What You Wear Can Improve Your Career

By Chelsea Babin

As Mark Train famously said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” That doesn’t mean that you need to wear a suit and tie every day in order to improve your career but, with a little more thought put into your everyday work wear, you may reap many productivity benefits and even get closer to a promotion than you once were. Even in the most casual of office environments there are ways to use what you wear to work every day to your benefit. Use the following three tips to help improve your career simply through what you wear.

1. Dress For the Job You Want: This is an age-old adage that you’ve probably heard a thousand times but you may not be using in your life. Take a look around your office. Notice what your peers wear. Notice what your supervisors or bosses wear. Noticing what people wear in your particular office can help you dress for the job you want. In some cases even supervisors and managers will take advantage of the flip-flops and shorts dress code. In others, you’ll notice that only your peers seem to dress in jeans every day while your bosses tend to go more business casual. If you’re looking to get a promotion, start dressing for the job you want, not the job you have.

2. Uniforms Increase Productivity: No one likes being forced to wear a uniform. However, having specific “work clothes” or devising a uniform of your own can help increase your productivity! When you get up and put on your work clothes, this will help signal that it’s time to get to work. The more signals you give yourself at the beginning of the day that remind you it’s time to work, the more productive you’ll be throughout the day. From playlists, to food, to what you wear, giving yourself these repetitive clues will help you focus more in the morning and increase your productivity throughout the day. Plus, it’ll give you a great excuse to change into your favorite jeans or sweats when you get home! After all, why would you wear your work uniform around the house?

3. Dress How You Want to Feel to Improve Your Mood: We’ve all had those days where we wake up and wish we could crawl back into bed almost immediately. Chances are you’ll get up, dress in some schlubby outfit, drag yourself into work, and feel horrible all day. This bad mood will eat away at your normal productivity and your boss may take even one negative day like this into account when considering you for a promotion. To combat this during the workweek, try dressing the way you want to feel. Maybe you have a certain shirt you tend to wear when you’re having fun or you have a pair of pants you love wearing to try to impress clients. Throw on the clothes you would wear if you were being your best self, in your best mood ever. Then, slowly, you’ll notice this actually start to improve your mood!

With a little extra effort and very little extra time, you can use your wardrobe to your advantage throughout the workweek. Use three tips to start making what you wear improve various aspects of your career today!