Dress your way to Success

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.”

-Miuccia Prada

First impressions are formed in an instant and appearance can heavily influence someone’s initial opinion of your personality, competence, and capability. Like it or not, your clothes and presentation communicate volumes about you as a person. Yes, intelligence and experience are important, but style and attire are the first categories you get judged on before you get a chance to show off your smartness.

Dressing well is a form of good manners. The way you dress speaks – what you are, what you want, and the way you live. Whether you want to get a better job, get out of a traffic ticket, or start a worldwide movement, the way you dress and present yourself will play a major role.

Ever caught yourself thinking – “People should respect me because I know what I’m talking about.” Well, I feel you. Just as the actor in the right costume moves and speaks differently, so does the everyday person. But, not all of us are born with the best fashion sense right off the bat. Acquiring a good style can take time, and it even requires a healthy amount of self-reflection or a person to help you with it.

Like in my case, it was my mother who made it very clear that dressing properly and in a sophisticated manner rescues you in any life’s emergency you may have to endure. She used to get angry if I, my sister or my brother would not be properly dressed. Even at home! Now, it is in our system to be properly dressed no matter where we are, whatever we are doing.

But yes, the styling game becomes easier when you have those staple, versatile pieces in your wardrobe that define your personality. If you’re working with limited resources or, like me are always on a budget, then here are a few tricks to dressing well, no matter what your aim.

  • Dress for Success: Various study shows that people who dress better have more confidence, feel more powerful, and are more focused on details. More importantly, people perceive well-dressed people as leaders.
  • Choose quality over quantity: Purchase only the items that send the message you want to convey. Classic pieces that fit and flatter your body will help you look your best every time. Don’t just buy off the fashion runway. Buy clothes that stand the test of time.
  • Dress your age: Gear your outfits toward your goals with passing years.
  • Begin with the basics: Always choose dark socks when wearing dark pants and/or shoes. Your belt should match or coordinate with your shoes. These two simple tips are often missed!
  • Keep it simple: Accessories should be just that “extra”. Make sure jewelry and belts are not too showy or distracting. When choosing jewelry, keep things simple and classic. A tie can make you look reliable and rooted in tradition. 
  • Focus on Colour: Go for neutral colors. Invest in pieces that are in the color family of – White, black, grey, blue, and brown. Having the entire outfit in one color is classy.
  • Hygiene: Limit the use of cologne/perfume; it’s meant to complement not overwhelm. Brush your hair thoroughly if nothing.
  • Keep it clean: This one is a no-brainer. Your clothes should be always clean and ironed. No excuses.
  • Dress for the occasion: The way you’d dress at a business conference full of middle-aged folks is different from how you would dress at a high school sports game. You might want to consider that beforehand.
  • Send the right message: Clothes are never a frivolity, they always mean something. The definition of what constitutes a casual outfit has reached an all-time low. Though it may be quick and easy to throw on the first thing you see, your appearance will speak- “just rolled out of bed”.
  • Mirror your audience: When in doubt, follow your client’s/audience’s lead and dress just a notch above that level.
  • Focus on details: A nice watch, best-fitted shoes, a great handbag will add a touch of sophistication to any outfit.

Here are a few mentions of the people and their styles that inspire my wardrobe

Interesting fact: Even Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerberg, who is famous for sporting plain gray t-shirts, understands the power of dressing well. During an important year for Facebook, Zuckerberg made a commitment to wearing a tie every day for the entire year. He explained, “My tie was the symbol of how serious and important a year this was and I wore it every day to show this.”

Here are some ideas for guys to illustrate the points mentioned in this write-up

Dress well. Make an effort to dress for the success you want. Even in an era when people are dressing more casually, let your clothes send a message – “You are taking yourself seriously”. When you dress well, people think well of you. Remember, a person who is dressed more professionally is treated more professionally.

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