Monday, August 2, 2010

The Power of Appearance

Dress Code
Function: noun Date:1968
: formally or socially imposed standards of dress

Do you wonder why you have to look nice at work if nobody sees you?
Do you wonder why you get passed up for the promotion, or the new job altogether?

In a survey, 41 percent of employers said that people who dress better or more professionally tend to be promoted more often than others in their organization. Also surveys show that a first impression is made within seconds of meeting.

A while ago an old friend and I went shopping for a wardrobe for her new job as a customer service rep. We put together a great professional yet casual working wardrobe consisting of a suit jacket and pant, skirt, dark jean and a dress that could be worn for special occasions.

About a week after she started her new job I asked her how things were going. She told me everyone at her new company wore jeans and t-shirts, so she returned all of her new purchases. Except for the jeans, (which she had hemmed to a too short length). She than went back to the unwritten company dress code: ill-fitting t-shirts and mom jeans.

A few months later she called to vent about how upset she was over the fact that she was passed over for a promotion she was clearly qualified for. Who did they promote? The new woman, who came to work every day, dressed for the position she wanted, not the one she had.

Although we would like to believe that we are judged solely on our talents the truth is people form an opinion based on our appearance. Even if you have a job where you feel no one sees you, or everybody else dresses down, you can step it up a notch. I guarantee you will feel better, and you will get noticed (in a positive way).

You can still stay casual, and comfortable just follow a few simple rules.

*Casual does NOT mean sloppy. You should always keep it neat and clean. Your clothes should be clean, ironed and in good repair, no missing buttons, holes or tears. Fit is always important, not to small, not to big.

*Keep the slinky tops, tight pants and short skirts for clubbing outfits, if that’s the image you want to project in your personal life. You want to be taken seriously at work, so take yourself seriously.

*You can't go wrong with a few casual basics, khakis, blouses, dark denim jeans (if permitted), Flattering classic tee shirts (short sleeve, scoop neck; three quarter sleeve, v neck), cardigan sweater, and a great jacket, or blazer.

I would love to show you how with just a few changes you can stay comfortable, keep it affordable and always look great, which will make you feel great. Maybe even get you that promotion you’ve been wanting.

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