How one presents herself can tell a lot about her own personality. This includes our posture, the way we speak, how we project, our gestures, and even what we wear. Right now, let’s focus on that last part. Especially in formal situations such as in business, attire is one important part of how you carry yourself. Whether you're dressing up for your next client meeting or you’re looking forward to a job interview, you should know that what you wear can be a factor on the outcome of your venture.
But don’t fret, ladies! We’re here to help you with several fashion tips to help you wear something that means business. Read on to learn some of the things you need to consider when you want to dress up, stand out and give yourself an edge for that promotion.
Why it matters to dress to impress
First, you may ask this question: why is what you wear a big deal, especially in business setups? For most of us, it is likely that those we’d come across in business meetings or appointments are someone we don’t personally know and who also don’t personally know us. That’s why one of the things that provide insight to us, especially for first impressions, is what we wear. How we look is not all that is important, of course, but is still nevertheless crucial. And often, we only have one shot for first impressions, so we must do our best.
To elaborate, it is in our psychology to respond accordingly to other people based on their clothes. Doctors wear lab coats to help us feel secure when seeking medical help. Cops in their uniforms allow us to feel safe. Dressing up well also conveys almost the same message, that we are capable of executing our jobs well. It gives and invokes a sense of authority and competence.
And of course, dressing to impress is fun and stimulates your happy hormones! It helps you focus on yourself, enhances your self-confidence, and provides an outlet to express your personality, too. These can even help you stand out and do your best at your business meeting, whether you’re being interviewed for a job or landing a client. If you’re not used to this at first, eventually you’ll manage to develop your own fashion style that will definitely be easier.
Basic fashion tips that mean business
So here are some of the lowdown on fashion tips that would be handy for any business encounter you might have. Whether you have a presentation or an interview, you’re sure off to a great start with our free fashion advice. And yes, you can thank us later.
Whatever you pick to wear, always consider how comfortable you are with it. When in business transactions, you will want to focus your attention on the purpose of the meeting. So it is highly recommended that what you wear is not distracting and irritating for you. For example, if you’re not feeling the heels as it would only make your feet sore, try lace-up flats as a more suited alternative to partner with skirts.
If possible, identify the environment where the meeting will take place. Is it air-conditioned? Or is it in an alfresco cafe on a sunny day? Or is it on a construction site? Whichever, you may want to anticipate how your body reacts to the weather conditions and the fabric of your choice (cotton? linen?). If possible, business casuals are the new trends for women, which give you the utmost comfort without sacrificing style and the sense of formality.
But not slacking
However comfortable you may want to be, avoid dressing too easily or dull. You don’t want to give the impression that you did not prepare at all for the meeting. Business casual attire doesn't mean sandals and a statement shirt. Avoid sports outfits, sweatshirts or T-shirts. Never do ripped jeans. Ever. Moreover, not all trendy tops are considered business attires. If you show some effort in that curriculum vitae or your business proposal or presentation, be sure to complement it with your outfit.
Modest type of clothing can give you the casual vibes, not too formal but still means business while being comfy. Besides, many types of revealing clothes are not always recommended as business attire depending on the company. With modest wear, you can also give yourself the freedom to style your wear while further asserting your own uniqueness. And they are not exclusive to people of faith. Think of ankle-length dresses layered with another layer, like a blazer of your choice. Classy and confident.
Find a good fit
As much as possible, it will benefit you to wear something that suits your size. Wearing something too tight or too baggy can be very uncomfortable to deal with, especially when you need to focus. It’s not always possible to find the perfect fit, but something that is close enough that won’t be too irritating for you to adjust from time to time. Unless it’s your choice of modest clothing and it’s intentional, a good fit is always much better.
Colors also play a big role in what you wear. Although there’s nothing wrong with expressing your favorite color (say, pink a la Legally Blonde), you would want to have a safer choice with more neutral palettes. You can never go wrong with dark gray or navy colors that are the trendy go-to wears for many professionals. Avoid loud or high contrast colors so as not to be distracting, or overdone/striking patterns, like the ones you wear at New Year’s Eve parties (e.g. polka dots, cartoon drawings).
Avoid excessive bling
You may be itching to wear some accessories to match your outfit. This is totally fine, but it is advisable not to overdo it. Earrings can be forgiven, or wedding rings, why not? But if they are too distracting and may tend to create unnecessary noise, like dangling hoops or huge, flashy cuts of rocks or an array of multiple bracelets or over-the-top necklaces, we’d have to insist you not wear them at all. Also, keep in mind that not all jewelry makes you look professional. Watches are preferable as they can show you are sensitive with time.
Have clean clothes
We probably all know this one, so this is more of a reminder. Whatever garment you decide on, make sure to make an effort to prepare it. Plan ahead so you can schedule to wash them and have enough time to dry and press them. Inspect for stains to be removed, and wrinkles to straighten out, and loose threads to cut.
Lastly, another important piece of advice, with whatever you wear, be sure that it’s something you can be proud of. As women, we should wear something we can own. What we choose to wear to impress should help us uplift our confidence, not become a burden. Be it modest or business casual, with an impressive outfit, all you have to worry about is being conspicuous with your own business skills. Now, we wish you good luck in your careers!