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How to Dress for Success


Read on to learn how to dress for success and portray yourself as the professional you are.

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If you can master the art of dressing for success, you’ll undoubtedly be impacting your business and career positively.

Tips on How to Dress Appropriately

The first step to dressing for success is to dress appropriately. The following tips will help you select the right clothing:

1. Know the Dress Code in Advance

Whatever the event, you should ensure you familiarize yourself with what everyone should wear.


For example, if it’s a new job, ask an employee about the firm’s dress culture. Alternatively, you can pass by the workplace or preview social media photos to see what people wear.


If you’re dressing for an event, often the invitation letter features details of any unique dressing code that’s required. If no such information is available, feel free to enquire from the host.

2. Presentations, Interviews, or Important Meetings Require Formal Dressing

For men, a neutral suit (gray or navy) and a white-collared shirt matched with a plain tie is perfect for formal wear.


A skirt or pantsuit matched with a light-colored blouse is ideal if you’re a lady. A white blouse will also do. If you choose to wear a masculine outfit, your shoes should go with the belt.


Women shouldn’t wear heels exceeding 2.5 inches high. Additionally, the skirt should be nothing shorter than an inch above the knees.

people working on laptop

3. For a Business Casual Look, Your Button-Up Should Pair with a Skirt or Dress Pants

Business casual refers to the day-to-day dress code at your workplace.


Although definitions of business formal and business casual attire vary from one industry and company to another, in most cases, it includes a collared shirt with khaki pants. And for ladies, skirt or dress slacks and a blouse, or a dress reaching the knee.


It’s acceptable to wear shirts and blouses with patterns, or even vests and sweaters. Business casual is more relaxed than formal.

man smiling

4. Let Your Casual Outfits Be Presentable, Clean, And Neat

Dressing for success does not apply to the workplace only. On the contrary, you should do it even when out there attending unofficial events or even just doing errands downtown. You never know when an opportunity is going to strike, and it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.


Blue or dark jeans with a polo, or a fashionable sundress, all well-fitting, are good for a walk in the city. When running your errands, refrain from wearing sweatpants, tattered tee shirts, and baggy shorts.


For a gym session, you can wear athletic attire. Of importance is that the garments are clean, presentable, and of course, well-fitting.

woman walking down street

How to Polish Your Look

You may have the best of outfits to wear for success but don’t know how to add that final touch to make everything perfect. But don’t worry; here is how you bring it all together.

#1 Check That Your Grooming Habits Are Healthy
Besides clothing perfectly, be clean, well-groomed, and tidy. The basic grooming practices, including showering, deodorizing (avoid perfume and cologne with strong smells), teeth brushing, and flossing will ensure you smell nice and fresh.


Also, keep short hair that’s well shaven, and trim your nails, ensuring they’re always clean.


For ladies who like nail painting, use plain polish with a light color. To maintain a fresh breath, use mints instead of chewing gum.

#2 Wear Clean and Wrinkle-Free Clothes
If you leave home in a wrinkled outfit or clothes with faults such as missing buttons or stains, you’re not dressing for success. Iron the clothes and check your shoes for any scuffs as well.


Do you have a four-legged friend? If so, it’s advisable to brush your clothes lightly with a lint brush.

#3 Accessories Will Always Add to Your Personality and Color

Of course, professional environments preferably require neutral colors. However, with accessories such as scarves and ties, you still have the chance to liven up your outfit.


For instance, with your navy suit, you can have an orange tie or pocket square. It’ll add a pop of color.

man in coffee shop on phone

How to Dress for Success on a Budget

You don’t have to be worried about where to start. Make upgrading your wardrobe to dressing for success a gradual process. With the tips below, you’ll finally be there.


-Select Neutral-Colored Attires to Mix and Match

First, you can invest in several collared shirts (around 5–10), while ladies can start with about five dress bottoms. Avoid highly patterned and trendy clothes and instead purchase a simple garment that you can easily mix and match. You likely already have some classic items that will serve.


-Know Where to Shop

Dressing for success requires you to identify the best places to shop for your outfits. It can be a daunting task. Nevertheless, you can easily find high-quality items at thrift stores, discount retail shops, or consignment shops. In fact, there are second-hand shops that sell quality, partly used items at a discount. If you can establish days when stores stock their shelves, make those days your shopping days, get the best attires. In addition, don’t go for quantity but quality.

clothing hanging up

-Know When to Shop for Your Clothes
A little patience can be advantageous. Shopping a few months later towards the end of a season may land you great deals. Some stores even give a discount as high as 50% for their items when making end-of-season sales. Again, let quality guide you because it will always stand the test of time.

-Take Good Care of Your Clothes

You can dress for success on your collection of attires for years if you properly care for your quality garments. Follow the washing, hanging, and folding instructions, to ensure you don’t tamper with the fabric. Machine drying is not recommendable, especially for slacks and dress shirts. For stains, the trick is to clean it with cold water and a mild detergent immediately you identify one. Ink will require you to use alcohol instead of water.

mens clothing


If you can master the art of dressing for success, you’ll undoubtedly be impacting your business and career positively. Thoroughly plan on how you intend to look based on the setting, and act accordingly. Upgrade your wardrobe gradually, dress right for every occasion, and always polish your look. That’s all that dressing for success entails. 

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