You’ve probably heard the saying “clothes don’t make the man”. It can be true in some cases, but in business, appearances are everything. Sure, wearing a $5k dollar suit won’t guarantee you success, but looking smart and clean does encourage people to take you more seriously. If you want to succeed in your career, here’s how appearance can affect your path and how you can ensure good results with your clothes:

It talks of your professionalism

Business casual entrepreneur walking down hallway
Business casual entrepreneur walking down hallway

Humans are quick to throw judgment and your physical appearance gives people an immediate chance to judge your professionalism. Most careers require some level of cleanliness and smartness, even if you have a casual dress code at the office. When you’re dressing sloppy, it shows that you don’t take your job seriously, even if you’re very dedicated. Dressing better will change how people communicate and how much respect they show.

It affects your client’s perception

If you’re meeting new clients, you have to pay special attention to your appearance. If you’re a young worker, you might need to dress professionally to put older clients at ease and allow them to entrust their business to you. It shows responsibility, tradition and respect—everything older clients love to see. On the other hand, when meeting younger clients, throw in a few trendy pieces that will show you’re in touch with current events. Try to research your client before your meeting and try to match their style and vibe, otherwise, you’ll need to work much harder to impress them.

It talks of your attention to details

Clients and bosses love a worker that’s dedicated and detail-oriented, so never neglect tiny details like jewelry and accessories when getting dressed. Things like your wallet can especially impress in the world of business, so make sure to get something cool and modern like a sturdy carbon fiber wallet that will hold all your cards and even some cash. When you whip this bad boy out to pay for a business lunch or grab your business card, it will attract just the right amount of attention and say that you’re different

It reflects the company image

Well-dressed founder standing in front of team
Well-dressed founder standing in front of team

One of the easiest ways to check out the philosophy of a company is to take a look at employees. Employees that dress trendy give off an impression of an edgy company that’s fast-paced and up-to-date. On the other hand, formally dressed employees radiate experience and steadiness. Grooming standards, as well as employee clothing, greatly affect the image of a business. This is especially important when you’re just looking for a job—do your research and dress to fit in with the company image.

It can get you a promotion

Dressing for the job you want and not the job you need is a conventional saying, but it’s more than true. The way you look can affect your career path and how your business advances—people who look better often earn more money. Your appearance gives hints about your ambition, work style and care about your job, and if you look smart, appropriate, and pleasant, employees and clients will take a greater interest in your business and your colleagues will give your ideas more thought.

What to do to improve your business look?

You don’t need to do much to improve your look—not everyone feels or looks good in branded clothing and suits. However, there are a few easy ways to clean things up.

Firstly, make sure your clothes are clean and smell nice. Clean clothes will not only make everyone around you feel more comfortable, but they will also give you a better sense of confidence.

Secondly, make sure all your clothes get a quick iron to turn your look from scruffy to smart and clean.

Lastly, ensure all your clothes fit. You might think all your clothes fit already, but having them tailored is another thing completely. This little change will give you a polished look and provide you with the ultimate comfort.

Once you have these three things handled, you can consider adding a few statement pieces to your closet and trying something new with more formal clothes.

It might seem unfair that the business world pays so much attention to attire, but clothes are so much more than just a decency cover. They paint a picture of a person, and as someone struggling to succeed in the world of business, you want your picture to look smart, tidy, professional, and attractive.

Have any more tips on how to improve your business appearance to entrepreneur status? Let us know down in the comments.

This article was originally published in GREY Journal.