Millennials are by far one of the most individualistic generations of all time; everything from the names they are given at birth, to the way they choose to express themselves screams individuality.
Where former generations found strength and community in things like sharing a name, a group, or an approach to an interest, Millennials prefer to take the solo road, the road less travelled, and for the most part, Millennials are extremely independent.
As a result of this culture shift, many have a hard time adjusting to business culture. Business is about team culture, communication and process. A defined process allows co workers to work cohesively with one another, and clear communication is the vehicle to success.
But what about fashion? Does fashion play a part in your workplace communication? Can it affect your message?
How Fashion Affects Your Success
If you were to have a discussion with a person you’ve never met, would you speak of inside jokes between yourself and your closest friends? Would you use heavy slang from your own circles? Of course not.
Because the purpose of communication is to express an idea from one person to another. Any gray area you create in the discussion is a door you open, and one you will have to walk through. Adding additional variables to any discussion create more work, and they could even chip away at your integrity, in the perception of the person you’re speaking to.
Why would you make communication more difficult when your time, paycheck, and career are all on the line? Doesn’t make any sense, does it?
Well, the same rules apply to your appearance, and in this case, your professional attire. It’s even tougher for women, because there are so many other factors, and dress options to consider.
When you dress for success, success can look very different from one setting to another. In many cases, ladies uniforms might even be a blessing in disguise, as they take away allow a woman to focus on what’s important, instead of how to please the office gods. Get paid.
Here are some tried and true tips and fashion advice to make sure that you send the right message for the right setting, when it comes workplace fashion. These tips are all-season, evergreen, and typically don’t change in professional environments.
A Little Business Fashion Advice
First off, do not show too much skin. This isn’t a time to turn into Women’s Rights Activist, either. You don’t see men parading around shirtless, you don’t see their underwear, and few show more than their arms, or a bit of neck with an un-buttoned polo or dress shirt (if they’re lucky).
For both sexes shorts are typically frowned upon in a professional environment, whereas a woman can easily get away with high-sleeve shirts, or blouses, a skirt, or a dress.
The trick is to follow the dress code, or stay one step above it.
Wear clothes that fit properly
Another male comparison; “the suit makes the man”, and the same goes for today’s professional woman.
If you’re wearing overly tight clothing, it limits your ability to move, greatly diminishes comfort, and can alter the perception of yourself to others. Wear clothes that fit you well if you’re working for a paycheck, and not to be the centre of attention.
Clothing = communication, and there’s great value in retaining the services of a tailor who knows your body.
Take a minimalist approach to make-up
People wear make-up for a number of different reasons; to feel attractive, for personal appreciation, to get noticed, and any other number of reasons. But few of these reasons are professional reasons, and when it comes to the workplace, less is more.
“Getting noticed” might mean getting singled out, for instance.
In the office, try using tinted moisturizer instead of make-up, don’t apply too much make-up around your eyes, and try and figure out what “day look” is most professional in the culture of your work place.