If clothes maketh the man, what of the woman?
Well Mark Twain, truth be told the rise of the internet and working from home offices, has many women proudly sporting gym gear at their desks, yet the style experts say when it comes to face-to-face business, dressing for success has actually make you wealthier.
It’s not about looking pretty, it’s actually about boosting self confidence, says Melissa Lewis, personal brand and image consultant from Style Confidante.
“By having a greater presence through your wardrobe it allows you to show the world who you are and matching your credibility with how you present yourself.
“It also means that you’re less likely to be overlooked which can be handy for when you are pitching for a promotion.
“It’s not about looking pretty, the truth is like it or not we live in our visual society.”
From years spent working with business executives and dressing women to achieve greater confidence, presence and style, Lewis firmly believes that over 90 per cent of communication is non-verbal, which makes first impressions crucial in the face-face business world.
“People do make judgements so if you are not developing your personal brand, you’re leaving yourself open to other people branding you in a way that you may not like.
Lewis has five tips to buying clothes and creating the best wardrobe to help you achieve personal success.
1. You have to love the clothes you are in
2. Buy clothes that fit you well, and be open to minor alterations
3. The colour needs to compliment you and suit your personal brand
4. Invest in quality fabrics
5. Invest in garments that complement the existing contents of your wardrobe many times over.
On shopping Lewis suggesting buying garments that actually suit you and the best news, is that they don’t need to be expensive.
“The fit of the garments is crucial. You can buy the most expensive garment but if it doesn’t fit you, it won’t help.
Dressing appropriately is also important, “Avoid having cleavage showing, or wearing skirts that are not too short and a little bit of tailoring goes a long way.
“Colour choice is also really important. Knowing what colour best compliments your face is important as you don’t want clothes that detract from what you are.
“You want to see a great return otherwise it is a waste of your time and money.
“It is about the quality of the fabrics that matters, not the brands, trends or cost. Quality can come from a range of stores including Target or Jacqui E.
“When shopping I often tell people to do the scrunch test. So that means if it crinkles, don’t buy it, because you look weathered by midday.
“The power of wearing great clothes which make you feel confident instantly changes your self-belief.
“If you wear clothes that you don’t feel confident in, then you are less likely to put your hand up and be heard.
“If your presence compliments what you can deliver then that is when you earn the respect.
“It also shows others that you have pride in yourself.
“What we wear matters to the rest of the world but most importantly to yourself.
Among Lewis’ current clients include business leaders from Ernst & Young, American Express, The Law Institute of Victoria, Victorian Chambers of Commerce, Telstra, KPMG, Eventbrite, Nova Radio, Hall and Wilcox, Shinewing Australia and many more.