What do you think when you see someone in an overcoat? In a leather jacket? Or in a suit?
Let me guess: there’s a strong chance that your responses would be something like: he’s unemployed, he’s mad about rock, or motorbikes, and he’s employed in something dynamic. Too simplistic? Perhaps.
Let’s take it a little further.
Everyone takes shortcuts; the best one is to control your image with the aim of ‘forcing’ others to take in your personality and especially of sending out the right signals so as to avoid having to wear a label that is unjust.
In the professional world, studies have shown that employees who are better dressed earn more.
Therefore, investing in quality clothing pays off.
Another piece of advice: if you see a position better than the one you’re in, try dressing for it (as well as actually doing the work). That way, when the boss is deciding on a person to fill it, he will think of you.
If you have technical/commercial skills, for example, but the boss would be embarrassed to send you to see a client because of your poor presentation, that’s a pretty serious waste.
Generally speaking, the more creative the environment, the more liberal the dress code.
Try to learn more about this at the interview. And, if you don’t know the dress code for the position, I advise you to wear jeans, a blazer and a good shirt, when you go for the interview. Obviously for some roles in banking or insurance, you would have to wear a suit.
Last piece of advice, taking the opposite position … avoid ‘over-dressing’. That can cause ‘fear’: that you are more preoccupied with your appearance than with the work in question. And yes, there are narrow-minded people everywhere, unfortunately.
Different surroundings, different habits
You don’t dress the same going to work, as you do for a night out or for a Sunday picnic. I hope everyone understand that, as I find it quite sad that some people dress like they are ‘stuck in adolescence’ in every possible circumstance.
It is, of course, possible to have several styles, but be careful that you don’t reach the point when people can no longer tell whether or not you are in fancy dress.
In summary, go steadily. Making an effort is recommended, but one mistake can ruin your image.