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By Becky Stanton

Smart top, yoga pants and fluffy socks? 

Winter has officially arrived. Our summer dresses are firmly packed away until next year – the slippers and snuggly jumpers are out.

With more businesses operating from home, there is one question most people ask themselves every morning: “Do I really need to wear professional clothes today?”.

Let’s be honest here – how many times have you been working from home with a scheduled video call and been “inappropriately dressed”.  So you’ve quickly changed into a smart top, and kept your trusty out-of-screen yoga pants on. Yes, we’ve all done it!

What you wear changes what you think

 People don’t say “Look Good, Feel Good” for no reason. How you present yourself will impact your working day.

Psychologists have suggested that what we wear has a direct impact on our thoughts, emotions, behaviour, mood, confidence and the way we interact with others. As well as how others perceive us.

Recent studies demonstrated that wearing a formal outfit creates higher abstract thinking, whereas wearing red workout clothes leads to athletes lifting more weights. Wearing a white lab coat increases our mental focus, and the “power tie” is a real thing. Results of studies have shown that if someone was dressed ‘powerfully’, their confidence increased and they felt more in control of the situation.

So what can we do?

Now, I’m not suggesting we all make ties a 2020 trend and start wearing lab coats (unless you want to…). Instead, it’s important to acknowledge and recognise the clothes that personally make you feel a certain way.

We all have a style of clothes, a preferred colour, a shape or an accessory that makes us feel like ‘a million bucks’.  Spend time connecting with the emotions and feelings you have with your clothes to identify your power clothes.  Then choose to be intentional with your clothes choices every day.  Purposefully choose clothes with the mood, attitude and performance you want for that day.

If you’re feeling a little low, wear something brightly coloured as it’s a sure-fire way to boost your energy and mood. 

If you’ve got a big meeting, power dress for how you want to show up! While wearing your power clothes, it will enable you to embody that power you associate with it.

Now, let me be clear here. It doesn’t have to be a ball gown or a structured dress, it truly is about any clothes that make you feel how you WANT to feel when you’re working. Just make sure that you get up, make your bed, wash your face and change into some clothes that make you feel ready for the day.

It doesn’t have to be just clothes, it could be your make-up style, a vibrant lipstick, your favourite accessory, jewellery, perfume, or even (secretly) your underwear! Anything that allows you to embody that unstoppable version of yourself.

Be intentional

So in answer to the question, no, you don’t have to wear professional clothes working from home. Just be mindful of how your clothing choices make you feel as a business-woman.

Ask yourself if the clothes you are wearing are maximising your productivity, energy and confidence. Is that how you want to feel today? If not, choose a piece from your power clothes and have an instant confidence-boost in your day!

Why not set aside an area in your wardrobe where you store all of your power clothes? A work wardrobe doesn’t have to just be for people who leave the house for work every day. Having these items ready to mix and match will save time in the morning and keep power dressing for success easy! 

The good news is what we wear is 100% within our control, so power dressing is achievable and manageable for everyone, every day. And these principles can also be applied to your workspace too.

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