How your boss and co-workers feel about working can be as important as the quality of your work when it comes to having a successful career. Everyone on your team wants to know if they can trust you. Believe it or not, your clothes can be a big part of how your colleagues view you, even though they themselves might not realize it.
You already know whether your workplace requires casual, business-casual, or formal business attire. Here are some other wardrobe rules for little things you can do to make your co-workers comfortable and confident about working with you.
There is a saying that you should dress for the job you want. However, that only works in reasonable steps. If you are in a job where all of your colleagues wear casual clothes, it is not a good choice to wear a formal suit to work just because you want to be CEO someday. Your clothes should still make your co-workers feel like you are all on the same team.
If you want that promotion, or to be seen as a strong player on your team, think about how to level-up from what your colleagues wear without going so extreme that they feel like you aren’t actually one of them. How?
Wear the same look as your team, but with slightly more polish. That way you fit in, making your team comfortable, but you also look just a bit more professional and prepared. If, for example, you are part of a sales team where everyone wears black pants, find black pants that are well-tailored and made of good quality fabric.
Especially if you are trying to build better relationships with your boss and co-workers, chances are you are going to have to do more than just your job. When someone needs help, or something pops up, you want to be in a position to say, “Sure, I’d love to help!”
For that, you need a reliable core wardrobe. You need practical, attractive shoes and an appropriate jacket so that you can run errands at a moment’s notice, which means those adorable stiletto mules you love are a no-no. A decent quality handbag, stocked with your own basics means you don’t need to borrow from others, but can reliably be the one your co-workers come to when they need aspirin, a breath mint, or change for a five.
So, spend wisely! If you have to choose between buying a good quality pair of classic dress shoes over buying a less expensive pair of shoes and a fun top, go with the high-quality shoes. For example, simple, well-made womens flats are timeless and work for almost every occasion. That is something to spend money on! You will not only look prepared by wearing appropriate, attractive shoes, but you will also feel prepared because your feet will be comfortable. Have you ever been stuck wearing cheap shoes that have no cushion and give you blisters, but you have a ton of walking to do? Enough said.
Keep it Clean
Tidiness is so unbelievably important if you want to let people know you can get things done. Often people will have to just make their best guess about who will be up for a new task, especially if it’s a new type of project. When deciding who is going to get to work on the prestigious new project, managers will trust their instincts. Give them a good gut feeling about you by always being tidy. Being sloppy in your appearance is a quick way for co-workers to doubt your abilities.
Whatever clothes you own, you need to be able to take care of. Only own clothes that require ironing if you own and use an iron. Only buy dry clean only items if you have the budget to get them cleaned regularly. Learn the basics of taking care of the items that get the most wear and tear, like your outerwear and shoes. Cleanliness sends out strong signals that you care and are prepared.
Buying and maintaining the right clothes doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. It’s about having a great mindset and showing your colleagues you are prepared!