What you wear defines you
What should someone not wear? Many factors go into looking professional. You are what you wear; remember that your appearance tells a lot about you. In terms of your physical appearance, what message would you like to convey about yourself?
In what ways can you tell somebody not to wear something? Professionalism is determined by a variety of factors. Cleanliness and presentability go together, don’t they? Can we ignore the scuffs on our shoes, the tangle of our hair, or the scuffs on our nails? In the past, I interviewed CEO candidates. An individual crossing his legs was among the finalists. A hole was visible in his shoe immediately after he did so. Maybe I should not have been moved by that, but I was. He was hired, unfortunately. It turned out that he was the worst choice ever. The hole was a hint, wasn’t it?
We can tell a great deal about ourselves by our appearance. In the morning, rushing the comb through our hair leaves us with little strands that misbehave in the back. Wearing clothing without tucking in our shirts is unattractive. We might also miss important details in our proposals if we miss those details. These little things matter whether you are applying for a big job or landing a big client. You can tell a lot about yourself by the way you dress. Those with a ‘Technical’ or ‘Thinker’ type personality are likely to wear conservative clothing. Chances are you dress with a little less care if you are a ‘Driver’ or another type of bold personality. The reason people wear flamboyant clothes is that they believe it will make people like them. People with quieter, more reserved personalities usually wear brown or beige clothing. Having to admire the rainbow of colored shirts on a carousel, my boss once found one with light beige sleeves and commented, “That’s definitely me.” I had to laugh since it was!
Although I am writing this, I continue to wonder what messages we are conveying to our youngs. CSI is the most popular show on television (New York, Miami–it doesn’t matter). The fact that women and minorities are represented in crime labs is wonderful. It intrigues me why the educated women on the crime lab team wear tight tops that expose too much flesh? You say, yes, this is television. . . How do our young people see the world? Hopefully, the message gets through that tight tops with low cuts are okay to wear to work.
Here’s a partial list of things to avoid wearing to work:
1. Pants or tops that are too tight
2. Low-cut tops or blouses for women
3. Unpolished, scuffed shoes or worn-out tennis shoes
4. Glittery jewelry (no bling too much at work!)
5. The backward baseball hat (especially)
6. Anything that is see-through
7. Heels with stilettos
Those with long hair should either get a haircut or wear their hair back or pulled back
9. Pink boots are hot right now
10. The Mickey-Mouse bond
In some companies, people are allowed to stretch the dress code in order to show off their creative side. Keep in mind that what you wear defines you. In what way would you like to convey a message about who you are and how you think?