Dress for Success: Going from “Unkempt” to “Interview-Ready” in Three Simple Steps

So much of succeeding in business is about “looking the part,” isn’t it?

That’s what makes getting back into the game so difficult if you’ve let your personal appearance fall to the wayside. While the concept of “dressing for success” may seem like a cliché, the fact remains that your personal appearance is paramount to making a good first impression on potential bosses, clients and customers alike.

If you’ve been away from the business world for quite some time or simply feel that it’s time to step up your style, doing so is probably much easier than you might be led to believe. Even if you don’t seem to know the first thing about fashion or style, the following three steps can take you from scruffy to stylish in a jiffy.

Start from the Top-Down

Simply put, you need to get a grip on your grooming habits if you want to make that ever-so-important first impression. After all, do you want those meeting you for the first time to assume you take pride in your look or just rolled out of bed? To ensure that you’re giving off the right vibe, make sure you make the following investments first and foremost…

  • Regular haircuts: even if you prefer a longer style, a maintenance trim from a proper stylish every four-to-six weeks makes all the difference
  • Proper products: men’s hair care boils down to a combination of the right products and styling, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new clays and pomades rather than going “all natural” all the time
  • Start a shaving routine: there’s nothing wrong with rocking a beard or stubble, but at least make sure to trim your cheek and necklines to avoid looking too rugged

Step Up Your Style

Looking like a professional doesn’t necessarily mean spending all of your hard-earned cash on clothes. If you’re in need of new chinos, dress shirts and blazers that’ll make you look like a million bucks, start at discount retailers like Ross and Marshalls that sell name-brands at discount prices. After all, who’s going to know the difference at a glance where you bought your clothes?

Seriously: don’t pay full-price for high-end fashion if you can help it. There’s almost always a cheaper option via secondhand stores or resellers online.

Focus on Your Posture

One of the most overlooked aspects of how you present yourself professionally actually has less to do with the way you dress and more to do with how you literally stand up. Proper posture correlates with confidence; meanwhile, constantly slouching gives the impression that you’re either bored or disinterested which spells bad news for your business relationships.

From daily stretches to light weight-lifting, making a point to work your core for a few minutes a day can make all the difference for both fixing your posture and relieving back potential pain. You can even find time to do ab exercises from the comfort of your desk if you’re strapped for time.

Besides, building a foundation of muscle will likewise trim your waistline and ensure you’re your clothes fit better. Walking and sitting with confidence is a subtle yet significant aspect of making yourself look like a million bucks.

Want to “look the part” in the business world? These three tips can make it happen. By focusing on your personal appearance from your grooming and fashion sense to pinning down your posture, you can achieve the desired look you need to succeed in business.