Professional Dressing – in the Modern Business World
Clothing creates a powerful visual impression. Whether it is Prime Minister Modi using the jacket as an extension of his personal brand or Bollywood actress Rekha, donning her iconic silk sarees or Steve Jobs and his signature look.
Since many organisations are relaxing their dress code policies, there is a lot more than needs to be interpreted, which can get tricky.
While dressing to work, it is imperative to consider the following:
Personality and comfort
We spend over 8 to 10 hours a day in our work attire, hence feeling comfortable is important. If you are not comfortable carrying the outfit you are wearing, it will show through in your body language and behaviour.
Dress codes are highly dependent on the role and industry vertical. Those in “service” industries like doctors, financial advisors, hospitality, teachers, etc. have to “look the part”.
For example, when you are considering a financial advisor for managing your investments, you may hesitate to take the person seriously with your money, if he/she walks in to meet you in a pair of ripped denim and a T-shirt.
Similarly, at a 5-star hotel, you expect the wait-staff to be impeccably dressed and groomed as well as follow the right behaviour. You are not just paying for the product, but the overall “service and experience”.
Alternatively, those employed in more creative industries like advertising, fashion etc. can use clothing as a visual medium to showcase their personality and creativity.
Dress codes may not be a top priority for those in “product-based” companies like an IT company creating an application. However, it is still recommended to dress more appropriately as it subtly projects professionalism.
Current role and aspirations
Dress as per your role i.e. a Manager should visually look different than an executive.
Even better, “Dress for the job you want, rather than the job you have.” Always be prepared to take up the next big promotion or role. Dressing is not everything, however it is an essential element which can help you achieve your goals.
Dressing well at the end of the day, does not only make you feel more confident, but is also considered as a a mark of respect to the people you are meeting. When someone dresses well to meet you in a professional setting, you feel important since the person has taken the effort to look well put together for the interaction.
And always remember “Dress the way you want to be addressed” – Bianca Frazier