How to Dress For Success

How to dress for success
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The term power dressing relates to a fashion style typical of the business and political environment of the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the expression “power dressing” is not more commonly used, but the style is still popular. Power dressing arose in the United States in the second half of the 1970s. Power dressing could be analysed through visual sociology, which studies how fashion operates in the relationship between social systems and the negotiation of power. The concept of power dressing was brought to popularity by John T. Molloy’s manuals Dress for success (1975).

Making an Impression

  • 55 % of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look.
  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
  • “75% of recruiters believe that how a person dresses for work affects one’s job, salary, and possible promotions”

 “Your first impression is always a lasting impression”

How to build a professional wardrobe?

Invest your money in a great suit, the conventional idea of power dressed. But it’s lacking its charm as the socioeconomic changes had affected the charm of being in a suit.

Shop smart.

  • Think in advance, look for sales
  • Seek the assistance of a sales associate
  • Buy pieces that are versatile

Before shopping, look at your current wardrobe – Find pieces that you can wear to work, and then shop for “fillers”

Example: If you have a nice pair of pants that need a nice belt, only buy a matching belt; spend less money by using more of what you currently have

The Specifics for Women

Suits

  • Pants or skirt with a matching jacket
  • The best material is pure wool or a wool blend.
  • Colour: navy, charcoal grey and black are all acceptable. Patterns, if any, should be muted.
  • Choose a conservative style that is versatile.

 Shirts

The best material is cotton or cotton blend. Long sleeve shirts are more professional than the short sleeve.

 Jewellery

Post earrings, a modest necklace, and few rings are acceptable. No dangling earrings, loud and noisy necklaces, or rings on every finger. Keep the ring count down to one per hand. Broaches are acceptable to add a little colour to a jacket or sweater.

Shoes

Must be clean and polished. Wear comfortable ones. Heels should be no higher than two inches. Closed-toe pumps are preferred; however open-toed shoes are acceptable for a more casual look.

Socks/ Hosiery

The only requirement of socks is that they match the colour of your shoes and slacks and that they cover your ankles and/or reach mid-calf. Hosiery must be worn with skirts. Hosiery must be plain, neutral coloured. Exposing skin due to short socks or no hosiery is not professional.

Grooming

  • Keep hair out of your face and brushed. Nails should be painted a natural colour, don’t match your nails to your outfit. Makeup should look natural, and clean. Too much colour can be distracting.
  • Keep nails, and teeth well maintained.

The Specifics for Men

Suits

  • Pants with a matching jacket
  • The best material is pure wool or a wool blend. As for colour, navy, charcoal grey and black are all acceptable. Patterns, if any, should be muted.
  • Choose a conservative style that is versatile.

Shirts

The best material is cotton or cotton blend. Long sleeve shirts are more professional than the short sleeve.

Jewellery

  • Keep to a minimum
  • Wedding bands and a watch are a maximum. Watches if warn should be conservative and not flashy. No earrings or bracelets.

Ties

  • Ties should reach the top of your belt buckle.
  • If you don’t know how to tie a tie correctly, learn or have someone help you.

 Shoes

The best material is leather. Shoes can be with or without shoe ties.

 Socks

  • The only requirement of socks is that they match the colour of your shoes and slacks and that they cover or reach mid-calf.
  • Exposing skin due to short socks is not professional

 Grooming

  • Keep hair, nails, and teeth well maintained.
  • Hair should be short and well kept. Get a nice haircut. Beards and moustaches project a less professional image.

 Accessories

  • Should be kept to a minimum.
  • Men: vests, cuff links, and ties should match the rest of your outfit, but don’t wear all at once.

 Body Modifications

Tattoos should be covered, whether with clothing, shoes or makeup. Piercings-Think wisely before you get something done- even if you get your nose pierced you will still have a scar your employer might see. Men should have no piercings visible.

REMEMBER: DO’s and DON’TS

DO:

  • Wear deodorant, brush your teeth, trim and polish nails, brush your hair
  • Wear appropriate jewellery
  • Wear natural-looking makeup

DON’T:

  • Don’t wear overpowering cologne or perfume
  • Don’t try out elaborate hairstyles
  • Don’t wear the trendy clothing, keep it classic

 “Keep it neutral, keep it classy, keep it covered”

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