Clothing Affects Your Success

Whether you like it or not, your clothing communicates – and it can have a serious affect on your ability to achieve success. Fair or not, people judge us by the way we look and that includes the way we dress. Especially in the workplace, clothing significantly influences how others perceive you and how they respond toward you. Researchers found that your appearance strongly influences other people’s perception of your financial success, authority, trustworthiness, intelligence, and suitability for hire or promotion. And, because perception is often reality, what you wear not only communicates who you are in the minds of others, but also influences your level of career advancement. When you combine your appearance with communication skills, not only others’ perception of you is affected, but their behavior toward you is also influenced. “Clothing plus communication skills determine whether or not others will comply with your request, trust you with information, give you access to decision makers, pay you a certain salary or fee for contracted business, hire you, or purchase your products and services.

Here are seven tips to ensure your clothing has a positive impact on your success:

Don’t show too much skin. That means no short skirts, strapless tops, or shoes that barely cover your feet.

Never wear dirty clothes. This seems obvious – but plenty of people think they can get away with wearing that dirty shirt just one more time before bringing it to the dry cleaners. News flash: You can’t.

Don’t wear wrinkled clothing. Heard of an iron? Use it. You’ll look neat and way more put together.

Wear clothes that fit you well. “Tailoring is a simple way to make clothes way more flattering. It’ll give you a polished look, and those around you will perceive you differently. So, stay away from clothing that is too tight or too baggy.

Wear appropriate shoes and accessories. Don’t wear jewelry that is too flashy or obnoxious – and always wear comfortable shoes that are appropriate for work. Also, if you wear makeup, don’t overdo it!

Don’t wear shorts. In some workplaces it’s perfectly acceptable for women and men to wear shorts. But, if you really want to portray yourself as a professional, steer clear.

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