How do you dress – for work or your social activities?  When you get dressed, do you consciously think through a process?  It may be that you do, but is it sub-conscious and instinctive rather than planned and thought-through or prescribed?

Dressing for work you may be lucky in some ways if you have a uniform – not much thinking to do – right?  Although still some:

  • how many layers do you need (weather or environmental factors, or one’s own body temperature gauge)
  • is it clean? Who is responsible for cleaning? (You may be able to get tax relief on cleaning, repairing and replacing uniforms)
  • does it need repair (buttons missing, hem down etc). Who is responsible for this?
  • does it fit properly? Have you adjusted your size at all since the uniform was issued?
  • are you proud to wear it? (This can be a bigger issue than whether you like the uniform or not and whether you like it on your body. It can be about identifying yourself with the company’s brand)

How do you dress for work if you don’t have a uniform?  Or, if you are dressing for your social activities?  What if you have a bigger choice from your own wardrobe? What decisions do you need to make to wear something appropriate?

  • all of the above considerations for a uniform still apply, plus:
  • weather
  • what you will be doing, and who you will be meeting. What impression do you want to give? Is the material up to the job? What about creasing and static.
  • comfort
  • formality
  • will your clothes make you “fit in” or “stand out”?
  • what do your choices say about you (eg, are you totally on trend – whether it makes you look your best or not – or don’t you care for fashion at all?)
  • do pieces clash or enhance each other? (You may want them to clash to make a statement!)
  • do your clothes make you “approachable” or would they give off an aura of fear? (You may want to impart fear into others by your clothes, but you can’t be fearful one day then expect them to not fear you another – consistency of message in the context is important, and knowing what you want to achieve)
  • colour – how bright your clothes are transmits a message about your confidence and possibly mood
  • all your activities until you are able to change (eg are you going from office to social for example? Have you thought about that?)
  • are your clothes “age appropriate”?
  • do your clothes enhance your body image or add/detract anything?

I wonder if you realised there was so much to it? Suffice to say that dressing is not just about your own comfort and happiness. It is also about giving respect to others who have to look at you! If you don’t take time to think about your appearance and your view is “what they see is what they get” or “if they don’t like it, that’s their problem” that could be a bad mindset. Would you appear for an interview with that approach, and be likely to get the job?

I’d love to hear your tips or disaster stories. Has this article provoked any other ideas?

My service is personal, as each person’s wardrobe needs and circumstances are individual. If you would like to meet me to see if I can help you, please get in touch.