Dressing for Success—The College Perspective

Dressing for Success—The College Perspective

Nearing the end of my college career, I find myself needing to prepare myself for entering my professional career. If you’re like me, you might realize that the first step in doing so starts at home and particularly—in your closet. The first part starts there because you have to start dressing for the position that you want in order to mentally prep yourself for having that job.

1—Dressing the part. There’s a saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but it is undeniable that when you first meet someone what you are wearing plays a part in the opinion they form about you. When you’re shopping for a new product you are probably going to pick one of the most attractively packaged products that fits your budget. When you are getting ready for your day or an interview, see yourself as a product that a potential employer is shopping for.

You do not have to dress professionally everyday but if you know you will be attending events that will involve networking it is a good idea to dress to impress. If the event is casual, how do you dress for this? Simple, clean lines are always attractive. To accomplish this look you can slick your hair back or put it in a neat bun, wear a casual blouse or shirt, blazer, and black pants or wear a dress. Match the shoe to the lip color or a color in the blouse/dress. Dressing for success doesn’t have to be as boring as it seems either. You should view it as advertising yourself to potential connections and employers; as branding yourself. Adding in a bright color with lipstick, shoe, hat, scarf, tie, ascot, cuff links, a pin, or jewelry can spice up any outfit and show off individuality.

2—A second opinion. The Wall Street Journal even noted that in studies, people that wore professional clothing “may raise one’s confidence level, affect how others perceive the wearer, and in some cases even boost the level of one’s abstract thinking, the type in which leaders and executives engage”. Thus leading me to believe you cannot go wrong with dressing for success.

3—Posture. Looking the part isn’t the only thing that you should be thinking about when dressing for success. Posture and a solid handshake are the next important things in being professional. Not only will slouching create wrinkles in your nicely put together outfit and give you back problems, but it will also make potential employers think you are lazy or sloppy and that is the last impression you want someone to have of you. Handshakes have been a way of formal introduction for decades and is one form of physical contact that you may have with another person. Firm handshakes have been a part of the professional world and it is almost taboo not to have one.

Do you agree that dressing for success is good preparation for a career? Share your thoughts in the comments!