Dressing for Success?

I had another post planned, but this crazy thought hit me while I was prepping for a paying photography gig.  I always dress “for the job I want.”  When I am promoting myself and working for clients, I take quite a bit of time to prep my appearance.  There are TONS of studies and articles that will tell you that humans make snap decisions about people based of off their appearance.   Yet there are still people out there that wear jeans and tee-shirts to interviews.  People that have to be told to dress nice before a gig or job.


Everyone has a dream. Why not dress for it (when appropriate?)

There is this great saying that popped into my head while I was getting my stuff together.  “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”  I want to be a successful business woman, so when I am with a client or on a job, that is how I dress.  Occasional I dress better than the occasion calls for, BUT I am still dressing for the job I want.  If I wanted to be a plumber, I would wear overalls and carry a plunger as an accessory. If I was happy where I was I would were my uniform everywhere.

When people come into my office for a job interview with the boss, the admin assistant and I have a pretty good idea of who is even going to be considered based on their outfit.  Jeans are an imitate no.  You can have the best and most appropriate resume in the world and if you show up in jeans, you might as well just leave.  Don’t waste our time with you lack of research and understanding of what a job interview details.  Bring what was asked, know a little about the company, and dress to impress. 

It is really hard to know what to wear.  I struggle with it a lot.  It is not natural to many people.  I look back on my first real “business casual” work environment and I have to laugh at how much research I did.  I had not idea what it was, and how casual could I get away with.  I think it is much easier for men to go business casual.  Most of the department stores are set up for casual, business casual, business and formal for you.  Not women.  We have to hunt for business casual.  Most of the stores are sorted by size, not where it is appropriate to wear something.  The term business causal is also a lot more lose for women than men.  Women can wear almost anything that is not too short, jean, or really flashy.  That leaves a lot of space to have to search through.  Not fun for those who are fashion challenged.

As silly as it is, the TV show What NOT to Wear helped me out a lot.  There were some very enlightening moments when I learned that color is not scary, and patterns can go with other patterns, even if you think they don’t. 

Regardless of what helped me.  Sometimes you just need to take a friend to help you pick out some cloths.  Just because they are supposed to be nice and semi-formal does not mean that they cannot reflect your personality.

When I started job searching in Tacoma I started off with a white shirt and black pants.  A fairly generic outfit. One that I hoped said “I can start right now.”  That is not what it said.  My outfit was saying “I’m boring and have no taste.”  The second I added a red shirt and some jewelery I was getting offers.  The little change and I was in.  I was passionate, bold, willing to stand out and be heard.  I got noticed and it was good.

I should wrap this up.

In summary:

1. Dress for the job you WANT, not the job you have (or will have.)

2. Do research!

3. Find something that has a bit of your personality in it.

4. Your goal is to dress better than the person interviewing you!

5. Not interviewing?  Dress better than your client.

Have fun out there!


Dress for the job you want. When it is appropriate!!




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