We all know that clothes can help you express your creativity and emotions, but did you also know that your work clothes can also show your ambitions, goals, and work ethic? In the professional world, it’s important to look … professional. The right professional look can not only boost your self-confidence, but it can also affect how your co workers treat you.

In case you didn’t know, our clothing choices are motivated by our psychology. In the office, we might not be realizing just how much of ourselves we are giving away by the choices we made at 6 AM that morning in the dark. Are you not reaching your full professional potential because of the following fashion mistakes?

1. You’re Living in the Past

The modern workplace is all about moving forward and preparing for the future. If you walk into a meeting or interview  rocking shoulder pads or some other ensemble of eras past (unironically, of course) you risk a few things.

The first impression is that your prime happened to be 15 years ago when Paris Hilton was relevant and Juicy Couture was high fashion. You don’t need the people around you to be worried that your best years are behind you when they are focused on the years to come.

The second impression is that you are uncaring. If you don’t care to update your fashion, why would you care about updating your skills or knowledge too?

So don’t be like Karen with the big 80’s hair that works in accounting, no matter how hard your hairspray calls to you. Instead, gear your outfits toward your professional goals rather than your age goals. You can’t go back in time, but you can control your future.

2. You Want people to Treat You Casually

The way you dress or appear is often indicative of how others will treat you. Therefore, if you dress casually, people will treat you casually. In a professional environment, that is never a good thing. You are a young -and probably less experienced- member of your company. As hard as it is to admit, young and inexperienced peole can’t afford to be treated casually. You have corporate ladders to climb and people to impress. Dress the part and others will start to treat you accordingly.

In some cities and markets, personal details like piercings and that really badass dragon tattoo might be the norm. If that’s the case, keep doing you. For everyone else, consider the image you want to project in a professional setting, and choose work clothes based on signals from those around you. 

3. You Don’t Feel Comfortable in Your Body

Are you constantly hiding under clothing that is clearly too big? Well, your large work clothes might be giving off signals about your insecurities. Those who wear ill-fitting clothing might not see themselves as others see them. Whether you just underwent a weight loss transformation or just don’t know how to shop for your body type, investing in a proper fit will do wonders for your confidence and image.

Next time you go shopping, bring an honest friend along or ask the store employees for their opinions. You’ll thank them later.

So What Does a Good Outfit Look Like?

Choose work clothes that are classic, yet modern and that fit properly. Aim towards easy-to-wear colors and silhouettes with minimal accessories.

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