• Karyl Eckerle

Image Impact™: Dress Code Confusion is REAL!

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

Dress code confusion is real. In today's world, we're seeing a shift away from dress code structure and, in some cases, a complete elimination of written dress code rules.

Although rules are relaxing, we still have an innate (and learned) standard of what we expect from each profession, industry, and professional level. The level of dress that we choose, along with our style, is our INSTANT MESSAGE to others.

Are we in line with their expectations or are we creating confusion?

The first thing to remember is that dress code level is much different than style of dress.

Your personal style of dress shows parts of your personality and elicits different reactions from your audience. For instance, if you want to be seen as creative, maybe you wear something flowy and colorful. If you want be known as trustworthy, a conservative blue suit is a better option.

Dress code level is holding strong to your style, but moving up and down dress code levels to suit your audience and your goals at hand.

What is the best technique?

Find your "everyday" dress code level and then plan on being able to shift up one level or down one level depending on the demands of your job and your audience.

When will you shift? If you're presenting to a group or need to be seen as the expert in the room, shift up. Casual Friday's and office parties are typical reasons to shift down.

Here's the caveat: Are you sure that you're that you're choosing the correct dress code level for your position and goals? Remember that just because some dress codes seem loose for interpretation doesn't mean that it's a green light for too casual, or worse yet, lazy and sloppy.

If you're a leader, it pays to dress as a leader. Your employees are looking to you for guidance.

Check out the following infographic for a basic understanding of dress code levels. Find the level that is MOST APPROPRIATE for your position at work and then note what the levels one step above and below look like.

Not sure you're on the right path? Let's talk!


Ready to work with a professional image and personal branding consultant to make a bigger IMPACT with your prospects and clients? Not sure where to start? Reach out to Michigan image consultant and personal branding expert, Karyl Eckerle at karyl@theimageimpactgroup.com to set up your complimentary discovery call.

Are you looking for more tips like this? Check out my book, Your Image Impact: 49 Tips to Find Your V.O.I.C.E. in a Crowded Space.

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