Dress for Success: Why You Should Pay Attention to What the Boss Wears

Dress for success: why you should pay attention to what the boss wears

why you should pay attention to what the boss wears

In today’s working world, and for any working woman, dressing for the job is important for many reasons. First of all, it’s a reflection of company culture. Not every company may dress super formal, but keying into your company’s culture in the way you dress is a way to show that you’re part of the team. Specifically when it comes to what your boss wears, just remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Yeah, we know how cliché that can sound sometimes, but when it comes to dressing the part, it stands true.

Basically, your boss sets the pace for what the rest of the company should be wearing. Even if she doesn’t realise it (but chances are, she likely does.) When you pay attention to what your boss wears and meet that standard, it shows that you’re mindful of the attire exemplified in your workplace.

When you don’t pay attention to what our boss wears, it can show a few things as well. First, it shows lack of awareness. Of course, everyone is new to a company at some point, but the boss will expect you to figure it out in a short amount of time. So if you want to dress the part, do pay attention to how other colleagues appear at work, but especially your boss.

For a new job, set aside some resources in advance for some good quality pieces after you become familiar with your boss’s expectations. If you’ve been at your job for a while and want to try this, think about what you already have in your wardrobe and what may be missing. Then fill in those missing pieces with those that reflect your boss.

So what should you invest in to dress for success? That all depends on what is acceptable in your office space, and what types of activities you are involved in at your job. It also depends on the type of vibe your company has. For example, if your company is one that upholds fashion, think about the seasons coming up and what colours and textures are most sought after during that time of year.

Maybe fashion isn’t strongly emphasised at your job. You can still dress well while being low key and minimal. Think of wearing high quality pieces that are neutral and aren’t tied down to a specific season or style. The main thing here is to wear pieces that are made well and can go with anything. Even if these articles of clothing cost more, it’s worth it if they are made well because they will last longer.

So what are some of these timeless, quality pieces that can help you dress the part? Think of a nice pair of oxfords with neat laces, or a neutral tweed jacket that can go with multiple outfits and look great every time. High thread counts and multiples stitches are also a good way to tell if a material is well made. Another good rule of thumb? Stick to natural materials like wool, cotton or silk. They stand up better over time, feel better and retain their shape through wear and washings. Check out other ways to tell if your clothes are well made.

Last, think about what your boss wears outside of the office. You’ll see that your boss will be conscientious of what she wears to places like client meetings, sponsored events, dinners, etc. So you’ll want to not only show that you can successfully dress day to day, but also show that you can adapt to any event or circumstance. If you ever tag along to a conference or meeting, be sure to noticeable show that upgrade. It’s a great way to show that when your boss ups the ante, so do you!

Next time you dress, think about how it’s reflecting your boss’s expectations for company culture. If you have any doubts, just ask your colleagues! It’s never an embarrassing question to ask what is preferred or accepted. (We at YCB are never ashamed to ask what the dress code is.) It’s important to know and show that you care. Just remember, it is different from place to place, so take note. And always pair a great outfit with an even better attitude.

Sarah Arrazola

Sarah Arrazola is a communications professional in Miami, Fla. Her passions focus on Latin American issues, fine art and the digital age. In her spare time she enjoys aerial silks and traveling. As a young professional with experience in the PR industry, she's excited to share her thoughts with you on Your Coffee Break. Follow her on Twitter @sarah_arrazola