – you’re defeating the purpose of looking and feeling ultra-confident.  

Finally, always remember to dress in a way that makes YOU feel comfortable! It’s all well and good if everyone else likes how they look, but it’s important not to be so concerned with pleasing others that we fail at making ourselves happy first.