Want to score that new job or put yourself in the running for a high-powered promotion at your current one? Make sure you dress the part.
Mark Salgado, manager at the House of Salgado, a family-run tailoring and fashion house in Toronto, says clothes project a lot about the personality, mood and goals of a person, especially in the workplace.
The biggest mistake Salgado sees is people dressing too casually for job interviews.
“Most people go into interviews too casual — when you walk in and are too casual, the person interviewing you might think that will be your attitude towards work,” Salgado said.
While a casual look might not necessarily broadcast you as incompetent or lazy, it could very well mean that when the time comes to make personal sacrifices to get a job done, you’re not likely to do it. Dressing well is therefore not only about projecting an outward appearance but an inner personality as well.
Most importantly, Salgado says you should treat dressing up for an interview with the same care and attention you’d put into dressing for a date — after all, you’re trying to impress. Dress appropriately for how important the job interview is to you — if done right, you really can’t go too far to look good.
“If you’re going into a job interview for a job you really want, I don’t know how you could be overdressed,” Salgado said.
Once you’ve got the job, don’t let your personal appearance slip. Keeping your dressing habits strong will ensure “You need to stand out, you need to always be in (your employers’) eye. You always want to be well tailored and well presented so that you’ll be that person they want to keep or promote,” Salgado said.
As any fan of shows like Mad Men can attest, dark colours go a long way to upping your ante.
“The darker the colour, the more prominent you are. It’s a power thing — dark colours make you stand out,” Salgado said.
While styles might change, Salgado says the classics are always great choices, like the white shirt, polished shoes and the pinstriped suit. When it comes to ties feel free to show off your creativity but not so much that it overpowers your overall look.
“A tie that reflects some part of your personality is fine but don’t overstate it,” Salgado said.
The ultimate rule of thumb for dressing for the workplace is you want to look “put together” to imply the thought and care that went into your attire will be the same you put into your job.
Nothing kills a look like ill-fitting clothing, so spend some time with a tailor and learn valuable information that will help you when buying clothing off the rack as well.
“If you have suits that don’t fit, make sure they fit. You don’t have to buy a new wardrobe if you get what you have altered first. If you spend 20 minutes with a tailor, the information goes with you,” Salgado said.
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