Outfitting and dress code rules are bending to a slightly more lax view as time goes on.
The days when everyone was expected to rock up in a suit are long gone and now ‘smart-casual’ rules the day and if you’re at a start-up, you can be expected to wear what you feel like wearing.
The path is this, though. You can dress for the position you are in now, or dress for the position you want. When faced with that question, what do you do? The answer is obvious, you should always dress for the position you want.
The Wall Street Journal wrote at length and stated that dressing for success leads to success. Dressing in nicer garments, such as custom suits or even polished shoes will raise one’s confidence leading to better productivity in the workplace The research in the article involved a number of employees divided into groups. One group wore t-shirts and the other business suits. In a role play, the average profit that the group wearing suits made was $2.1 million dollars compared to the t-shirt group’s $680k. Confidence seems to be everything and wearing a suit looks to be the perfect weapon for an ambitious employee.
More research went further and found that people who wear casual clothes at work easily get caught up in small issues whilst suit wearers can see the bigger picture faster and organise to achieve a bigger goal. When you wear a suit, you feel powerful and you won’t worry about the smaller details.
Wearing better clothes at work doesn’t need to be a huge upgrade. Throwing a blazer over a t-shirt can get you started before you move onto tailored options. Small adjustments can have huge results and the first steps are the most important.
“But”, you might say, “the mega-rich owners of startups like Google and Facebook don’t waltz around in suits, so why should I?”
And you’d be right. Why should you? But why should they? The difference between you and them is status. You want to be promoted and achieve a higher position while they already have the position they want, they can dress however they want! It is hard to dress for success when some CEO’s are dressing in hoodies and sneakers, so the question is valid, but hoodies and sneakers may not give you the confidence you need to succeed.
Designer brands are useful as they can project an aura of power and the names of big brands connect firmly to financial success, but this should be a slow burn and each brand should be a small addition, one at a time.
A suit makes it look like you care and if you’re client-facing it can help relax a customer and grant them trust and confidence towards you – this may not happen in other garments of clothing. Suits are reserved for some businesses, but if you’re in a corporate environment, you should still heavily consider purchasing one and ensure you add personality, no-one is asking you to turn up in a drab blazer!