As an entrepreneur, chances are high that you've got a lot on your plate, and adding to that laundry list with dressing well may seem like yet another time-consuming chore. Yet, as tempting as it can be to slip on a hoodie and sweatpants to work, dressing sharp has been proven to have a real impact on success in addition to simply making you look better.
A study conducted by Yale University placed over 100 participants in mock situations of buying and selling. Those who dressed in suits drove over three times more sales than those who dressed in sweat pants and hoodies, while the neutrally dressed participants amassed a little over twice the amount of sales as the poorly dressed.
On a personal level, dressing well has recently had a positive impact on me. In the past 4 months, I've made it a point to begin dressing nicer to the office, while going out and even alone while writing. Prior to that, you could categorize me as fashion-impaired to put it mildly. While I'll be the the first to say correlation doesn't necessarily equal causation here, since I've begun dressing sharp, my closing rates for sales have increased 1.5 times and my writing output (words written per day) has increased 1.3 times.
Here are a couple other benefits of looking sharp and how to get started no matter how fashion-challenged you might be.
Perception Is Reality
Whether you enjoy fashion or not, the truth is perception is reality when it comes to the way you dress. The way you present yourself to others is a key component of how others will perceive you.
On top of general self confidence and body language, dressing well gives others the immediate indication that you value yourself enough to hold yourself to a high standard. If, day after day, you look like you just rolled out of bed, it's only natural for others to assume you don't hold yourself to a high standard in other parts of life as well.
While this may seem like an obvious one, for many (including myself), you may not believe just how much better you'll feel when you're looking great. You'll stand a bit taller, project your voice a bit more and before you know it, your performance will follow suit.
Confidence is paramount to success in any profession, but is especially critical for entrepreneurs. Without confidence in yourself, it's likely your team and your customers won't have confidence in you either.
1. Take advantage of Pinterest.
Among the countless categories on Pinterest, fashion and style are among some of the most trafficked on the entire platform. For both men and women, Pinterest makes it easy to seamlessly stay up-to-date on the latest fashion trends, get inspiration for future looks, directly purchase items on the platform, and dress sharp on a budget.
Dressing nice doesn't mean you have to wear a blouse or button up shirt every day to work. It just means dressing well in the style that best matches you as a person, so feel free to get creative with the look you want to pursue.
2. Ask your stylish friends for help.
Nothing will make your stylish friends eyes light up faster than you asking them for fashion advice. We all have a friend or two who always dresses like they just stepped out of a photo shoot, so instead of paying a designer, start off by asking for their guidance.
3. Make it easy on yourself.
The biggest hurdle for myself and others I speak to when it comes to fashion is how time-consuming the endeavor can quickly become. To systematize the entire process, I recommend taking 30 minutes on Sunday evening to prepare your wardrobe, day by day, for the week. Additionally, make the selection process easy by having go-to pieces that you can plug and play with different items.
The numbers are in, dressing well doesn't just turn more heads and make you feel more confident, it can actually have a tangible impact on your business. As entrepreneurs, I understand how little time you have to spare, but if you want to take things to the next level, going from a lackluster wardrobe to a dapper one may be the best place to start.