After avoiding the unforgivable work wear faux pas….. there is that grey area that says: Yes I showed up to work today and managed to put together the basic pants and shirt combination that I learned when I was in pre-school. I managed to put on the essential undergarments and my hair isn’t so bad that someone might do a double take.
But is that it? Is that really you?
You know you can do better. But why should you have to? We all hope (or…at least most of us hope) that the awesome work we do speaks for itself. But when everyone and their dog has a Masters Degree and tons of experience, sometimes you need every advantage on your side to get the edge.
A 2009 study talks about this edge. In the study, participants were asked to rate 6 individuals dressed in ‘business attire’ (3 dressed attractively and 3 dressed unattractively) on their perceived competence, work comfort and sociability. The study showed that…
“…models dressed in attractive clothing were perceived more positively than models dressed in unattractive clothing on each of the three dependent variables. These results provide some support for a clothing attractiveness stereotype that may function analogously to the well-documented physical attractiveness stereotype.”
In short, it (along with several other studies) have demonstrated that not only do more physically attractive people seem to have the edge when it comes to interviews or promotions but also the way we dress or present ourselves also makes an impact on how competent and approachable people perceive us to be.
So part of it is knowing how to play up your best features but ‘attractiveness’ is also about self-confidence and knowing who you are as a person.
THIS is what you can demonstrate through your own personal style as you come to understand it.
What I’ve discovered is that like most things…it takes a major life change in order to shake you up and realize that you should spend more time and energy on yourself. For me, it was becoming a mother. I knew right away that if I didn’t find some way to get back in touch with and STAY in touch with who I was…then I was in big trouble. As a mom, you’re taught that sacrifice and self-deprivation are the highest achievements. Unfortunately, what most women won’t tell you is that losing yourself is like taking a grenade to your marriage….and the destruction zone may include your career too if you’re not careful.
On the other hand – I also had that terrible experience of being called out by my boss in that o-s- pleasant ‘you’re not quite up to standard’ sort of way. That’ll do it too.
Point is, aside from the above, it simply FEELS good to look good and more importantly…look like you.
Let’s see if we can get you there and inspire you to make some fun changes!