Whether you run your own business or work as an employee, it takes finesse to build and maintain a reputation of excellence in every sense of the word: will your clients ask specifically to work with you again? Will your peers enjoy your collaboration? Will your superiors take notice and reward your efforts? And whether we like it or not, the package matters as much as the substance, hence the need to craft a perfect self-presentation that not only leaves an impeccable first impression but a lasting one at that.
Of course, no Versace suit can make up for the complete lack of expertise, but if you do wear a unique outfit that elevates your confidence and your power in a professional environment, you’ll soon realize the importance of fine-tuning your style.
Grooming for success
You might not be that into spending hours on end in front of a mirror, exploring the best lipstick shade you can pull off with your pantsuit for the next day’s pitch meeting, but when it comes to perception and earning trust, ladies need to put in more work. According to this study by Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner, men are predominantly judged on their natural, inherent beauty, while ladies are assessed also based on their makeup efforts.
To some, this might be a blessing in disguise, especially if you truly enjoy the grooming ritual, but to others, this will be a blatant injustice. Still, use this crucial piece of information to gain the upper hand and dazzle your clients and colleagues without them even realizing it.
Dressing for performance
How and what you wear doesn’t only leave a mark on those around you. It also affects your own levels of productivity, focus and confidence, and due to its strong influence, it deserves more attention than we’d normally give a regular piece of clothing.
In fact, numerous scientific studies confirm this strange, but useful cognitive change that occurs when you dress smart for the occasion at hand. The next time you find yourself nervous before an important presentation, pick out your best pantsuit, such as the classic La Perla, your favorite pair of heels and a smile to match. You’ll give off that “trust me, I’m an expert” vibe, and you’ll give yourself a confidence boost.
The rise of comfort in the office
Thanks to Millennials, comfort has infiltrated the office, the streets and the clubs, and in the best possible ways. While there will always be businesses that maintain a strict dress code that dictates snazzy suits and prohibits accessorizing, the contemporary workplace is changing to introduce more comfortable options, and many comfort-oriented brands such as Birkenstock have caught on this trend.
However, comfort doesn’t have to come at the cost of style, so these brands have designed garments and footwear that embody the modern need for comfort and the ambition to succeed in a highly competitive environment. Versatility, effortless elegance and ease of wearing go hand in hand when you aim to retain a strong public image without compromising your level of comfort.
Craft your color palette
Yes, black, gray and striped are always in when it comes to office-safe combos, but professionalism doesn’t mean monotony, and as such, it deserves a breath of fresh air with the help of a new color scheme that’s slightly out of your comfort zone.
Floral embroideries are a huge hit among pantsuits for this season, but fun totes and exciting nail-polish shades also make a part of the equation. Asymmetry, fabric and texture diversity (think: velvet, haute denim and a touch of sequins if possible!), and fun shades such as pastel pink, peach and yellow can work well with your classic black or white. And when in doubt, reach for navy blue, or infuse some bold red into your existing monochrome look.