Dressing for success

by | Feb 20, 2022 | Business, General, Strengths

Does how you dress matter and would you say that successful people care about how they dress? I’d say that most of you do when you’re in the public eye but how about when you’re not?

Have you ever thought about dressing for success in a way that also brings in who you are on the inside, your beliefs, priorities, personality? Imagine people looking at you and in a snapshot getting who you are, not just who you project yourself to be. That my friend is true power.

Often you follow the dress code of the business you’re in which varies greatly by industry by the way. Some of you may even have your own stylist that helps you create the look you want to project. For others, not much thought is prioritized yet success still occur.

What does success look like?

Let’s start with you first, how would you define it for yourself? How you see success matters as you will be drawn to clothing that you feel project that.

There are many stereotypes and rules of what it means to dress for success. Ask different generations and cultures for that matter what’s acceptable and you’ll get different answers. What if there’s a style that’s perfect for you, where you’re personality shines through and you feel like a rock star, do you think that would affect your performance?

In the more conservative business world, wearing a suit is the uniform with or without a tie when you identify as male. For women, it can range from a pantsuit to a skirt or dress with a blazer. It can get complicated quickly on what acceptable attire is.

In the tech and entertainment industry, there’s more of a casual jeans & tee approach depending on your position. Then there’s fashion and creative industries where it’s all about trends, certain colors (hello black), and playing outside the box.

What makes one look acceptable and another one not?

Fabric and color. Style and cut.

Now having said that in some industries it doesn’t really matter. Except that you may have a desire to stand out even in a jeans & tee/buttondown shirt environment.

Where you can tweak and insert your personality and still stand out in a way that works for you and the environment is to select a style that jives with your vibe.

Different colored jeans, shirts, and tees, cuts that work for your body, that alone speak volumes about who you are as a person. Unless there’s a dress code spelling out what’s acceptable or not.

Consider that many people are drawn to businesses and industries for the visual appearance, flexibility, and clientele too. 

What’s your company vibe?

Let’s face it, how you dress is also connected to your company brand vibe. Think FedEx, UPS, hotels, and airlines where a uniform is part of the brand experience and what you’re expected to wear.

Many businesses simply state business attire, formal business attire, business casual, or casual. What that looks like can be interpreted in a myriad of ways and can become a bit more of a guessing game.

Creating a business brand experience that includes a visual dress code can be a helpful tool, keeping in mind that you’ll attract different personalities for different roles. Customer-facing vs. non-customer-facing roles need to be considered too.

What I’m NOT talking about is that it needs to be formal!

Do you judge people that look different?

Would you hire someone with visible tattoos, piercings, colorful hair, and expressive makeup outside of the industry?  Let’s face it if you go looking for a tattoo artist you expect tattoos and the same with makeup and fashion.

In many more conservative industries, the answer is often “no” and I’ve always wondered why? To me, body art expresses creativity, and there’s a story behind every art piece which can make for interesting conversations. 

Creativity comes in many shapes and sizes, and most importantly it comes from within!

My mission in life is for people to be fully self-expressed cause when they are, they’re happy. Happy people will be more engaged and perform better. Having the freedom to be and not be judged unleashes creativity which is a gift for any business that desires success.

A business that wants to be seen as warm and friendly needs to dress in a way that will encourage people to approach you. Every business comes down to people no matter what it starts and ends with people, your product or service, customers, and your staff.

The colors of your business brand communicate one thing and it’s important that you create a brand that delivers what you project.

There have been so many studies on how we react to different colors. Just as everyone won’t be our customer not all colors vibe with everyone, even if it’s in fashion!

We all look for different things

Within each business, there are different personalities and roles. What if you simply made room for each personality to be included in the stated dress code?

What would happen if your people had permission to break the rules instead of following them? Adding their personal flair by selecting colors, cuts, personality, and fun, a suit & tie is not always the answer.

The same goes for you, what you wear is a personal mix with the business and who you are. Match what you wear with what people can expect from you and your business.

In other words, if you’re playful and creative, show it no matter what industry you’re in. If you’re formal, dress that way. When we match how we dress with who we are it communicates a congruency with our personality which will help you connect and get down to business faster.

I spent many years taking classes with Jennifer Butler and what intrigued me from the getgo was to dress not only in colors & styles that you look good in but where people get the essence of who you are before uttering a word.

How are your customers dressed?

Match them, and include your personality. Even in a suit reality, there are more colors than black, blue, and gray to choose from AND many different cuts.

Here’s another thing, when creating success in your own business it’s even more important to create your own signature. Not because it necessarily will create more success, unless you’re in a business where the image is important, but when you dress in a way where you feel like a rock star you’ll exude yummy vibes and that’s what will draw clients to you more than anything.

Imagine walking into a room and people being drawn to you because of who you are, not who you pretend to be. That communicates success and power on so many levels, after all, and does talent really have a special look?

If you enjoyed this post you can find more posts on dressing your essence in the blogs below.

For anyone seeking to bring in color into their world and let your personality shine I warmly recommend Jennifer Butler who I studied with for years. You can reach her HERE.



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