Workwear dress codes are more varied across industries than at any point in history. This is not an article to say that you should wear a full suit regardless of the job you are interviewing for. However, this is an article to say that you should dress up and look your best no matter what industry the job you are interviewing for is in. Here are some reasons why:
1. Feeling like you look good will affect your confidence and performance
There is truth behind phrases such as "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" and "if you look good, you feel good". Even our own brand motto is "dress the way you want to be addressed." There are more to these than just being catchphrases or a cool marketing tagline, the truth is, there is a direct effect between the clothes you choose to wear and your overall performance and mood.
In a recent study a group of undergraduate students were given either a white doctor’s coat or asked to wear street clothes. They were then administered a test for selective attention, such as spotting minor differences in similar pictures. It was found that those who wore the doctor’s coat made about half as many mistakes as those in street clothes. Simply put, those who "dressed for the job" actually performed better than those who didn't.
The clothes you wear are a direct expression of who you are and how you feel. Even if you aren't one to wear a full suit or heels, making sure that you feel powerful and confident in what you choose will affect how you present to the world and how you act in it. In another study, a group of men were asked to dress in either a suit or sweats, they then played a game that involved negotiating with their partner. The ones that were dressed up obtained more profitable deals in the negotiations. Basically, when you feel confident in your outfit and feel like you look the part it affects your overall performance.
2. People make up their opinion of you in the first few seconds of meeting you
Princeton researchers even suggested that people can make accurate judgements of one another within 1/10th of a second and that longer exposures do not significantly alter those impressions. The fact is how you present yourself matters. Wether or not you greet your interviewer with a smile matters.
Whether it is an in person or a zoom interview always make sure you are dressed to impress, speaking clearly and greeting your interviewer with a smile.
3. Employers will always take notice of someone who looks prepared
The Halo effect
Dressing like you actually care about the job will immediately set the tone of the interview. The person who is interviewing you will feel like you are one to take seriously right off the bat because you are portraying that you care.
Dressing to impress will create a halo effect that will make interviewers less likely to notice any small slip ups since you already started off by impressing them when you walked through the door.
Power dressing in today's world
Power dressing was all the rage in the 70s and 80s, you may be picturing many suits, shoulder pads, pencil skirts and silk scarves. It's essentially just dressing in a style that suggests power and authority. Power dressing today has evolved and can still be achieved without reaching for a full head to toe suit look. Regardless of your industry here are a few easy ways to achieve this powerful look vibe:
1. Wear a blazer
Wearing a blazer is an easy way to exude power without going overboard. A blazer naturally creates a powerful body stance by highlighting shoulders and making the wearer look put together.
Depending on your industry you can easily pair a blazer with a matching pant for a full suit look or simply throw on an oversized blazer over a light sweater or t-shirt and a pair of jeans for a less formal but cohesive outfit.
2. Make sure you are wearing clothes that fit you right
Back to our point on "feeling like you look good will affect your performance", wearing clothes that don't fit you properly is a sure way to mess with your self confidence. Wear clothes that make you feel happy, it's simple really, if you feel happy and confident in the fit of your clothes then that is what you will project out to the world.
If you need to get you need favorite pair of pants hemmed or adjusted, go do it! Or even get some new bespoke pieces for that perfect fit!
3. When in doubt, go tonal
Tonal dressing is when you wear one color or a variation of one color from head to toe. The effect is one that makes you look luxe, put together but also elongates you by creating one long vertical line for the eye to follow. The look exudes sartorial confidence and highlights your attention to detail.
4. Vests can make great tops
Often shy-ed away from, vests are a brilliant piece to have in your wardrobe to create an instantly effortless look. In the colder months use them as a layering piece under a blazer or coat. That three piece look just screams put together.
For the warmer months, they can also work as an alternative to a blazer. Wear them with matching pair of pants for a head to toe tonal look.
How you dress for your job interview has direct correlation with your performance and how the interviewer will form their first impression of you. So, put your best foot forward and dress the way you want to be addressed!