Anyone who thinks a person’s shoes are not informative of who they are is making a mistake in my book!! Clearly, a pair of five-inch stiletto sends a very different message than a beaten up pair of tennis shoes. Am I right? Can a shoe tell you about a person? And for that matter, what about your work style? Do clothes really make the woman? According to data from Highest Paying Careers, 65% of bosses say that dress could be the deciding factor between two job candidates. 65% people!! There are a lot of little factors that add up in terms of your work style, but here is my take on how they are perceived.
The Fashionista Look
This is the woman who is top of all the trends and looks like a million bucks every day. If you work in fashion then being on top of trends is often a job requirement, but in other industries this could work against you. The perception could be that you spend a lot of time keeping up with trends, so it seems you think about clothes more than about the job.
The All Business Look
This is the woman who looks like she has been wearing her power suit since she was fifteen. She is all work and no play. Jeans are for the weekend and no other time. She laughs in the face of Casual Fridays. Funky for her is a cardigan instead of a suit jacket.
The Sloppy Genius Look
This was a coin termed by Real Simple Magazine but every office, especially those in creative fields, has one of these. It stresses that you are working so hard that you cannot be bothered to do anything with your hair or wear something that matches. Even if you are working hard you need to take the time to look put together.
The Adorkable Look
This look is the girl who makes heavy-rimmed glasses the focus of an ensemble. But what really makes this look stand out is all the bright colors. Bright colors can be great, but be aware of the psychological effects of colors.
The Out-of-Date Look
Just like the really fashionable woman can look like she cares more about shopping than work, so too can being unfashionable hurt you. It can make you look behind the times and automatically age you. This is not to say that you cannot wear a classic suit or button down shirt, but if it does not fit right, it can put you at a disadvantage. Get a tailor!
The Beyond You Look
It sounds strange, but dressing too well can sometimes be bad for your career, especially if you are an entry level employee. I am not saying do not dress to the nines and look super professional, but it might be too early for you to carry your Birken bag if you are a 25 year old working at a non-profit. The consequence could be that the associate will have to prove herself even more.
The Too Young Look
It can be really hard to figure out how to dress professionally, especially if you work in a casual environment. But just because you are not in a zipped up corporate office, this does not mean you should dress like you are at the club. Dressing too young can prevent you from moving up in a company. That goes the same for dressing too sexy.