Sunday, March 26, 2017

Dress for Success California Style By Bill Zimmermann

This article is a work in progress. As I have time to work on it, it will expand nicely and with real cred.  Thanks Bill Z.

Throughout your lifetime you may have heard the phrases “dress for success” or “dress for the job you want, not the one you have” Well, science says if you want to be smarter, dress better. And it's not just superficial. Slip on a tailored suit, fine shoes, and perhaps a bespoke shirt, and it will transform you - in New York City maybe, but what about Southern California?

So what's the deal with dressing for success in Southern California? 

The answer is found in the many Meet Up Groups on success I've attended. Recently I attended a Disruptive Thinkers Group where the men who were giving the talk were in suits and ties. But the speaker who was paid to address the group was dressed in a top drawer Tommy Bahama shirt comfortable slacks and high-end casual shoes. No older than 45 years old the speaker's appearance was relaxed beachy and comfortable. His confident was through the roof and he was easy to listen to. If he were a Millennial he might have been in skinny jeans narrow tipped black leather shoes or formal boots, out an untucked shirt and even perhaps a neck piece and funky oversized or tech-watch or even a coordinated outrageous outfit with bandana string bracelets or leather gear. High Top lace up mens fashion boots over skinny jeans and other fashion accessories might be acceptable within the personal business gear preferences of the individual. Thus, what Southern California portends to be, so it is. The same Madison Avenue to tribal (or god forbid hip hop) wear range of appropriate business attire is acceptable here. And I have not even mentioned shorts and ball caps yet. Certainly the look must match the confidence and prowess of the person risking the look but as they say "If the shoe fit's, wear it."  Or if the look works ...wear it. But be warned it could merge with your branding!

Recently, scientists from Columbia University and Cal State Northridge published a study that examines how clothing may affect one's thoughts. The results found wearing formal clothes can free people from concrete thinking while boosting their ability to think more practically.

With that in mind, let’s look at the 10 important reasons to dress for success:

1 – Science Says So.

As already stated, there is science behind the term “dress for success”. A study by Lefkowitz, Blake, and Mouton (1955) proved that business suits portray a form of authority. In an experiment they had someone in a city cross the street against the traffic. When he was dressed in a suit, three-and-a-half times as many people followed him as when he was wearing a work shirt and trousers.

2 – First Impressions count.

There’s an old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” which is technically true, however, product designers create packaging with the mind-set that people do judge, and they’re not wrong. This also applies to how someone dresses. The visual aesthetic we present to others through our appearance and apparel is extremely important. We live in a judgmental world; we are quick to make assumptions and to categorise individuals based on what we see.

3 - Promotes self-respect.

Following on from the last point - If you take the time, effort and pride into dressing sharp, you will undoubtedly radiate an image of self-respect and self-worth. People will see you and think positively of you as it’s clear you respect yourself. Furthermore, a sharply dressed man will radiate a sense of worth. People will see you in your clean, fitted clothing and they will start to think that you are worthy of their time and company.

4 – Boosts self-confidence.

How does dressing for success boost self-confidence? Well, your self-perception has a great impact on how others perceive you. When we feel good on the outside, we are more likely to feel good on the inside, which boosts our attitudes and self-confidence leading us to trying our best which in turns brings results.

5 – It draws the right kind of attention.

There is a term known as "peacocking". It's a practice that involves dressing up in order to get noticed. A sharply dressed young man stands out from the crowd. Dressing sharply is the first step to attracting and keeping wanted attention. A well-dressed man with a good style will look nicely put together.

6 – It’s a step to overall self-improvement.

Putting the effort into what your wear and how you look will have positive effects on your overall lifestyle. As your confidence grows, along with the self-perception you may just open a gateway to some lifestyle changes. People may start treating you differently because they’ll notice something about you has changed. It might inspire you to eat better, work out more, or pursue the kind of job and life you really want.

7 – It will keep you productive.

It’s easy to become comfortable wearing sports trousers and a t-shirt, however, once you are in your comfort zone that is when you’re the laziest. But when you are dressed to impress, you look well, feel good and you’ll be more motivated to get things done and in turn be more productive. If there’s a big day ahead of you then why not dress sharply, you won’t be able to help yourself from getting out and showing off.

8 – It shows your attention to detail.

By putting time and effort into how you’re dressed with matching accessories it can show potential or current employers your attention to detail. How can this be an advantage? If you take pride in how you look then you will also take pride in the work you do. It also demonstrates that you can stand behind your work, which could give you an edge in any job opportunity.

9 – Competitive edge.

Dressing to impress gives you a competitive edge. Not just for finding a job, it can also help you drum up new business or help close on a potential sale. A strong first impression leaves a lasting impression. When you dress well, it shows that you are taking care of yourself, and now, you are ready to take care of your customers.

10 – It’s fun.

Can you remember a time when you got dressed up; it may have been for a costume party or when you were younger dressing like one of your ideals? Do you remember how much fun it was? Well dressing for success can also be fun. Experiment with different styles and colors, see what is comfortable and engage the different types of reactions received. Go with what’s most suited for you and never be afraid to change things up every now and again to ensure excitement.

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