When you dress for the job you want, you have to have a clear idea of what you’ll be doing (or, at least, be willing to fake it ’til you make it). Finding the sweet spot between dress codes and your comfort and personal style is the deciding factor when it comes to choosing clothes for your day job. Here’s a great and simple guide that shows you how to dress for the job you want.
Dress For The Job You Want | A No-BS Guide
Step 1: Check The Dress Code
The first thing to consider when planning how to dress for the job you want is to take a look at your company’s dress code. Every company has a different culture and a different dress code. Do you work in a shirt-and-tie environment? Or, can you roll into your cubicle wearing nothing but last night’s sweatpants? Keeping the company’s dress code in mind will give you a ballpark idea of how to present yourself.
Take a few weeks and observe how people in your company dress. You’ll find your average Joe with his wrinkled shirts and scruffy loafers. There’s also Josh from IT who wears nothing but what seems like the same black hoodie every single day. And then you have Chad, who’s two tailored suits away from the Fortune 500. You’re gonna want to find a good balance in your office. This is so you don’t go too extreme when you try to dress for the job you want.
Step 2: Mix In Your New Wardrobe Gradually
When you start to dress for the job you want, start slow. People might find it weird that you suddenly started showing up dressed to the nines. What is your personal style? Are you still rocking the hoodie-from-college look? Try switching to a nice button-down short-sleeve shirt instead. Are you exclusively wearing white shirts every workday? Throw on a bomber jacket to level it up a little.
Unless your boss demands it, you don’t need to wear a three-piece ensemble every day. Try on some business casual looks that make you stand out without standing out too much. Remember to change your style gradually. There is a fine line between trying and trying too hard. Try looking at style guides online to mix and match an ensemble that works for you.
Step 3: Think That Clothes Are Investments
Every time you go to the mall and see an expensive pair of dress shoes, remember: these clothes are investment pieces. When you dress for the job you want, you go for two things: quality and style. Unfortunately, these two factors form a trifecta with a steep price tag. But think about it: tempting as it is to drop $5 on a pair of dress shoes from Goodwill, that hundred bucks you drop on a legit pair of dress shoes that have never been worn will take you further, literally and figuratively.
Investing in clothes is the first step in dressing to impress. Save up some cash to splurge on a well-tailored suit, a snazzy topcoat, some nice ties, and, of course, good dress shoes. Research has shown that it works to dress for the job you want, so investing in good, high-quality clothes is investing on a ticket to success.
Step 4: Give Attention to Detail
Dressing for the job requires attention to detail. You have to wear what you’re wearing with style and confidence. You must look clean, refined, or at the very least not too shabby. Achieving this will take a bit of cash, however.
Not only will you have to shell out for good quality clothes, you’ll also have to invest in your personal grooming. Spending a bit more for an expert barber will help you get a haircut that fits you and makes you look like a million bucks. If you wear a beard, groom it to the point where you look, like, “Yeah, I look rugged, but I’m also paid extremely well.” Getting these details right gives you the confidence you need for the job you want. Looking great also gives people reason to look at you differently, in a more positive light.
Step 5: Remember, Bragging Rights? Not Quite
While upgrading your style is great and all, remember to stay humble. Of course, looking so much better than how you did before gives you confidence. This does not mean that you should start strutting around the office telling everyone how great you look now. Play it cool, but look confident. The whole point of dressing for the job you want is for other people to notice you, not for you to do everything you can to get noticed.
This video from the Wall Street Journal lays down why you should dress for the job you want:
This will pay off —your boss will take notice, your colleagues will approve of how together you seem, and you’ll feel much better about yourself. When you dress for the job you want, people notice. The great work you do coupled with the new style you’ve achieved will get you into places you never thought possible. In no time at all, you’ll nail that promotion.
How do you dress for the job you want? Tell us in the comments section.