When it comes to office style, you are what you wear. While many of us don’t see the office as a place for analyzing our appearance, statistics suggest that we’re set to spend around 90,000 hours over a lifetime at our desks–that’s an awful lot of time in which you can create a lasting impression.
For better or worse, our working wardrobe is a reflection of our true selves. We can undergo a weekend glow up, or put our finest attire on for social media photo ops, but fundamentally, what we wear to work is reflective of who we are–and this is a good thing.
What we wear can tell our employers a lot about our work ethic, attitude, approachability, and ambition. It’s also an opportunity to encapsulate who you are when you’re at your desk. Although some workplaces still maintain more formal dress codes, most modern offices allow a degree of flexibility, and the age of working from home means that more of us than ever before can work at our home desks in whatever we want.
However, this flexibility is also helping your employer to better understand who you are, so it’s important to note that making the right impression should always remain a priority. With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at what your office style is really telling your boss about you:
Too Casual Could Indicate Apathy
Firstly, let’s emphasize that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dressing casually to work from home, or if casual wear affords you a level of comfort that can improve your productivity. But when you’re dressing down to go to work, it can speak volumes to your employer about your work ethic, respect for company culture, and motivation to be part of the company.
Furthermore, dressing more formally can not only give your manager a better impression of your commitment to the company, it can also offer a psychological boost for your own work ethic. Dressing up in formal work attire can help your brain to switch out of ‘relax’ mode and into ‘work’ mode–helping you to hit the ground running on each work day.
Too Smart May Point to Fickleness
While this may seem counterintuitive, dressing smart may lead your employer to believe that you have ambitions that could suggest that you’re preparing to move on from your role sooner rather than later.
It’s generally a great idea to dress formally to help uphold your position as an ambassador for the company and to show those around you that you mean business, but if you find yourself dressing better than your management, it’s worth considering the impression that it gives off.
Employee turnover can be a burden for businesses, and the expenditure associated with training new recruits continually to keep them up to date with new job roles can make the hiring of overly ambitious workers a concern when the assignment is to simply fill a role and steadily nurture talent within the company.
Although this may sound like a warning against dressing smart, as a rule of thumb it’s always better to dress more formally in the office as opposed to casually.
Finer Details Show You’re Conscientious
Whether you’re in the office, or meeting your manager on a conference call, caring for the finer details in your appearance can be a great way of showing that you have a commitment to detail when it comes to your job role and beyond.
Whether you look to add matching jewelry to your outfit, coordinated cufflinks, or smart color combinations, these effects can tell your employer that you’re organized and composed. By displaying that you have an attention to detail, your employer will believe that you can be trusted with more complex tasks which could subconsciously help with future promotion efforts.
Your Eyewear can Show your Personality
Your choice of eyewear around the office and when collaborating with personnel online can be crucial in displaying your personality. Because your glasses are unmissable when you’re communicating, subtle colors and patterns can really magnify the perception that others have of you. For instance, using bold colors can tell people that you’re more approachable and personable, while thicker, darker frames can make a more knowledgeable and resourceful impression.
Your choice of sunglasses when out and about at work can make a strong impression, too. Aside from shielding your more subtle facial responses to questions, they can also help to build a more composed image about the workplace. Combining sunglasses with tortoiseshell frames can provide a smart and resourceful look and you can find it easily from brands like Persol and other high street brands online.
Patterns or No Patterns?
This style is completely open to interpretation and the impression that you want to give your employer about the workplace. While wearing block colours can indicate a more conscientious vibe for employees wishing to be seen as motivated hard workers, patterns can be a great way of getting yourself noticed and building a more personable reputation about the office.
Wearing patterns means that you’re more likely to be viewed as somebody who is open to communication and less likely to take themselves too seriously–which can be a great asset in building working relationships and being seen as a strong communicator.
However, it’s also important to note that you should never seek to wear clothing that you’re not fully comfortable wearing, as this can impact your mood and work ethic–it can also potentially lead to negative feelings about your workplace. When we spend around 90,000 hours of our lives at work, there’s no room for negativity, so always seek to pick a style you enjoy as a priority and make the most of every day that you’re amongst your colleagues.