Shakespeare wrote “Clothes maketh the man” while Mark Twain modified it in his typical tongue-in-cheek manner to say “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” What this means is that the way you dress signals your status and position.

But today dressing up for work or office is passé with the younger generation. Formal clothes, business suits, ties, are being replaced by casual attire – jeans, T-shirts, flip-flops, chappals and other weekend wear. Those who work out of the house dress even more casually – shorts, pajamas, cutaways etc. While it is not necessary to turn up to work in a three-piece suit it is still smart to dress “well” and “correctly” if you want to aim for the top. This is so even when you are working out of your bedroom or a little shack down the road.

Scientific research has shown that what we wear influences how others perceive us. Also if you dress smartly and professionally you feel more confident and self-assured, it raises your level of thinking and shows that you are ready to take on the challenges in front of you. It is also believed that certain aspects of your thoughts are shaped by your body, including your clothes. Formal businesslike attire makes you more focused, careful and effective.

Impacts how you see yourself on the job

When you dress properly, appropriate to the occasion, you will find that you are more focused on the job at hand because you don’t have to worry about whether your attire is going to have a negative effect on what others think of you. Different industries have different definitions of what is formal. Find out what is “formal” in your industry and dress accordingly, if you want to impress your colleagues, bosses, clients and other stakeholders.
Creativity based organizations ( like advertising, designing ) have more flexible ideas about dressing – being casual and comfortable is associated more with thinking out of the box and being creative or artistic or a designer. But banks and older institutions may prefer a more serious, pucca ways of dressing.

Gives an idea of your professional attributes

I have also seen that how you dress gives people a definite idea of your professional attributes, like competence, composure, and knowledge – if you dress sloppily, nobody will want to give you anything to work on for fear that your work may be as messy as your clothes.

Wearing appropriate clothes enhances your own sense of responsibility, professionalism, honesty, reliability, intelligence, trustworthiness, willingness to work hard, and efficiency. The idea is not to dress up like a Christmas tree but to put a little more thought and a little less casualness in your clothes if you want to make a mark in the world of business (or anywhere else for that matter).

Push your dressing up a notch

Push your dressing up a notch but not so much that you make others uncomfortable or you stand out like an unwanted alien. Be sensible. Dress smart.

You need to dress well at home too. Not formally but casually and comfortably but suitable for the occasion. You owe it to yourself and your friends and family to look good – so make the effort. It will be appreciated and will notch up a credit in your favor and make you a success in your personal life too.