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Top Reasons to Dress for the Job You Want and Not the Job You Have

The advantages of dressing to impress can extend far beyond their monetary value


You may have heard the saying that you should dress for the job you want and not the job you have. Here’s why this saying is true and you should do it.

Buying new clothes can get a little addictive. For instance, by 80 years of age, the average woman will have spent $125,000 on clothes throughout her lifetime. Clearly, that’s a significant amount of money by anyone’s standards. That sort of sum sounds a little crazy, right?

Read more after the jump:

However, as it happens, there are many reasons this level of expense might come in handy! No matter who you are, dressing well can lead to all sorts of benefits. Professional perks are one particular example. It turns out that looking tip-top in the workplace can make all the difference. Interested in learning how?

Keep reading for 6 reasons to dress for the job you want not the job you have.

1. Make a Great First Impression

Whether we like it or not, first impressions count. We all like to think we aren’t judgments. From childhood, we’re told not to judge a book by its cover. Isn’t it what’s underneath that counts?! Well, yes. Absolutely. But, frankly, we can’t help it. Humans are literally designed to make snap judgments- it’s what kept us safe from harm back in the days when we roamed the savannah! First impressions are made in a matter of seconds. And the impression you leave behind tends to linger into the future. Dressing for success helps you leave a positive impression in the mind of others. They look at you and see someone who takes pride in their appearance. That positivity will stand you in good stead.

2. Look Good, Feel Good

It’s sometimes as simple as that. Again, it’s a little superficial- of course. But let’s face it: people are shallow! We’ve already noted how everyone makes snap judgments about the people they meet.
You’re judging others. That means they’re probably judging you too!

Dressing appropriately and stylishly is a means of controlling what others think of you. Know you look great? Then you can assume others are thinking that as well. This can be the knowledge you need to boost levels of self-confidence and esteem. By comparison, feeling scruffy and unkempt can make you feel the opposite. You can become self-conscious and anxious about others’ opinions. That negativity can be anathema to performance.

3. Feel Good, Perform Better

It’s worth emphasizing that final point: Feeling badly about ourselves can be a recipe for disaster in terms of performance levels. In the bid to get ahead in the world, it’s vital to perform above and beyond expectations. Unfortunately, negative self-talk and low self-esteem can often hinder performance. For instance, anxiety might make speaking up and being heard more difficult.

Conversely, feeling better about yourself can facilitate success. There may be no difference between the abilities of the two people. But if one is vastly more confident than the other, chances are (in particular contexts) that they’ll exceed. As such, the boost that dressing well gives to your confidence can be doubly advantageous. You feel better about yourself. You do better at the job too.

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4. Stand Out from the Crowd

It’s important to get the right kind of attention at work. After all, almost every industry is competitive these days. The quality among candidates is high. The bid for progress and promotion is fiercely contested. Standing out from the crowd often comes down to small margins. Being stylishly dressed may give you the edge. That’s especially true when performance matches how you look! It’s no good being just a pretty face…

Remember, dressing well sheds you in a certain light to others. They see someone who values the way they look. It creates and radiates an image of self-respect. That’s good news for your job prospects.


5. It Sets a Personal Standard

Some people set themselves a certain standard. It’s like doing the small things right to influence yourself as a whole. Setting high standards for yourself creeps into all areas of life. Dressing well is just one symptom of someone who has told themselves they have to meet a certain standard in life. Dressing well could be less about the clothes, and more about the ethos and intent behind them. The opposite is true too. Someone who lets themselves off the hook with their appearance may do the same in other ways. They’re okay with being substandard. Equally, none of the above may apply at all! But to outsiders, this can be the message that comes across. Dressing to impress works. It’s also a means of taking control. The day itself may fall apart around you. But you have total control of looking amazing.

6. It’s Enjoyable!

Everyone likes a day in their pajamas every once in a while. But it’s nice putting in some effort as well! There’s something fundamentally special and fun about getting dolled up. It’s about doing something and being, a little different for a change. Now, what would happen if you did it every single day? You could take the same approach to your daily wardrobe. Dressing for success should never be a chore. It’s about experimenting, having fun, and enjoying the act of looking good at work. For all of the reasons above, and more, getting suited and booted for work is downright enjoyable.

There you have it: 6 reasons why it pays to dress for the job you want not the job you have. Some people literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on clothes throughout their life. And, as it turns out, doing so may be entirely justified! The advantages of dressing to impress can extend far beyond their monetary value. As we’ve seen, this can be particularly true in a professional context. Being well dressed can send out all the right messages, increasing feelings of self-worth in the process. It might even be a central role in someone’s success. Hopefully, this post has highlighted the main reasons why! Like this post? Want some inspiration for your next set of work clothes? Check out the fashion section of the webs.

Images by Liselotte Fleur for Design SCENE

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