Every individual has a unique style and clothing is one of the biggest ways to express it.
The way we dress can influence their position or authority in the workplace.
Power dressing is a phenomenon that came about in the 1920s and started with the Chanel suit.
The suit was a representation of a turning point of the way women dressed as it had masculine elements in it that gave women an authoritative appearance in order to be accepted as equals in the professional world.
In other words – the way you dress can have a huge impact on the kind of message you want to send across.
Power dressing is extremely important with incredible positive influence that many look past.
Here are 6 solid reasons for why power dressing is an essential in the workplace:
1. You Make Your First Impression Count
According to research, you have around 7 seconds to make a first impression.
I know – crazy.
As soon as you walk in a room full of people you don’t know, they can make a judgment about you before you even get to say anything!
The time they spend after the first 7 seconds will be about validating that judgment. People have little to no control over first impressions because they are involuntarily driven by their subconscious to notice small details fast.
It’s up to you how you come across and whether or not you want to make that first impression count.
The way you dress and carry yourself will speak volumes about the kind of person you are and if whether or not others want to associate themselves with you.
Regardless of whatever job you’re entering – whether it’s entry level or CEO, you need to make an impact.
2. You Gain Respect
Notice what all people in power have in common: their way of dressing.
Whether it’s a celebrity, an influencer, a manager or a CEO, they all carry a unique style that shows their position of authority.
Power dressing can have a major impact on your career and as mentioned before, it allows people to see the best version of yourself.
In order to gain respect from your fellow colleagues or your audience, you need to ask yourself if what you’re wearing shows whether or not others can take you seriously.
Yes, there are exceptions – for example, how Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates.
However, their success and achievements speaks for itself. Be conscious of the way you want to present and portray yourself. Be weary of your surroundings and understand what you can and cannot get away with.
If you’re working in the corporate world, you should be avoiding anything low-cut or mini like the plague.
If you’re presenting, make sure you’re dressed in a way that is appropriate for the mass audience. Always be conscious of your surroundings and who’s watching.
3. You’re Prepared
Dressing well at work keeps you prepared for any unexpected meetings or important people you may run into. Imagined you’re dressed sloppy and that’s the day you get called in for an important meeting with your boss – it’s never a good impression.
The way you dress is important for your appearance and to keep up with.
You never know the opportunities that you might miss by putting an end to your chances before things even start.
Don’t get me wrong – being uncomfortable is important. Wear clothes that you don’t have to keep on fixing every two minutes, that won’t distract you or that aren’t too tight in order to maintain being well dressed and comfortable at the same time.
Some ways to keep prepared is by bringing an extra pair of heels and keeping them at the office or having a blazer on stand-by.
4. If You Look Good, You Will Feel Good
It’s incredible how much influence the clothes we wear have on us. Ever heard the saying,“if you look good, you’ll feel good”?
Even though a lot of people don’t believe it to be true, research has come out and shown that the clothes we wear, do in fact have an effect on our confidence, mood, attitudes and overall social behavior – which defines your body language.
When you look the part, you’re more likely to be the part.
Just think about the difference in your confidence if you put on some sweats and a pajama top compared to if you wear a well-tailored work dress in a board meeting.
Yes – you’re still the same person, you can express the same ideas and have the same knowledge but you’re definitely going to feel more confident in the latter attire.
There has been a lot of scientific research that backs up this psychology, in one by Peluchette and Karl on ‘The Impact of Workplace Attire on Employee Self-Perceptions’; it was found that participants felt most trustworthy, competent and authoritative when wearing business attire.
5. You Break Stereotypes
A lot of women have reported that they don’t feel heard or taken seriously in the workplace. This is usually because of many factors.
Certain women still feel discriminated against in some fields of work. Power dressing is a way to break through the stereotypes and to let your voice be heard.
It shows that you’re there to be taken seriously and respected.
Although this doesn’t mean that everything will change overnight, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
6. You Express Your Personality
Today’s power dresser isn’t afraid to express their personality through their clothes!
Gone are the days where there was a formulaic way of dressing for the workplace – just because you’re dressed formal doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
The clothes you wear can always express your nature in a certain way – you just have to find what compliments you.
Wearing something that can give you a distinct look can actually work in your favor. Everyone has a ‘trade-mark’ – and that’s what makes them special.
A little creativity doesn’t hurt and can help you stand out from the crowd and appear more as an individual. Showing your individuality is also an expression of power when done right and subtly. You can do this with your earrings, heels, your handbag or accessories.
However, avoid going overboard because you don’t want to look too distracting.
To Bring it Together,
Every individual has a unique style and the way they power dress can influence their position or authority in the workplace.
Put in the effort and embrace power dressing whether it’s for a special meeting, a quick lunch with your coworkers or when going in for a new job interview.