Everyone wants to maximize the time they have, but many men are making hasty decisions when it comes to what they will wear. Whether you’re hitting the snooze button too many times, giving yourself too much time at the computer in the morning, or simply rushing through the dressing process because you don’t enjoy it, you could be doing yourself a grave disservice. What you wear to the office not only changes the way people perceive you, but it has a significant impact on how you feel about yourself. A sharp outfit can go a long way toward doing both.
Take Your Time
Decide that you will devote some time each morning on what you are going to wear. Alternately, setting out your outfit the night before removes any added pressure to your morning and can give you a little peace of mind as you drift to sleep. If you don’t have anything decent in your closet, this is as good a time as any to invest in yourself. People make the excuse that dressing well costs too much money, but they don’t realize that it is an investment that will come back to you. One of the best ways to update your closet is to start with buying a shirt and a tie to give a new dimension to your existing suits. Better dress correlates to better pay, more job opportunities, more successful interviews, and even an enhanced social life. Spend the money and the time now, and you’ll see great rewards for it in the future.
The other excuse men make is that they don’t know anything about fashion. With an internet connection and a trip to the magazine section at a local bookstore, you can learn the basics of men’s professional fashion in less than two hours. If you make learning a priority, you can find countless sources of good information. You can learn which color tie to wear with which color suit. You can learn how a simple button-down can transform an entire outfit. With the right knowledge, you’ll no longer want to rush through your morning routine. Instead, you’ll want to get it right each and every day. Putting that little extra effort into your appearance will pay dividends.
As anyone who has ever marveled at a magnificent lighting ceremony knows, Christmas is a time for abundance. That doesn’t mean spending more money than you have to impress people you don’t care about. It means using this magical time of the year to show a little personality. ‘Tis the season for giving, after all, so why not give people the best of who you are?
Sadly, Christmas fashion has taken a tumble in recent years. In earlier decades, guests showed up to Christmas extravaganzas in outfits that could outshine even the brightest tree. They went out of their way to dress sharply, wanting their clothing to reflect the immense joy associated with the holidays. What happened? Christmas parties have now become an occasion for people to celebrate embarrassing sweaters and ugly ties. Like a second Halloween, the focus seems to be on finding the guy who can clash as many colors as possible. There are even websites dedicated to helping people find the ugliest Christmas sweaters in existence.
It’s time to put the fashion back in Christmas! There’s nothing wrong with wearing ugly, themed attire when the occasion calls for it, but don’t assume that the office holiday bash is that occasion. Next time you’re at a holiday event with your co-workers, note how your boss and his wife are dressed. From now on, your aim should be to never wear something worse than your boss. You may not be able to afford the same threads, but you can certainly outfit yourself with a sensible replica in your price range.
There’s already enough ugliness around the holidays. Greed and ridiculous commercialism have turned the Christmas season into something it was never meant to be. Let’s take back at least one aspect of years-gone-by. Make your next holiday party special by dressing to impress. Whether you go Christmas casual or full-on black tie, you’ll feel a lot better once you’ve worn your last ugly Christmas sweater.
The trend in the workplace over the last ten years has been to eschew classic forms of professional attire in favor of more casual outfits. But while an open-throated shirt and a thrift store jacket may work in certain tech offices where the oldest employee is 30, it doesn’t translate well to the vast majority of professional environments. The tie, well-tied and paired with a classic dress shirt and sharp suit or sports jacket, still carries a great deal of symbolic power.
Increasing Your Confidence
Even if you work in an office where you’re convinced no one cares about your appearance, a tie can give you an enormous reservoir of confidence. Of course, you already know this. Would you feel more confident asking your banker for a loan wearing jeans and a hoodie or wearing a suit and tie? You stand taller and exude confidence when you wear a tie.
Dress For The Job You Want
This is one axiom that has a lot of truth to it. Dress for the job you’re aiming for, not the one you currently have. People see a man wearing sharp clothes, and they can more easily envision that man in a higher position of authority and responsibility. Don’t put obstacles in your own way by dressing down.
Make More Money
Every survey that has ever been conducted on the matter has concluded that good-looking people make more money. That may seem unfair, but looks aren’t limited to what you were born with. Exercise, excellent hygiene, proper diet, and the way you dress all play a big role in how you look. A CareerBuilder survey once found that 41 percent of employers were more apt to hand out promotions to those who dressed more professionally. If a tie could make the difference in your next promotion, why not take that small step toward your own success?
Casual Friday entered the American zeitgeist in the late 90s, just as Silicon Valley was showing the world a new meaning of success. The technocrats of the dot-com era believed in changing the way people thought about a business. The way they thought about possibilities. They started with what was considered proper attire, giving employees a day of the week where they could wear what they wanted. Over time, companies across the country adopted the practice. Unfortunately, the symbolism behind the change was lost. It was no longer about change and breaking rules. It was about starting the weekend early. It was about riding out that last day of the week in flip-flops while you did the bare minimum until quitting time.
Even this change in the Casual Friday framework might have been okay if it didn’t start spreading to the rest of the week. Before you knew it, companies were loosening up their dress codes on Monday through Thursday. Worse, employees started lowering their own standards for professional office attire. Maybe you did the same. But did you really?
Think about it. You’re an angel investor, given the choice between two competing businessmen. Each of them has put together an excellent proposal, they both have rock-solid plans, and you believe that either investment, on paper, would give you a return on your money. Which one do you invest in? The guy who gave his proposal in jeans and a T-shirt? Or the one who did it in a sharp suit and tie? Appearance — and more importantly effort and pride in one’s appearance — matters in the business world. And it may just matter more than you’re comfortable admitting.
According to psychologist Frank Bernieri, most employers make the decision of whether or not to hire someone within the first ten seconds. Ten seconds! That’s all the time you have to make your impression. What can you do with ten seconds? Not much. That’s why how you dress makes such a big difference.
Looks matter. According to a recent study, good looking Americans make as much as 15 percent more than their less-attractive counterparts. The encouraging truth is that most of us can be really good looking if we put in the effort. You can always be the best you, you can always take pride in your appearance. Be that person through every facet of your life, starting with how you dress. Start this Friday. See how it changes your life.