Style psychology isn’t just “fashion”. Amidst a competitive world, we need to use the tools available to our advantage in all facets of our lives, especially in the workplace. Read on…
Struggling to get dressed for work? Do you enviously look at some women and wonder how they put their outfit together this morning? Or do you love your fashion, but still get overlooked for that promotion?
It’s not just you – even the most loyal fashionista can remain clueless to the subliminal elements of dressing that can have on both external perceptions and confidence levels.
Research shows we’re impacted by colour, shape, composition. A study by psychology expert Professor Karen Pine, showed that women who are depressed or sad are more likely to wear baggy tops, jeans, and a sweatshirt or a jumper, while women who are happy are more likely to wear a favourite dress, jewellery and jeans.
Think about how subtly both of those can translate to a still-on trend and stylish wardrobe.
Conversely, a report published in Qualitative Research In Psychology in 2008 found that merely thinking of certain items from their wardrobe gave individuals a boost in confidence. YSL Le Smoking tuxedo, anyone?
So why does style psychology matter towards career advancement?
In the 2017 Women’s Agenda Ambition Report of more than 2000 women across Australia, almost 40% of survey respondents (39.14%) ticked ‘looking to earn more’ and ‘aiming to get a promotion’ (32.74%) as key career goals over the next 24 months. However, a staggering 51% cited ‘lack of confidence’ as the number one obstacle getting in their way.
Global style mentor Gessica Marmotta agrees that our clothes make a huge difference to what people think about us – without us knowing or in ways we couldn’t even imagine.
“Our wardrobes are accumulated over years and constantly act as a signifier of our inner selves,” she says. “What would seeing an uninspiring line of jackets with zero flair do for a woman’s self-perception day to day? Or the frivolity of doubling your weekend clothes to work, which may undermine our serious endeavours?”
For this reason, Gessica says that it’s important to choose our work clothes carefully, as people will make all sorts of assumptions and decisions about us without proper evidence.
To use style psychology to your advantage in the workplace, Gessica recommends the following:
#1 – Question old beliefs:
Are you willing to expand your self-definition and tolerate a level of discomfort as you shed ‘security-blanket’ items in order to transform? Just because you’ve been wearing the same ‘uniform’ to work for years, doesn’t mean that it works – or that it isn’t time for a shake-up.
#2 – Rethink the role:
Modern lifestyles are no longer about ‘day and night’ dressing, but rather functional outfits that are designed to stand out and blend seamlessly between our many roles. Have a wardrobe that means business and you can seamlessly move between occasions without losing your #girlboss edge.
#3 – Clear the clutter:
For most busy women, a small, streamlined wardrobe with smart and well-matched outfit options is a much better option that on overly cluttered, eclectic cupboard. If you are having a hard time creating your capsule wardrobe, hire a stylist who gets streamlined professional style.
#4 – Tool up:
Think of your closet as a productivity zone that contains pathways to heightened self-performance, rather than a frivolous space. Every outfit you wear is a chance to make a stellar expression.
#5 – Shop less:
Confident dressing is not about buying more, but rather bringing together existing items in stylish and interesting ways, sometimes with the addition of new and special touches for added flair.
Gessica says that young professional women hire her several times a year because they are either bored with their look, seek to shake up their image for work reasons or are ready to level-up in a key aspect of their life.
“Clothes communicate, and I am amazed by what my clients achieve professionally when they have the foundations of a good wardrobe.”
Clothing and style isn’t just about cut and colour, or even following the latest trends. Smart style is all about how to bring things together in impactful and interesting ways.
Want to shop your new work look in under 30 mins and without leaving the couch? Check out Shop You, a great new personalised shopping app. Driven by artificial intelligence to enhance the shopping experience, their AI stylist U personalises recommendations and suggests fashion that suits your style, size, budget and body shape.
Transform your work wardrobe with the following picks:
Blush blazer – C/MEO Collective (via Shop You)
Gessica says: “Rather than opting for the standard black, giving your outfits a boost with a gorgeous blush shade really helps lift the mood and make your work outfit a little more fun! Pink can be elevated to the boardroom with black or red trousers, pencil skirts or over dresses.”