Could the right choice of business attire help you influence people?

Unlocking the hidden benefits from the right workplace attire


Getting the right look and dressing appropriately for your workplace will more often than not take care of itself, especially if it’s in your company policy. Providing you don’t wear anything completely inappropriate or garish, chances are you won’t run into many problems.

However – in business or otherwise – what you wear is one of the biggest factors in how people perceive you. Dressing to impress in the workplace can have several benefits. Consider these tips the next time your work wardrobe begins to look a bit tired:

There’s no single rule

There isn’t necessarily a simple set of requirements to follow in how to dress for business, so have multiple looks in your repertoire. If you are going to a group meeting, the traditional business suit is the more than ideal option. If there’s a particularly casual client that you need to talk with in person, dressing in a similar manner to them can help you build up a rapport.

There is a balance to be struck here. If you want to express authority and influence whilst also subconsciously reinforcing camaraderie in your peers, finding the sweet spot between smart and informal is the key.

Be an individual

If you are meeting with a client or a superior who goes through similar motions with a number of other people, being an individual can really help you stand out. Whether you add a splash of colour to your outfit or have a particularly unique accessory that you can show off, those little flourishes can go a long way towards making sure you’re remembered.

Use your style to influence

The old adage goes that you will be seen before you are heard. Rather than worrying about what people think of your attire, focus on the fact that it can be the first – and one of the most potent – weapons in your arsenal when trying to influence someone upon a first meeting.

If you would like to further your skills of persuasion to sit alongside your new and hopefully improved attire, consider the influencing and negotiating skills course from ICML.

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