The faux pas many women make is that they believe their wardrobe is a reflection of who they are. They are attempting to project their distinctiveness and their individuality. Others prefer to wear what is comfortable thinking that this is appropriate since they’ve noticed others in the office also dress this way. And then there are those who want to be known for their style and creativity. They want to stand out from the crowd.
All these women, instead of sending the right message they are signaling to those above that they are not a team player, that they are not ready for promotion.
The mistake is that they don’t view the clothes they wear to work as their corporate uniform.
Don’t lose the point that the real purpose of “the uniform” isn’t for erasing your identity; its purpose reflects the symbolism that “you’re part of the team.” It creates a visual representation of a common goal and a shared purpose.
In the corporate world, the business suit is still viewed as the uniform. This means that, when its leaders are representing the firm, others are not distracted by what they wear but rather the intent is to keep them focused on the message.
Different organizations have different uniforms. Your company may not have the same executive uniform as your best friend’s organization. One company’s formal is another company’s casual. To fit in, you need to look at the star players, those people who have power and influence. See what they are wearing and emulate their dress.
But you might think, “But it’s only clothing! Clothes don’t mean as much as performance.” Can bare legs, snazzy tops or jeans and sneakers really derail a corporate career?
The answer is yes.