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How the Way You Dress Can Affect Your Bottom Line

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How the Way You Dress Can Affect Your Bottom Line

The business world is competitive by nature. It is a proven fact that you are judged in the work place on more than just your work performance. While it is unethical and unlawful to judge, promote or even terminate someone based on appearance, how you dress does convey a message and does affect the path of your career. How you choose to dress and present yourself each day in the work place can directly affect your income potential.

Most offices have a dress code. Some businesses adhere to a very strict professional dress standard; others are a little more lenient and relaxed. The first thing you need to do when you enter the professional world is to be fully aware of the dress code. This is fairly easy to do once you have become acquainted with a company. You may want to take a few moments to take note of the way others are dressed when you interview or tour a company. While everyone likes to exhibit their own sense of style and taste, standing out too much will have a negative impact on how you are viewed by co-workers and superiors.

There are a few simple steps you can take to be sure your attire does not negatively impact your chances for promotion or earning potential. First, invest a little money in a basic professional wardrobe. While this may seem like an expensive endeavor when you are just starting out, it is an investment in your career future. A few classic pieces should be enough to get you started.

Once you have a basic professional wardrobe, you need to keep it looking good. Once you begin to notice items are looking worn, outdated, stained or faded, get rid of them. If you notice they are looking a little shabby, so will the bosses and clients you need to deal with. This will affect how professional and dedicated you are seen. Looking as if your attire is an afterthought or like you do not put much effort in makes you look lazy and unprofessional.

Another factor to keep in mind about how your clothes may affect your earning potential is to be diligent in the proper fit. Having a suit or skirt tailored may sound expensive, but wearing ill-fitting clothes, regardless of how expensive or stylish, never leaves people with a good feeling about your work. Too tight and too big are both extremes that will make your appearance stand out in a negative way. This will take away from your work. When you stand to give the greatest and most well-researched presentation of your career, having the seams of your blouse stretched out because it is two sizes too small is all anyone will remember about your big moment. Too big also looks sloppy no matter the style. In the eyes of a boss, a sloppy appearance conveys sloppy work. Know your body type and what will fit best. This will keep the focus on you and your work rather than your too tight pants or sleeves that keep falling off your shoulders.

Once you invest in professional and proper fitting clothes, keep an eye on the details. While it may be easy to see if you have a stain before you leave the house, the little details such as a loose button may not be as noticeable. Make the effort to fix the minor details like loose strings, hems that are coming undone or that loose button. These details may seem too minor to truly affect your bottom line. But, if you are in front of the big boss and your pants button pops off onto his desk; you will indeed be leaving the wrong impression. No longer will you be the amazing employee who just landed a great deal. You will forever be known as the one who lost all the glory because she couldn’t keep her button from flying off.

The work you do to get ahead in the business world will always pay off in one way or another. You will surely climb the ladder with a professional attitude and diligence. However, how you dress does play a part also. They call it a power suit for a reason. Dressing for success shows dedication, respect for yourself and respect for those you deal with in the work place.


Last modification: Wed 10 Aug 2011

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