One of the questions that woman approach me with as it pertains to style is, “How do I present a professional appearance while maintaining my individuality?” When it comes to your personal style, aside from being true to you, ask yourself, “Am I putting my best foot forward?” Or perhaps, your best face. Are you displaying your best self? This is definitely important in the workplace for a myriad of reasons. In this post, I discuss my top five reasons for why appearance matters in the workplace and why you have to get it together and keep it together, sis.
1. You are seen before you are heard. – In this day and age, having a Master’s degree coupled with several years of experience in your chosen field seems to hardly be enough to secure gainful employment. You know your stuff, and you know it well, but simply getting through the door to sell your qualifications or expertise to hiring managers appears to be the hardest part. As difficult as it may be to have our voices be heard, what we can control is how we appeal to others before ever stepping foot in the door. Because much can be said even when words aren’t used, agreed? Having a good appearance can send messages to potential hiring managers that you are: 1. professional, 2. about business, and 3. ready to work. What does appearance say about you? Let your look do the pitching!
2. People are naturally attracted to what is aesthetically pleasing. – I don’t know of any woman that’s ever said, “I don’t have to have a handsome man,” or “I like my men unattractive.” As shallow as it may seem, people are drawn to nice-looking people. A cute top or a snazzy pair of trouser pants can be a conversation starter amongst colleagues. Matched with a pretty smile and beautiful personality, your look will be inviting, and you’ll win over your co-workers! Well, some of them anyway. Because haters are gonna hate, right?
3. A clean, well put together appearance is a confidence builder. – It’s Monday morning, and you have an important meeting with a potential client. You’ve studied your client’s profile and practiced your pitch for a few days now, but you’re still nervous. This is a promising client, which could mean great things for your business or company. I’ve found that a new hair-do, well manicured hands, or a fresh face can do wonders to building my confidence when I’m preparing for a conference, meeting, or project at work. Maybe you have a new blouse that you purchased last month that you haven’t worn. You remember how sexy and sophisticated you felt when you tried it on in the store. Put it on, girl! Give your confidence the boost that it needs so you can werk the workplace.
4. You should dress like you’re going to see your worst enemy or meet the love of your life…because you just might. – Think about your first heartbreak, or think about the first girlfriend who betrayed you or stabbed you in the back. Do you remember how you felt? Now, I want you to imagine that, today, you will run into him or her. How do you want to feel today? Empowered? Confident? Like THE sh*t? Then, you ought to dress how you want to feel! Plus, you never know what can happen in a matter of a 24-hour day. Suppose you go to the grocery store after work, and you spark a conversation with the hot guy in the checkout line. Suppose you go out for cocktails at a happy hour event, and you bump into a former girlfriend. Train your mind to believe that anything is possible – because it is – and dress yourself for what you expect to attract.
and if nothing else…
5. When you look good, you feel good! – This point is pretty self-explanatory, but it is nonetheless true: when you look your best, you tend to feel your best. Or at the very least, you feel better. Sometimes, we have “one of those days” when we just #cannot. Reach for your favorite sweater, favorite t-shirt, favorite pair of trousers or jeans, and throw them on. Wearing your favorites can instantly boost your mood.
What are a few of your obstacles or struggles when it comes to displaying your personal style in the workplace? Comment below, and let’s chat about it!