Appearance does matter in business

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Dress to boost your confidence

Everyone knows that when you look good, you feel better: You’re more confident and others treat you with more respect. Your physical presentation should be on par with the quality of your work and the reputation of your business.

Looking your best isn’t about vanity. Instead, it’s about investing in self-improvement. Keeping high standards for your appearance will help you feel happier and more successful.

Send the right message

There’s casual and then there’s very casual. The definition of what constitutes a casual outfit has reached an all-time low. Though it may be quick and easy to throw on the first thing you see, your appearance speaks volumes about you.

If you look like you just rolled out of bed, most people will assume you just did. Regardless of the type of business you’re in, strive to look your best and live up to the expectations of your audience.

Make your appearance a priority

Many executives put their appearance on the back burner because of obligations to work and family. Although your schedule may be packed, make your appearance a priority on the day of a speech.

Before your presentation, schedule some extra time to select an appropriate outfit. To look your best every day, dedicate resources toward long-term investments like clothing purchases, hair maintenance and self-care.

Mirror your audiencec

If you’re presenting to a set of technology clients, a casual pair of trousers and a button-down shirt may be completely appropriate. Likewise, dressing in a more fashionable outfit may help an artistic crowd connect with you and your message.

But for some scenarios, traditional business attire is the best choice. Don’t choose clothes for your own comfort. Instead, dress for the comfort of your client. When in doubt, follow your client’s lead and dress just a notch above that level.

Make the most of your budget

Many professionals feel that they can’t afford to be fashionable, but you can show your personal style without overspending.

Rather than investing in a large wardrobe, choose quality over quantity. Purchase only the items that send the message you want to convey. Classic pieces that fit and flatter your body will help you look your best for any presentation.

Details can amplify an appearance

Carefully selected accessories can make the difference between someone who puts on clothes and a person who gets dressed. For men, a nice watch and a classic pen will add a touch of sophistication to any outfit.

For women, shoes, jewelry and a great handbag can mean the difference between a bland outfit and standing out from the crowd. Invest in the best shoes you can afford. And when choosing jewelry, keep things simple and classic. Remember, a person who is dressed more professionally is treated more professionally.

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