Use Your Wardrobe to Pave the Way, Not Get In the Way

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but let’s face it, people draw conclusions about us not only by the clothes we wear, but also by the attitude we convey. Have you considered what impact the assumptions people make about you have on your professional and personal life?

Because I’m a process-driven person, I didn’t want to leave any of that to chance. In my past career as an accountant, and now my role as President of RiskVersity, providing risk management guidance to businesses large and small, process continues to be a critical component of my work. I took that strategic way of thinking and applied it to other areas of my life, including how I dress. Because of my qualifications and experience I bring a lot of value to the table, and I never want that to get lost because the clothes I wear distract from the message I present.

By all means, dress for yourself, but also use your wardrobe to create a presence and purpose for your day. Planning ahead is a simple tool that will set you up mentally for your week. Plan to dress the part and be the part — you have to prepare for both. For instance, if you know you have a big presentation you wear your lucky tie. Is your tie really lucky? No. But when you wear it you feel confident. That confidence sets a mood for your day; it impacts the energy you bring to your clients, and better positions you for success.

Adopting a similar level of dress as your clients can build trust and rapport, but incorporate your own unmistakable style. It will set you apart, add interest and communicate that you bring something new and different to the table. In my experience, my work and wardrobe prep gives me confidence that gets transmitted to my clients and leads to lasting and impactful outcomes.

Don’t let your qualifications or value get lost because your clothes send the wrong message. Choose clothes that make you feel good and match your environment. The right clothes can have a transformative effect on your confidence. Labels and brands are unimportant; it’s the way you feel when wearing your clothes that is paramount. It’s a simple, yet often overlooked, shift in thinking that can be a game changer. Take charge of the story your clothes and attitude say about you! Connect with me on LinkedIn or ljones@riskversity.com if you’d like to continue this conversation.


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