Dress for Success in 2014

Professors at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that people wearing clothing such as white lab coats performed task-management tests more attentively and with fewer mistakes than their counterparts in plain clothes. What we wear has symbolic meaning for us- it can boost our confidence and make us feel powerful. These dress-for-success can tips help you match the right look with new and improved gains in the workplace:

1. Dressing up in your home office can pay off. Do you think that just because you aren’t face to face with clients throughout the day that your attire doesn’t matter? Ditch the pajamas and get decked out in slick business attire in the morning. Turns out, even folks who work from home get better gains when they “dress the part.” While your measure of success might not call for a suit and tie to show up at the home office every morning, you can plan for the next Black Friday sale to shop online and find comfortable, professional duds to don at home. Not really a fashionista? No problem, you can get inspired by other work-from-home professionals with The Art of Manliness’s style photo gallery, as you sit down to browse through deals.

2. Clothing color de-coded. Dress in red and you’re liable to cause worry or distrust at the office. Choose blue and you may have people flocking to you, since the color is known to help stimulate calmness and creativity. Dressing in certain colors can affect how well people work together in the office. If you want to be taken seriously, try black. Communications professor, LisaMarie Luccioni at The University of Cincinatti says black is often perceived by others as a sign that you know what you’re doing or that you’re in control.

3. Fine tailoring makes a meaningful impression with observers. It’s not just what you wear, but how you wear it. A study recently published by The Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management explored the perceptions of people observing men wearing two different types of suits. The study found that men wearing more carefully tailored garments were more well received by their audiences overall. Wondering if your attire measures up? The mobile app, What’s My Size, found at the iTunes app store, helps you decide if a clothing item is suited to your personal measurements and makes suggestions on how to tailor the garment or possible future clothing purchases.

4. Dress the part and the role will naturally follow. Have a more formal career role you’re hoping to excel in? Researchers at The Journal of Applied Psychology observed that how we dress matches our perceptions of ourselves in formal or casual settings. Participants asked to describe themselves based on their attire tended to use more formal adjectives when wearing formal clothing, while their less formally dressed counterparts described themselves using less formal adjectives. This study suggested that formal dress could naturally help your behavior shift to your benefit in the workplace.

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