Still think "dress for success" is just a catchy mantra? A study conducted by Yale University proved that, catchy though the phrase may be, there's also science behind it.
Participants of the study, some dressed in suits and others in sweatpants, partook in mock negotiations. Those in suits "earned" an average profit of $2.1 million; meanwhile, those in sweats brought in only $680,000. This proves what many of us may have already suspected to be true: dressing well can impact how confident you're feeling, the way your coworkers see you, and how well you're able to analyze the big picture.
Building the perfect confidence-boosting work wardrobe doesn't have to be difficult. Below, I’ve outlined a few key outfit staples you can easily and comfortably wear on a daily basis (because the last thing you should be stressing over is what you want to wear on important days at work). Add these items into your workwear rotation and prepare to feel a boost of confidence and credibility. You might just be able to attribute your next promotion to it.
1. The perfect blazer.
The blazer is the classic women in the workplace wardrobe staple. Every woman needs a solid versatile blazer. Whether you prefer a chic black, a gray and black plaid or a brighter stand-out color (I love a good turquoise!), the blazer can take your work attire from entry level to professional and confident. Plus, you can easily transition a fun blazer into a post-work happy hour look!
2. A comfortable pair of mules or loafers.
Let’s face it: while we all love a good empowering high heel, standing on your feet all day (and walking to work on your daily commute) is less than ideal in a pair of pumps. Unless you have developed a super power of high heel tolerance, you’re probably ready to ditch those liabilities for some flats. Mules and/or loafers give you the comfort — as well as the professional look — that can be confidently worn all year round. We recommend a classic black, but navy can also be paired with many outfit choices as well.
3. A favorite black dress.
Just like every woman needs a little black dress for those weekend date nights, she also needs a professional black dress for those busy mornings where you just don’t have the time to search for an outfit. A go-to look that can easily be snagged when you’ve got bigger fish to fry and only want to find one article of clothing for the day. And put the blazer over top of the dress and you’ve got two easy ready-to-go work outfits.
4. A suit.
Maybe your workplace doesn’t require you wear a suit on a daily basis, but purchasing a comfortable and stylish suit is a wardrobe investment worth making for big days with decision makers. Until then, you can make the suit more casual by wearing the pieces separately or wearing a bright cotton shirt underneath the jacket.
5. An everyday work bag.
We all know we feel better about our look when we have the purse to match it. You work hard; you deserve to treat yourself to a long-lasting work bag that is spacious enough to fit all your career necessities and stylish enough to complement your look of the day.
6. A comfortable block heel.
While I recommend wearing flats as often as possible (who doesn’t?!), I also understand that sometimes you just simply can’t. Get yourself a workplace heel you can rock all day without needing a foot massage by the time you get home. A block heel provides the professional look of your standard high heeled shoe, but without the pain that normally comes along with it. And block heels come in a variety of heel heights, which is perfect if you’re just looking for a little something extra.