It is often said that you should wear the clothes that suit you. But especially at work it is important to dress well. This is where the desire for individuality meets the need for subordination. What is the best way to achieve the balancing act between a good public image and one’s own ideas of style?
Why is good clothing so important at work?
One of the most important career rules is: don’t dress for the job you have, but for the one you would like to have. This wisdom wants to tell us that we are always stored in a certain category in the perception of our colleagues and superiors. One of them is the category “would like to move up” or “shows ambitions upwards” etc.
If I dress better at work than my current job requires, then I’m sending out a signal. It means that I am willing to show my commitment and to invest work as a kind of advance. And this for a reward (promotion) that may not come until years later – if at all.
But of course the behaviour must also fit. Anyone who goes home punctually with the time clock every day, is not interested in networking and does not seek the proximity of superiors will end up in a different drawer: “Fashion freak – but who apparently is not interested in careers.
The unwritten laws in the world of work are merciless. They are determined by psychologically very questionable mechanisms and prejudices. But that’s the way the world is.
How you should dress for your career?
To dress well is one thing. With the help of the outfit, there is even the chance to become a kind of brand in the company. Someone who has something like a recognition value. This is especially advantageous if you work in a gigantic company where the management floor sometimes doesn’t even know their employees personally anymore and especially not by name.
Here you have the chance to stand out from the crowd with your style. For example, there are people in the office who generally wear a checkered shirt in very striking colors: pink, purple, yellow, etc. Others, on the other hand, attract monochrome models, but then play much more with the tie. Such small accents and conspicuous features are important because you can make yourself a kind of name with them: “Oh, that’s the … I don’t know his name, but he’s always wearing checkered shirts. I’ve already noticed him that way…” To have such a “status” with the executives is already more attention than many others receive.
The advantage of this is that managers can then associate a certain person with his or her performance. “Oh, the one with the checkered shirt, he always makes such excellent presentations. He seems to be quite fit in his subject. Let’s have a look at him…”
Which shirt, tie and suit is right for you cannot be generalized. The important thing is: it should suit you and suit your taste. If you feel comfortable in it, then that’s half the battle. However, if you want to use clothing as a trademark, you should choose a style that suits your industry and your type. For example, brightly coloured shirts look different on dark-haired people than they do on blond ones. You can wear colourful suits in the advertising agency, but not in the auditing department etc. These aspects have to be brought into the right relation.
Find your own style in this respect. Once you have it, stay consistent and keep it forever.