First impressions are vital regardless of whether it’s a blind date or a job interview. The way you dress says a lot about who you are and what kind of person you’re trying to project. Entrepreneur and former Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen knows a lot about the power behind a great suit, whether at a board meeting or during a legislative session. Here are a few of his tips for dressing for success:
There is no such thing as dressing too professionally. If you’re aiming for a promotion or trying to get noticed by the boss, make sure your clothing choices reflect that. You want your bosses and potential employers to see you as someone who embodies the role you’re looking to achieve.
According to Forbes, dressing for success in the business world boils down to three things: looking the part, dressing appropriately for the occasion, and being comfortable in what you’re wearing. Comfort is key, as you don’t want to be fidgeting with your clothing all day long.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to build an impressive wardrobe. However, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. Select pieces that are well-made and will stand the test of time. Not only will they last longer, but they’ll also look better. Consider choosing fabrics like wool, cashmere, and cotton age gracefully. Another durable option is leather, which can add a touch of luxury to any outfit.
Flexibility is vital when it comes to choosing clothing for the workplace. Many versatile pieces can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. For example, a black blazer can be worn over a dress for a more formal look or paired with jeans for a casual Friday.
Slacks can also be dressed up or down, depending on the style and fabric. A silk blouse can be paired with dress pants for a sophisticated look or with jeans for a more relaxed feel. And finally, dresses can be worn in multiple ways as well. A shift dress can be dressed in heels, a statement necklace, or down with flats and a cardigan. There are endless possibilities.
Even the most expensive clothes won’t look good if they don’t fit properly. Make sure your clothing choices are neither too tight nor too baggy. Dennis Bonnen stresses the need for a tailored fit. It doesn’t matter how great a suit is if it doesn’t fit well. It will only make you look sloppy and unprofessional.
Research tailors in your area and plan for their services when figuring out your clothing budget for workplace attire. A good tailor can make all the difference in how your clothes look and feel.
Just because something is in style doesn’t mean it will look good on you. Remember low-rise jeans, anyone? When choosing workplace apparel, focus on what compliments your body type instead of what’s currently trending. Understanding your body shape can help you make the best clothing choices. If you’re unsure what looks good on you, seek the advice of a friend or professional stylist.
When it comes to accessories, less is usually more. Wearing too many accessories can create a cluttered look or become a distraction. If you do choose to accessorize, keep it simple. A watch, wedding ring, and pair of earrings should suffice.
If you wear more, make sure the pieces complement each other without looking overdone. A scarf, for example, can add a pop of color or pattern to an outfit without being too fussy. The same goes for a necklace or brooch. Choose one statement piece and keep the rest of your accessories simple.
To dress for success, it’s essential to focus on quality over quantity, select pieces that can be worn multiple ways, pay attention to fit, and focus on what compliments your body type. Accessories should be kept simple. If you’re unsure of what looks good on you, Dennis Bonnen recommends seeking the advice of a friend or professional stylist.