Dressing for success is crucial if you want to make an impact in the workplace. Whether you are interviewing with a prospective employer, networking, doing a business meeting, seeking funding from investors, or you have your own company and are meeting clients, your appearance does matter.

An employer, investor or client gets an initial impression of you in the first 4 seconds of the meeting. It’s imperative to make sure you’re at your best!

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

“The way we dress affects the way we think, the way we feel, the way we act and the way others react to us.” – Judith Rasband

“Dress for success. Image is very important. People judge you by the way you look on the outside. First impressions are lasting; give special thought to your dress, your grooming and your accessories.” – Brian Tracy

“You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.” – Zig Ziglar

Be on time, in fact showing up 15 minutes early is a good rule of thumb. Introduce yourself with a firm handshake and a smile. Self-confidence is key. Even if you’re feeling nervous on the inside, a warm genuine smile and having eye contact with the person denotes an open and confident demeanor, which automatically engages the person you’re interacting with.

Good personal hygiene is a MUST.  Avoid wearing strong scents. If in doubt don’t wear any scents especially as whomever you’re meeting with, may have allergies or they may be repelled by the scent you’re wearing. Keep the aftershaves and perfumes for when you’re going out on your own time.

Dress neatly. Wear professional clothes that are clean and pressed. Use this as your standard for interviews and meetings even if you’ll be dressing casually or in work gear on the job. You’ll never go wrong by being the best-dressed person in the room!

Always present your best self. Be upbeat, positive and pleasant. Answer questions clearly and honestly. Remember honesty is the best policy. It shows you are of good character and it’s refreshing rather than getting a rote, rehearsed or fake answer.

Listen attentively and maintain eye contact. Ask questions! Show active interest in the company you want to be working with or the investment group or the clients/colleagues you will be working with. It shows initiative, caring and finesse.

Don’t chew gum, smoke, eat or drink when interviewing for a job or doing your meeting.

Keep your conversation positive. Don’t make derogatory or negative remarks about others.

What Not To Wear:

What you choose to wear on the weekend is great for hanging out. However, it doesn’t cut it for a business interview or meeting.

Avoid wearing caps, hats, hoodies, sunglasses, ripped jeans, low hanging jeans, running shoes, huge chunky jewelry, large dangly earrings, exaggerated makeup and pull back your hair if you’re having a bad hair day.

Avoid torn, ripped or stained clothes, unbuttoned shirts, exposing lots of skin, showing your underwear.

What To Wear:

Men: Wear a business suit and tie or a long sleeve shirt and tie with tailored pants. Make sure your shoes are clean and polished.

Hair: clean, haircut and off your face. If you have facial hair make sure it is trimmed and looks neat and well groomed.

Nails: trimmed and clean.

Women: Business suit and blouse or a dress

If wearing jewelry, simple, elegant and complements what you are wearing, nothing too ostentatious or distracting.

Hair clean, styled and off your face or pulled back in a neat bun or ponytail.

Nails: neutral colors or French polish and not excessively long.

Makeup: complementary to your face, not overly exaggerated.

You never know who you’re going to meet and what opportunities may come your way because you took that extra step to make sure you look polished and well groomed.

Put your best foot forward by dressing for success and the success you want to achieve will surely follow!

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