You only get one chance to make a first impression. And in a professional environment where you are meeting new clients, customers or even management and stakeholders, it matters.
So, let’s look at some of the reasons why it’s worth caring about how to dress.
People judge (you included)
We are often told, “not to judge a book by its cover”. However, the fact is we as humans are very judgemental when meeting someone for the first time. It is how we assess, characterise and categorise an unfamiliar face.
A study by Lefkowitz, Blake, and Mouton (1955) proves that a business suit portrays a form of authority. As part of an experiment, they had a man cross the street in the city. When he was dressed in a suit, three-and-a-half times more people followed him compared to when he was wearing a regular work shirt and trousers.
Your appearance does not only affect the perception of others, it also has a direct effect on how you feel. Research proves that when you look confident, you feel confident. And when you are confident, you perform better.
Taking the time and effort to dress well raises a sense of self-respect and this creates an impact on others because when you project confidence, they are likely to feel confident in you.
How do you feel when you are in your pajamas? Or in sweatpants? Likely a bit more relaxed! The fact is, what you wear affects how you feel. So, if you have a big day of work ahead of you, dress professionally. Look smart! This places you into performance-mode and getting in the zone will inspire you to get things done.
Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it a lasting one! When you dress smart, it displays self-respect, professionalism and confidence, demonstrating that you are ready to take care of your clients and customers. This gives you a slight edge over another business or other job candidates. And sometimes, that extra 1% competitive advantage is all it takes to win.