You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
No matter how much people say that they don’t judge a person from their clothes, it’s become more of human flaw to do exactly the same. At times it gives an impression that we can’t even help it anymore.
Borrowing from Batman Begins- in a corporate setting, it’s not who you are underneath that defines you; it’s the clothes you wear that does the talking. You may slog your backside in your office, but if you aren’t dressed for the job that you want, you wouldn’t get anywhere. Take cue from The Devil Wears Prada for instance. Only when Andy changed her wardrobe, she got taken a lot more seriously by her fashion savvy boss.
Dressing-up in the office(s), has never been oberved as a to-do thing, however, with the advent of startup culture, people have started spending a little less time in deciding their wardrobe for office.
The new mantra is, the more time you spend dressing yourself, less time you have to work. It started with CEOs such as Steve Jobs in his classic black turtleneck, blue jeans and New Balance Sneakers, Tim Cook rocking those dad jeans, or even Mark Zuckerberg sticking to his hoodies or the trademark grey t-shirt, even after he became the CEO of Facebook.
So, should you dress down or dress up? Here’s how you can do both.
Situation Dictates The Demand
Startups are very open to casual dressing, but do not take it lightly. There will be times when you’ll be expected to dress formally, so make sure you aren’t running a day before looking for the perfect suit or dress. Invest in a good pair of formal clothes. Season-neutral trouser, blazer, or pencil skirt for women or a classic men’s suit is a must.
However, you can always give it a causal touch by going for more soft colours or wearing blazers that are self-lined or half-lined for summer months. Women can go for a pair of jeans rather than trousers. Something like, Anne Hathaway in The Intern.
It’s not always ‘any colour you like’
You might rock every colour you wear, but wearing a neon shirt in a meeting is downright obnoxious; agree? You want to make a statement with your clothes and they should represent you as a person. So what you can do here is, play with some colours. Follow the colour psychology and decide for yourself how you would want to be precived. Dark colours are generally seen as colours that depict dominance, shades of blue could inspire confidence in others, and wearing softer colours can show a more friendly side of you.
Tim Cook does a great job in choosing his wardrobe. Dad jeans with shirts in shades of blues or grey, rarely tucked and sleeves mostly rolled. Given the crowd he hangs out with, which includes CEOs and big personalities usually dressed in strict formals, Tim manages to stand out without actually making an effort. He knows his colours and style and sticks to it.
Get legit sartorial help
You might be wearing an Armani suit, but if it’s loose from your shoulders or a little too tight to even button or the pants are a little baggy, you have failed miserably. This is the reason why all these big shots have their personal tailors who have the client’s body measured with surgical precision.
Tailoring everything perfectly can make a world of difference.
Wear your smartwear smartly
You definitely do not want to be that guy with a Bluetooth piece in his ear all the time, or that guy who wears shades when it’s dark. You need the right accessory to go with your personality. A smartwatch is something that will both help you in your day-to-day work and also make you look up-to-date with latest technology. Gone are the days, when smart watches were just smart and looked like a computer minion. These days they are sleek, small and have much more options than Nokia 1600 ever had alltogether.
For women, avoid jangly jewellery or anything flashy or sparkling. Shine bright like a diamond, but not literally.
Do not forget the shoes
Shoes are something that will probably escape your mind when you’re busy rummaging for that prefect dress or suit. Do not make this mistake. For men it’s easy since their one pair of shoes go with almost everything, for women it gets tricky. The dilemma is to walk comfortably or take it up a notch with heels. However much painful heels might be, there’s something about heels that exert power and makes you look more confident.
Women entrepreneurs can also go for open-toes shoes wedges or mid-length help to cut on that pain in the heels.
What are some of your favorite office-wears? Share with us on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India.