• Lucy

What To Wear For Success: How To Advance Your Career With Personal Style

Updated: Sep 1

When it comes to advancing your career, personal style can be a powerful tool.

I'm a firm believer in putting the best version of ourselves out to the world - this means dressing for success and projecting a confident image.

But what does this look like in the real world? And how can you make the most of your personal style to advance your career?

For this article, I speak to two ambitious female leaders who share their experience of how investing in their personal style changed their careers - and their lives. Keep reading to find out how you can do it too.

Dress With Intention & Purpose

Whether you’re presenting to the board, reporting to your boss, or going for a promotion, the visuals you present – from your body language to your personal style language – are a vital part of how others perceive you.

In research conducted by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, they suggest that colleagues size up your competence, likability

and trustworthiness in 250 milliseconds – simply based on appearance.

While talent, hard work and competence are important for career success, so too is your personal brand and presence - and part of that is how you look.

Sarah Felice, a Career and Executive Coach who specialises in working with senior female executives, says it's vital that your brand image aligns with expectations.

"When someone meets you after reading about you in your resume or LinkedIn profile, your brand needs to be congruent with what they expect. You should already look and sound like the job you are going for. " Sarah said.

For Hannah, a banking Director who came to see me for a personal brand makeover, clothes offer an additional opportunity to positively impact your audience.

"I fully believe that a woman’s experience, credentials and merits are important to our career journeys, but why miss or ignore the opportunity to further ensure our success by presenting ourselves in a way that makes us memorable and impactful."

What you wear immediately communicates what you stand for, and how successful you appear to others. We also tend to have greater confidence in people that dress well and look the part.

In short, if you want to move up the career ladder, you need to start dressing in a way that reflects what you want others to think about you.

"I now dress with intention every day, whether it’s internal meetings or client facing, face-to-face or virtual. I present myself with purpose and try not to miss out on any opportunities to make an impression" said Hannah.

You Can Perform Better When You Dress Well

While we know that clothing affects how others perceive us, an even greater reason why what you wear matters is how it affects how you feel about yourself.

"We do better when we look better because we feel better." Rachel Roy

Vanessa, a Senior Executive with a renowned global technology company, knows first hand how important it is to be confident in yourself.

"Working on my personal style means I now feel super confident to lead without fear that I'm not going to look the part. I had to walk on stage in front of 300 people last month and I felt super confident to do that. I've got my colour palette, I know my brand and style, I've got the outfits that represent me."

For women, confidence in the workplace is critical and the clothes you wear can make all the difference in how you feel about yourself.

Your clothing creates feeling.