What you wear at work makes an individual statement about you that communicates to others.
It could be a way of saying to your boss that you’re prepared for promotion or, to your colleagues, that you’re a friendly person; it could be an assertion to a client that you know what you’re talking about.
So it’s wise to consider your agenda and choose your clothes appropriately – and, for a woman, that includes your accessories, makeup, and hairstyle also.
Power and Authority At work Place
Is it important, for instance, for you to be seen to have power and authority, possibly because you want to influence a client or you may be taken seriously as a freelancer? The days of power shoulders are over, but the fact remains that if they want to emerge powerful, both genders have to adopt some of the non-verbal icons of masculinity.
For women, the key lies in shape and color, noticing the slightly tailored look that is suggestive of a man’s suit, in coordinated outfits, using dark or dismal shades, with light makeup and a simple hairstyle without too many feminine curls.
Rapport-Filled Relationship At Work Place
Say, on the other hand, that you want to create a supportive, rapport-filled relationship at work – possibly because your job involves a good deal of one-to-one interaction or support.
Then you need to choose clothes that reflect more feminine emblems – such as lighter, brighter colors, patterned rather than plain materials, and unstructured shapes that signal relaxation and an accepting nature.
Women can also use makeup to emphasize those parts of the face that are most expressive – eyes and lips; but keep the colors subdued so as not to slide over the boundary between femininity and sexuality.
Expertise in Your Job
You may need to look conversant in your job since the product or service you’re dealing with has an ‘expert’ or scientific image. Pick up here on the icons of the professions who dress entirely in black or white.
Black says ‘expertise and intellectualism’ since it’s associated with the church and the law, while white says ‘wisdom and compassion’ since it’s associated with medicine – which is why some cosmetics counters dress their assistants in white uniforms.
To support the nonverbal message being given out, women might need to make light of their gender signs so as to appear professionally asexual. Tie hair back off the face and choose small, simple accessories and a natural or unnoticeable makeup.
All these agendas – power, rapport, sexuality, and expertise – will almost without doubt mix and match in whatever work you do.
You will want to appear powerful but approachable, knowledgeable yet friendly. Hence, you’ll blend styles so as to create the very best effect likely to fit your agenda.