4 Rules Men Should Follow to Dress Smartly at Work

Beauty + Fashion

“I don’t know, man. I think nobody takes me seriously and I am going to quit my job. I want a better place to work.”

While it may be frustrating not to be taken seriously at work, sometimes the fault is in our own selves. But don’t be too hard on yourselves, these flaws may be impossible to track on your own. And more often than not, the problem is with how you dress. 

Dressing – Make or Break

“What do you mean? I dress fine. I look great. You mean people don’t take me seriously at work because I look bad. I don’t even look bad.”

Woah Woah, Calm down! 

We are not saying you look bad. We are just saying that you might not be dressing the way you are supposed to at work. While you may be putting in time shining those loafers and gelling your hair and buying the perfect accessories, the fact of the matter is that those may not be considered ideal in your work environment. 

These may work much better in a casual setting; the formal setting requires another sort of dressing and rightly so. A study in 2015 found that formal attire increases abstract thinking and hence long-term strategizing. It gives you a feeling of being more powerful which contributes to your success. 

As for those that believe that their resume speaks for them, think again. No client is going to believe in your ability to turn around their organization if you show up for a meeting in your sweatpants. 

And why would you even want to give up an additional 5% in your annual income by not dressing smart?

Dressing Smart at Work – A Guide for Men

But we are not here to just bash you into believing dressing smart is essential (we’re surprised we even had to do that to make you believe us). We are here to give you the real tea on how to amp up your dressing at work. 

Analyze Your Surroundings

While being smartly dressed at work may push you to buy those $100 suits for everyday wear, wait. Wait and watch what everyone at work wears. With policies of employee empowerment in practice and giving flexibility, it turns out more and more organizations are moving to a somewhat casual dressing at work.

While letting your employees work somewhat casually may have its own benefits, what is important is to understand that being overdressed is not smart dressing. So, the very first tip for dressing smartly at work is to understand what passes for an ideal dress in your corporate culture.

Only once you understand the corporate culture can you refine your clothing within the bounds of being acceptable at work.

Quality over Quantity

Fast fashion sounds like the trend to follow today. The more clothes you have, the better, right? Wrong! Do you have any clue about the cost of fast fashion on the environment today? The only thing fast about fashion is the amount of time it will take you to kill the ozone layer!

But that is not just it. Fast fashion is all about cost-effective utilization of your resources for maximum utility. But save all that economics mumbo jumbo for yourself. The fact of the matter is that you are not doing the environment any favors.

And honestly, you’re not doing yourself any favors either. If you really want to dress smartly, you better start investing in clothing more. And when we say that we mean investing in quality and not in quantity.

You may not realize this, but designer clothing has the fitting, versatility, and durability to justify their cost over the year. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that mypackage will last longer and better than a cheap alternative.

Fashion designers don’t study fashion to design a $10 shirt that loses shape after its first wash, trust them. 

Shoes Matter More than You Think

You get up late and rush through your clothing, put on the first pair of shoes you see, and run out to get to your workplace. What’s the biggest mistake you made? Shabby clothes? The untidy hair? No watch?

Surprisingly, the biggest mistake is the ugly pair of dirty shoes you are wearing. A seminal study by Academia suggests that not only do people base their first judgments of you (in the first 5-45 seconds) based on shoes, but also those impressions could be entirely accurate. 

So, when you walk into that lift with those dirty shoes, the chances are that your CEO can tell that you are a lazy ass who can’t get anything done. And there goes your chance at the growth in the company.

Smell Good

We are embarrassed at having to even give out this recommendation to men that have a career. Just the fact that we still have to explain this is why this is so important. But we will continue to remind all you guys out there how important it is to smell good.

Even if we ignore the fact that your smell makes you pleasant or unpleasant to people around you, smelling good can have a huge impact on your performance. There are studies upon studies about how smells can impact your mood, your productivity, confidence levels, performance, alertness, focus, and so on.

With that said, here we are repeating this: smell good!

Final Word

Whether your workplace has a formal attire or lets you dress casually, the fact of the matter is that dressing smartly is a personal choice. It shows your commitment to looking presentable and helps you perform better at the workplace. Isn’t that what gets you success in the end?

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Sophia Smith
Fashion and beauty blogger
Sophia Smith is Australian based beauty and fashion blogger. She is very passionate about latest fashion trends, DIY projects and organic beauty products. Sophia writes mostly in beauty and fashion related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is a regular contributor at High Style Life and many other blogs.
You can find out more about her writing following her on Twitter @sophia_bri
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