How to dress for success

How to dress for success

Ever since I was young, I believed in the power of clothes. I believe the clothes can have an impact on how you’re seen by others, but also on how you see yourself. I think lots of us have noticed how what we wear affect our productivity for instance. Although it can feel comfortable to work in your pyjamas all day, it’s not exactly great if you need to get a lot of stuff done. Here are some tips and tricks to dress for success in any situation!

Comfortable clothing

Let’s start with the most important one, comfort! Nothing is worse than having an event and your clothes are feeling all kinds of wrong. An itchy sweater. A skirt that keeps creeping up. Pants you need to jack up all the time… you name it. And not only the fabric and length matters, but also how you feel in it. If you usually love baggy clothes, I wouldn’t recommend slim-fit outfits on important events. You’ll don’t feel comfortable in them. If you never wear skirts or dresses, you don’t have to start doing so for an important event. A suit or jumpsuit can be just as classy and you’re much more likely to feel good. For instance, I love bright colours so I might wear bright red to an event, but someone else might feel like they’re too much in the spotlight in bright red. In that case, a classy black or blue dress might be a better option.

Personal style

In the line of being true to your own comfort zone, I would also recommend staying within your personal style at important events. For instance, I like formal attire and feminine clothes, but not too sexy. Therefore, you’re not likely to see me in a short dress at a party. I much more prefer a pencil skirt or cotton trousers. But also at more casual events, this is the case. For instance, you won’t find me wearing only a sports bra. It just doesn’t feel comfortable to me and I would be way too self-conscious.

Even though certain events call for certain styles (sportswear for exercise, formal clothes for job interviews, etc.), you can tailor those styles to your own style. The fabrics and ways the clothes fall around your body can differ enormously and still be appropriate. Therefore, it’s best to find outfits that fit the situation just as much as it fits your personality. If your style is somewhat casual, I wouldn’t suggest to wear a three piece suit to a job interview. However, a jacket might still be a good idea.

Shine

Keeping true to your personal style not only give you comfort, but it can also a great way to make people remember you. If you’d look like everyone else, you wouldn’t be remembered, so let your unique personality shine through! If you’re funny, I wouldn’t recommend you dressing as a clown (unless you are one of course). However, a quirky pattern inside your jacket, funny socks or a statement necklace might just be the thing people remember about you.

A thing I do is to use colours. As mentioned previously, I love bright colours and if you know me a little, you’ll know that I can be very passionate about things. Since I work in sales and marketing, this can be something I want to shine through. Therefore, I often wear a red jacket or top to job interviews. However, when I am going somewhere that needs me to be a psychologist, I tend to wear softer and more neutral or trustworthy colours, like dark blue and blush pink. And, when I am promoting things, I prefer bright yellow and polkadots to seem happy and bright. It’s all about matching people’s expectations to what you want to accomplish.

woman in red

The balance of quality and quantity

Then there is the quality and quantity balance. Of course, when it’s a one-time event, you’ll probably want to go for quality. But still, are you willing to spend a lot of money for an outfit you won’t wear that much? On the other hand, it’s also a bit silly to buy one high-quality outfit that you’ll need to wear every day, because you spend it all on that outfit. Therefore, in both situations, there is a right balance.

First of all, I don’t believe that good quality clothes have to be extremely expensive. However, often, they do cost a little more than fast fashion and often, it’s worth it, since it’ll last you that much longer. I do believe that to make a good impression, some quality is needed however. Nothing is less charming (and annoying!) than a sleeve popping off your shoulder all the time or loose threads hanging everywhere. But with doesn’t have to cost much, it just needs your attention when you’re shopping. It’s worth it to search a little longer for the perfect outfit.

On the other hand, I also think you don’t need as many clothes as most of us have. Everyone sometimes has that ‘I have nothing to wear’ moment, it doesn’t matter if you have 10 pieces or 100. My grandma is the perfect example of this. When she goes on a holiday, she would pack 2 trousers, 3 tops and 2 jackets. Because she will match all of them with each other, this calculates to 12 outfits she can wear! And with a little hand wash she washes the shirts when she needs to in between wears. Lots of us don’t plan our outfits this strategically, but it does show that a little goes a long way. Her basic colours are navy, white and red and this way, everything matches perfectly. No one will notice you’ve barely packed any clothes with you!

Size matters

We all know the feeling of finding the cutest item in a shop, but not finding your size anymore. And it can be so tempting to just go down or up one size, it’s just one little size, right? No. Size matters. And I don’t mean which size you wear, but whether it fits well or not. That’s why I would always recommend trying something on before you buy it. If the item is too small/large on the shoulders or something like that, it’s a waste of money and effort to buy it, because it’ll never look as good as it would if it was the right size.

Of course, some items are meant to be oversized and this is different. Even more, I love oversized sweaters and jackets! It can be great to play with sizes and it can make your outfit look way more interesting. For instance, really tight skinny jeans look awesome with a huge sweater or t-shirt and crop tops can be very cute combined with boyfriend or mom jeans. However, even if the sizes are meant to be big or small, you can still see if it fits or not and it’s important to pay attention to it.

Dress for success depending on your body type

Everyone is different, everyone’s body is thereby unique. I don’t really post pictures of myself, but to explain: I have an hourglass figure with a little bit of fat on my belly. My arms and legs however are somewhat smaller and I am about five feet and seven inches (1.67 metres) long, but my legs aren’t especially long. This all means that I want to accentuate my arms, legs and waist, whilst avoiding laying the focus on my belly. Therefore, skirts with tulip forms are generally quite flattering for my body type. However, for someone who is more pear-shaped, it might draw too much focus to the hips. I also might want to try high-waisted jeans, since they push the belly in and they often make my legs look longer, whereas long vests often make my legs look shorter.

There is of course no set of rules making you do anything, but it can be really good to look at the clothes that fit you well and find commonalities in there shapes (and colours). If you know what suits you normally, it can help you when you go shopping. There’s a lot to find on this topic online, but I personally actually loved the Wikihow page about it!

What’s underneath?

An outfit can also be saved or ruined by the right underwear. Starting with a previously mentioned factor: size. The right bra might take a while to find, but in can really help your outfit. It just doesn’t look great if you’re bra is too small and you see skin piling over and under it (and I can’t imagine it feels great either!). On the other hand, a bra that’s to big also isn’t charming, since you’ll have a gaping whole on the top or your breasts will start to hang lower.

Also the pants can matter. When you’re wearing a shape or fabrics that reveals every inch, you might want to take a closer look at the shape (a string or hipster is often more charming than boxers), but also at the height. I have a few strings with a higher top, which push in my belly and love-handles. These are perfect for tight dresses in my case. In addition, you might want to have underwear in different colours. I’m very pale with dark hair, so I like darker colours on me. However, I won’t wear a with string when I’m wearing a white dress or white pants, since it’ll likely show. In these cases light beige or pastel pink are often better choices for me.

The whole package

How you look isn’t only how you’ve dressed. Your appearance is also based on how you’ve taken care of yourself in other aspects. I don’t think people need to wear make-up and certainly not a lot. However, it does help to be properly groomed. Tweeze your eyebrows, make sure there are no hairs visible from your nose and that you have a nice perfume on, but not too strong.

Another aspect is your attitude. Are you walking up straight? Is there a smile on your face? Do you feel like your standing stable? Are you looking people in the eye when talking to them? It was once said by Richa Kanwar that ‘Confidence is the best outfit’ and I fully agree. This is also the reason why I started with comfort as a factor as well. You can wear the most expensive, beautiful dress, but if all you want to do is to disappear into the wallpaper, it’s won’t look right. Same goes for a smile by the way. If you’re looking like you hate where you are, you won’t look great. Nothing is as beautiful as a true smile!

All in all, a lot of information. However, the most important point is to dress how you feel your best, because you will look it. What are your best tips to dress for success? Let me know in the comments below! And if you liked this, please subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, so you’ll never have to miss a new post!

Lots of love,

Lisa

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Hi there! My name is Lisa and I am the author of Mind and Body Intertwined. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology. During my study, I found out how much the mind and the body are connected and it fascinated me, which is why I started my blog. Would you like to join me on this little corner of the world?

20 Comments on “How to dress for success

  1. I loved your unique take on this. I always believed my personal style is my comfort. I am from India and Sari is the kind of national outfit which is neither practical nor comfortable.

    • Thank you so much. Expressing yourself is worth it, even if others might disagree with your choices all the time. Maybe there are ways to turn your culture into something that does fit your style? I can’t imagine you’re the only one that feels this way.

  2. There’s a saying that the best thing you can wear is a smile – I know what that means but I do think finding your own personal style is something to aspire to as well. Great tips!

  3. This is a great blog post. It’s super important that you know and understand your body type to dress the best. It’s all about making the clothes look good and making you feel confident.

  4. Hi, Lisa. You wrote this post well. I super appreciate it! To add to your suggestions, wear clothes that make you feel confident about yourself. Don’t try to fit in yourself in something that looks good and sexy, but doesn’t make you comfortable. Confidence is an invisible accessory to one’s look that makes it perfect. x

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