Well, when you move to a more formal professional service company, you realise you have to step up your wardrobe. Its not that you have a bad wardrobe, mismatched clothes or tired clothes, its that perhaps you haven’t worked in such a formal organisation before so your was abit of a newbie with the suits. So my first question to you before you read any further is, ‘what’s your work dressing style saying about you?’
The biggest mentality i am sure many are familiar with is the ‘I don’t care what people think, about how i look so long as i’m comfotable’ The problem is, yes you may not care, but the perception made about you within the first few instances of meeting someone will make you care… A LOT! Besides why else is it that people dress to impress for an interview? They need to impress enough to get the job, that’s why.
So you decide a wardrobe overhaul is needed, considering you are coming from a more casual dress organisation. What could you do to make this drastic change?
1. Suits can be exciting
I hated suits, the starched shirts the stiffness of the fabric, pleats, tweed, carrying around a jacket and i never could find a nice suit that fitted me perfectly (ever seen those men in town who have on over sized suits? Or the trouser is shorter than the rest of the suit?) There is power in a suit, i can say that for sure. Its not that its my first time wearing one but i can assure you it now makes me feel very achieved and confident.
Formal wear is important, because you are representing the brand that you are working for. The brand will always want a particular reputation maintained especially to the public, because a brand name can build or break a company. It doesn’t mean that you always have to wear a boring black suit, because more people are embracing color and many designs exist for whatever taste you have. Whether your into skirts, trousers or dresses believe me a suit can make a difference, but my secret is, a good tailor makes ALL the difference.
2. Heels don’t always have to be uncomfortable
Well, for ladies, the heels make you stand out more and add to confidence, because they feel amazing when strutting your stuff into a meeting or a clients office. However lets be honest, not all of us can survive in high stilettos the whole day especially if your on your feet for most of the day. More importantly though is to get a heel that you know you can walk in well. Ever seen a chic in town crossing the road like her knees are about to collapse thanks to the 6 inch she is trying so hard to walk in that is pinching her toes to bits? I have.
When taking public transport it is simply unwise to wear high heels, especially because you have to walk long distances. Carry a pair of flats or even ngomas for your transport phase and change your shoes when you get to the office, we all know you have that big hang bag anyway!
3. Client facing
Clients feel more secure dealing with someone who looks dressed appropriately for the job. You cannot imagine a client dealing with a guy in jeans and a t-shirt (or un-ironed clothes) trying to secure a deal, realistically the client will prefer not to be speaking business with a person dressed like that. Its important to impress because that then reflects on the impressive services or products that you will offer, people will take you more seriously depending on the way you are dressed. Yes its a sad reality that we as humans are so material even in our thoughts and actions, but its life, you sink or swim.
Well lets be honest, some women tend to over accessorize, i mean if its not the dangling earrings with glitter, its the twenty or so clinking bracelets on the arm or its the make up like your headed for a photo shoot, all too much action going around. Save all the over the top accessories for the weekend, for the office less of accessories is more, keep it simple.
Trying to keep it chic and professional at the same time can actually be fun!