On my orientation day as a graduate accountant I clearly recall how immaculately dressed the cohort was. Gents opting to wear suits which were freshly pressed and presented, matching cufflinks of course and the odd silk Ferragamo tie. The ladies, wore heels and pencil skirts, with 'mums' slightly oversized blazer that had extremely weathered shoulder pads. Nonetheless everyone looked very, very presentable.
Our HR coordinator would press on about the policies of the company, but it wasn't until our director welcomed us with a clear message. A blazer or suit jacket, must be worn offsite and at any client interaction.
Looking back at that policy, I deeply have an appreciation for it now, and this has stuck with me throughout my career. Here are three reasons why workplaces should adopt this policy.
1. Shows respect to the client
We associate a blazer with work, it is such a key workwear piece. With the shift toward casual dress codes such as dressing for your day, wearing a blazer in this era is telling the world you mean business. Because people really don't wear blazers anymore. When I see someone wearing a blazer, it sends me a message that they really value themselves and take pride in dressing up for work. The same message can be translated, showing up to a client meeting well presented is a form of manners, it shows you care and you're taking this meeting seriously because you take other parts of your life such as dressing up seriously.
2. It's a power play
When you dress well, others notice, especially in your workplace. They might make a comment about how dressed up you are, but it really is a respected trait in the workplace. Furthermore you can really trick people into thinking you are more experienced. If I saw someone well dressed, I immediately associate that person with having a successful life. I have been in meetings with clients and they have thought I am a higher positions and I knew this because I was well presented.
3. Builds your brand image
How would you like to be remembered? Presenting your best self helps to build your brand image. Do you want to be remembered as the well-dressed woman - yes, we all do. Take this a step further and find a style or colour and make it your signature. Make clients remember you and one way to achieve is to find a signature blazer, maybe a navy or red blazer becomes your signature. I would definitely remember a woman in a red blazer - how could you not.
Bottom line, keep a blazer at work so you're never caught off guard and make it your signature. Let's keep the well-dressed woman in play and not fall to the casual dress code standards we are currently experiencing