Like A Boss: Dressing for Respect in the Workplace

poster.original.1004x0 At this point in my career, it actually cracks me up when I hear people say that looks don’t matter. I laugh because I’ve heard it so many times, and it couldn’t be further from the true. Looks do matter. Get used to it!

Studies have shown that well-dressed people are more likely to get promoted at the workplace. There have also been various studies on people making snap judgments based on people’s appearances to determine their ranking, and ability to perform their jobs.

I mean, have you seen Devil Wears Prada? Notice how much more kick-ass Andy was at her job after her Chanel-infused makeover? I did.

If you think that only happens in the movies, then I am going to have to tell you just how wrong you are again. One client I recently worked with comes to mind; she is a badass movie producer, and she would get mistaken for a PA on set. Why? Because of her appearance, of course.  After our makeover, she was able to command the room without saying a word and was able to do her job more effectively because she automatically had that respect in place.

I find this to be especially true for entrepreneurs, myself included. If I am having a lazy fashion day, and I show up at a store to shop for a client, it is absolutely mortifying for a store clerk to mistake me for an assistant. My style needs to be on point at all times.


Same goes for the days where I am wearing my COO hat at School of Style. I need to convey power and authority in my look because I own the business; I don’t work at it.

Are you dressing for respect at your workplace? My guess is probably not. Ask yourself these questions when you get dressed each morning for work:

–    Do I look like the boss or an assistant?
–    Would I promote me based on my look today?
–    Do I feel powerful in my look?
–    Would I be embarrassed if someone above me, or a client I’d like to have approached me in this outfit?

If you can get those answers to line up in your favor each day, then you are totally winning. You will find that you will quickly advance in your career, and you’ll have the people working for you giving you the respect you deserve.


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