man in suit
photo credit: Mista.Boos

Using Your Wardrobe As A Weapon In The Workplace

When colleagues are being laid off and promotions are scarce; when the office environment is cut-throat and competitive; or when you’re stuck in a rut under an incompetent manager and feel like your hands are tied, what you choose to wear to work can actually be used as your greatest weapon. The energy that you put into creating your daily ensemble can and will come back to work for you – but it’s your choice as to what you would like your office attire to accomplish. Is it a new client or a pay raise, more attention from your boss or more respect from your superiors? Then try using your arsenal of clothing and accessories to speak on your behalf.

man in suit
photo credit: Mista.Boos

Assert your dominance

Fashion is not just a basic necessity; it’s an accessory that acts as a symbol of status and power. What you wear reflects how you view yourself, and that in turn acts as a direction for how others should view you. If you march into the office in ballet flats or nice sandals, it is assumed that you do what is expected of you. If you strut through in a pair of kitten heels or sensible pumps like these, you’ve transformed suddenly into an imposing force that stands a few inches taller with straighter posture; a business professional to be reckoned with. The same goes for men – a department store suit quietly explains that you know your place on the corporate ladder. However, a man with a well-tailored suit exclaims that he not only knows what he’s doing in this business, but where he plans to go from there.

Stand out from the crowd

Especially when your office dress code differs from what you would otherwise choose to wear, it is important to fully utilize your ensemble to reflect not just your business title and industry, but your personality. An easy way to do this is through accessories: stunning jewelry or a simple scarf will breathe new life into your ensembles, and having a few watches to choose from, like affordable options from Invicta found here, will ensure that you look both sophisticated and stylish. On the same note, formal attire does not have to be straight-laced and boring to look polished and professional. Discover an interesting cut, style or color for your suits, and mix up your palate with skirts and dresses or bold patterned button-ups often. However, avoid colors that are characteristically seen as being overly youthful, like pinks, pastels or harsh neon tones.

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Be taken seriously

When it comes to your career, there is no greater asset than the mindfulness of your own self-worth. It gives clout to your relationships, propels you to greater problem-solving and risk-taking opportunities, and gives you the confidence to ask (or even demand) for what you want. It so happens that the easiest way to express that consciousness is through how you present yourself. When you take the time to put together a crisp, clean, and attention-grabbing ensemble, it shows. Colleagues will see that you don’t just meet deadlines and wrangle up important clients and transactions – you wake up early to select the perfect outfit and also manage to get enough sleep (so says your flawless complexion). It implies that you have the time to shop for the latest fashions, and leave after a successful day at the office for a drink or date. Putting real effort into your appearance announces that you are a multi-faceted individual, not a clock-punching office snooze, and have a lot to offer both in and outside of the workroom.

Control emotions with color psychology

colour uniform
Carrying arms is not part of the dress code.
Photo credit: Dunechaser

You’ve likely heard that different colored hues can affect your emotion and mood; why not use this information to your advantage in the workplace? If you want to be seen as authoritative, interject more black into your wardrobe. To encourage conversation with others and be seen as outgoing, orange’s natural gregariousness will be helpful. Wear red to appear more proactive and energized – but not when you’re looking to make negotiations or are faced with a confrontation, as you’ll risk coming off as overly aggressive. Instead, in those situations that require you to gain the trust of others, sport blue, a pigment we innately associate with loyalty and stability. Do a bit of research to find out what the colors you wear say about you, and how you can use that knowledge to your advantage. If you want to modify your character to be seen as someone who is approachable, truthful, calm and collected, or well-appointed, there’s a perfect color for it.

Fashion is not only a means for expressing who you are, but it’s an invaluable tool to use in getting what you want. As they say for interviews, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”; the same can be said at all points during your career. Select an ensemble that speaks to how you want to be perceived, and so long as you are dressed appropriately and professionally, it will always work in your favor.

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