How Your Outfit Affects Your Employees’ Perception of You, According to Science

Photo via @theopalclub_

Photo via @theopalclub_

We’ve all heard the saying “Dress for Success,” but what does that even mean anymore? As more are women rising to the top, the image of a boss in a pantsuit becomes increasingly more abstract. But what are we supposed to replace that pantsuit with? Are business casual, yoga pants, and a blazer-with-distressed-denim all created equal?

Well, according to behavioral psychology, all outfits are not created equal. As a boss, research suggests that you should identify what your objective is and style yourself accordingly.

Objective #1: Be One with The Team

If it is most important for you to be perceived as part of your team, then you will want to style your outfit for similarity, meaning you should dress like your employees do. This objective is recommended for days where you’re working alongside your employees to achieve a common goal or for team bonding activities. Think volunteer event, inventory stockroom cleaning day, or a social event after work hours.

Objective #2: Lead the Team

If it is most important for you to be perceived as a leader, you will want to style your outfit for authority, meaning you should dress at least one notch above your employees. This objective is recommended for everyday dressing, and especially important for days when you’re leading big meetings or rolling out a new project to the team. Your outfit should be thoughtfully curated, comfortable, and confidence-inspiring. Not only will you feel more confident, but your employees will subconsciously feel more confident in you as their leader. Don’t completely throw out the objective of similarity and stay in common theme with your employees. Just make sure to put a little extra effort into your outfit to make sure you’re giving out all the Boss Babe vibes.

Your outfit is just one of many ways to assert yourself as a fearless leader. If you’re interested in more leadership tips and tricks, subscribe to our email list to get notified for our upcoming workshops!