Here’s What Your Work Wardrobe Says About You
Choosing what you want to wear every day to work may seem inconsequential. After all, clothes are just clothes, right?
The truth is your closet is filled with all sorts of aspects of your personality and outlook on life that you may have never suspected before. By taking time to analyze what you’ve picked out to wear (and the clothes you’ve maybe never touched), you can learn a lot about how you view the world and how you approach your work.
And you can even guess how those clothes make the rest of the world views you and the types of work opportunities that may or may not be presenting themselves as a result. Your closet may say more about your work style and personality than any online test could ever reveal.
If you’re looking to boost your professional life, a small change in your closet could be a great way to kickstart a major change in your mind that can lead to even more positive improvements in the future.
Between the color choices and the brand designs, there’s so much you can reveal about the type of person you are and even help to become the type of person you want to be.
Advertisers have known for decades that seeing different colors elicit very specific responses in humans. The same goes for wearing them. Every color makes people feel a certain way when they’re wearing them and when they see them worn on others.
If you want to feel powerful and authoritative, wear black. If you want to feel and look creative and peaceful, wear blue. Need energy or want to broadcast positivity, red or orange are great choices. Feeling cheerful? Yellow is your go-to color. And if you’re feeling wealthy or spiritually fulfilled, purple will help reveal that.
On the other hand, closets that lack color (are overwhelmed by whites and tans and greys) could denote a bit of a self esteem issue from not wanting to be seen by the rest of the world.
Taking a good look at the colors found most often in your closet (especially on the items you particularly love to wear more than others) and the ones you choose to wear on the job will teach you a lot about how you view yourself and your particular approach to your job.
Unworn Clothes With the Tags Still On
At some point, we’re all guilty of buying something seemingly spectacular only to leave it sitting in our closet unworn with the tags still on.
Sometimes, there’s a hope that if you leave on the tag, you may decide to take it back to trade it in for something you will actually wear. But more often than not, those items just sit there begging to get out but resigned to the dark walls of your closet.
If you find there are lots of items like this in your closet, you may be the type of person who knows they want a change in their work or life circumstances, but isn’t yet ready to do what it takes to get there. You have a clear vision of what you want, but haven’t followed through to make it a reality.
If the items still appeal to you, there’s no need to wait for the perfect time or the perfect meeting to throw them on. Simply decide you want to use them and not only will you likely feel different from their style, but you’ll harness a little more follow through in all aspects of your life.
Overworn and Sentimental Clothes
Like having a number of clothes that you don’t wear with the tags off, having too many items that are worn out and need to be replaced combined with items that you haven’t worn for years but remind you of your childhood means it’s time for you to let go of a lot of the past.
Even if that suit was the first suit you ever bought for your first job and it holds a special place in your heart, it may be time to accept that you can now afford many suits and that particularly worn out (or sweat-stained) one should no longer hold a place in your closet.
Not the Right Size
Dressing in clothes that are too large or too small for your body is a sign that you don’t see yourself accurately, and could be a warning signal of some confidence issues that need to be addressed that could be holding you back from achieving your true potential.
Getting your clothes slightly altered and tailored to fit you better could make all the difference in the world. You’ll feel more yourself and immediately gain confidence as you see how flattering well-fitting clothing can be.
That confidence will undoubtedly translate to all aspects of your work life.
Pants vs Dresses
Looking at your work wardrobe and seeing whether or not you wear pants or dresses regularly (or even have enough options of either) may be very telling about how you feel in terms of your freedom to express yourself at work.
Women who tend to wear pants instead of dresses more often can often be highly successful and fascinating women. But there could be an element of their work or personal expectation that feels the need to tone down their body and sexuality in order to be more effective.
There’s not necessarily a right or wrong to this issue, it’s just something that could be meaningful to reflect upon and better understand your personal clothing choices and work situation.
Though some logos are great to sport and can make you feel très chic, you might want to do some self reflection if your closet is filled with them.
People who almost exclusively wear logos and hide behind obvious designer brands could be hiding their true identity.
If you have a hard time picking out a work outfit that doesn’t have a large logo on it, perhaps take some time to self reflect on how comfortable you really feel to be yourself at your job.
If you find yourself wearing the same outfit to work every day of the week (or have a particular line up for every week that you rarely deviate from), you could be a little more anxious about change than the average person.
While different jobs can have certain expectations, unless you’re wearing a predetermined outfit because you have to, there’s usually at least a little room for self expression. Getting stuck too deeply inside a routine can stifle creativity and make you lose some big-picture perspective that your brain needs for problem solving.
Changing up what you wear to work, even adding small flourishes here and there, can make you feel refreshed and give you a new perspective that will inevitably help you become a more productive worker.
Too Casual or Too Dressy
The difference between casual clothes and dressy clothes can make a major difference in how you approach the world. Tailored and fashionable business attire can make you feel powerful and make the rest of the world respond and respect you as such. But wearing those clothes may not make you feel — or look — very friendly, creative, or approachable.
The much more casual outfits denote a person who spends more time in a little more easy-going state of mind. The best approach is to have plenty of the style you typically spend (or want to spend) most of your life in.
But, make sure you balance out your closet with at least something from the opposite end of the dress up or down spectrum that allows you to step a bit out of your comfort zone, which helps you continue to grow as a person.
Appropriate Age Range
It’s especially important in a professional environment to dress appropriately for your age. You don’t need to worry as much about the particulars of what people your age might wear in order to fit in, but think more in terms of the type of person you want others to see you as.
If you want to feel youthful and exuberant, there was ways to do that that feel comfortable and don’t make you look like you’re living in the past.
You can even think of choosing outfits based on certain work-related goals you have like getting a promotion or impressing clients on a job. Doing that will naturally help you choose outfits that are age and career appropriate.
Wearing something that only you know you have on can denote a bit of a secretive personality (obviously). But it can also give you a subconscious confidence boost by knowing that you’ve got on something nobody else may know about.
Not that everyone needs to start shopping at novelty stores in order to get ahead in their work environment, but giving yourself small subtle boosts any way you can — clothing or otherwise — can make a big difference in how you hold yourself and approach your work.
When you want to have more money in your pocket, it may feel counterintuitive to purchase quality clothes since they cost more money from the get-go.
But there’s plenty of evidence that suggests buying nicer clothes can make a major difference in your own self worth, which can translate to having a positive impact in your net worth.
Quality clothes are a better overall investment since you can get much more wear out of them. But they also make you feel more confident through and through. Plus, they are often significantly more comfortable (especially if you get them professionally altered to fit you) than cheaper clothes so you’ll be less distracted by what you’re wearing and more focused on what you’re doing.