Is It Time to Ditch the Backpack and Upgrade to a Leather Briefcase?
It depends. If you're a young professional, you may have found yourself seeking help to improve your image. Before landing your dream job, it was okay and perfectly acceptable to rock that backpack with more zipper compartments than Michael Jackson's red leather Beat It jacket. However, now that you've moved out of your momma's house and are no longer sharing your personal space with roommates, it's time to re-think your look and be taken seriously.
What are your priorities now?
I would love to tell you that people don't judge you based on how you look, but it's just not true. If you are on an interview, establishing a new business partnership, or positioning yourself for a promotion in the near future you must evaluate what is the message that I want to portray. What you wear sends a message about you. Think about it. Even at six years old on the first day of kindergarten, you spent all weekend and went to three different stores just to find the perfect backpack for your big day. A lot of thought went into this decision. Should I go with Transformers, Star Wars, a cool pattern, cloth, or vinyl? You wanted that bag to represent you and what you like. Why is it that now that you are all grown up, you don't put that same effort into constructing your personal brand?
A New You – Version 2.0
Bianca Frazier, author of Speaking Success into Existence, provided this memorable quote about professionalism –“Dress how you want to be addressed.” Even if you can get away with dressing more casually, pay attention to how the person who is in the position you want to be in is dressed. I found that when I dressed a step above my peers, I was addressed differently and used this style psychology to differentiate myself from the crowd. When you invest in a few quality pieces for your wardrobe, it makes mixing and matching looks much easier.
Simple Style Tips
One of the first things that you should ditch is that backpack that says, “I just got out of college and I may go back next semester.” Select a leather briefcase or messenger bag that can go with your dress shoes. Ideally, you want your leather shoes, belt, and bag to all be the same color. Try to stay away from wearing light brown shoes with black slacks. I hope these tips help you in your future endeavors.