Perception Can Be Reality
While “dressing the part” is certainly a step in the right direction, the way an individual chooses to wear and style their clothing will shape how they are perceived more than wearing a brand name will. Ensuring that pieces of an outfit match and fit well can be just as important as the style of clothing. It is better to look good in a well put together, casual outfit than it is to wear a mismatched suit and tie. Regardless of the level of dress, it is important to put the time and care into making sure a person looks their best at all times. This is also true for grooming and personal appearance; a great looking outfit gets overlooked when a person comes into a meeting with messy hair.
Dress for the Setting
Attending a meeting with Wall street executives may call for a different style of dress than one with a tech startup. It is important to tailor an outfit to one’s daily schedule. Before getting dressed for the day, consider any important meetings, who will be in attendance, and what the environment will be like. A person does not have to dress to the nines every day if their schedule does not require such. This allows for dressing up and dressing down to exist interchangeably.
Dressing comfortably may be important for one’s self-confidence and productivity, but be aware of other people’s perceptions. Dressing too far outside of the norm for a particular setting can be detrimental to how someone is perceived by others. For example, wearing cargo shorts to a wedding may make other guests feel uncomfortable. The same goes for presentations made to the board. If one’s outfit choice makes the people around them uncomfortable, it is likely that the individual will begin to feel self-conscious and uncomfortable as well.
Knowing how to utilize one’s wardrobe suitably for any occasion allows for more comfort, more confidence, and more respect.