Dress for Success: What Your Work Style Says About You

Posted October 26, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Building Your Brand
We all have our go-to looks for work. But did you ever stop to consider how your daily style influences your professional trajectory?

What about how your outfit affects the perceptions of those around you?

Whether you favor traditional women’s business suits or embrace a more casual workplace look, your clothes speak volume at the office. From warm, bright colors to cool blues and bold patterns, everything you wear to work makes a statement. Let’s explore what your work style says about you, and how you can ensure  you’re dressing for success everyday.


Oranges, reds and yellows are warm colors that excite and energize. People who often wear warm colors are perceived as lively, positive, confident, and motivated.  Interestingly, studies in color psychology show warm colors convey that people are more easily approachable and inspire positivity.

Want to brighten up a Monday morning? A chic red cardigan will do the trick! Warm colors like a poppy red are also associated with leadership, quick thinking and risk-taking, so if you want to be seen as more of a leader, consider adding a bold pop of red to your weekday ensemble.  For an easy-to-style option, try a bright red pencil skirt or a statement-making trench coat.


Cool, calm and collected—blues, purples and greys are no-nonsense and authoritative.  Deep blues and purples lend a feeling of power and confidence and are perceived as trustworthy, responsible and honest. If you want to be taken more seriously at work try infusing  navy blue, steely grey and rich eggplant into your daily style. Consider a deep blue tailored women’s business jacket or a pair of chic herringbone print pants in plum.


There’s nothing quite like a bold print to capture attention. Women who wear prints to work are seen as adventurous, confident risk-takers.  Bold prints can also inspire creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, so don’t be afraid to liven up your work wardrobe with a few printed tops and dresses this season. Have a creative new idea to pitch to the boss? Consider a statement-making print to help you look confident, assertive and ready to take on new challenges. Whether you prefer bold graphic black and white prints or feminine florals, this fall there are lots of options.

The colors and prints you wear to work definitely have an impact on how you are perceived professionally. Whether you want to be taken more seriously as you climb the corporate ladder or are simply looking to liven up your work wardrobe, consider the subtleties of how your outfit can influence those around you.

What does your work style say about you? We want to hear about it in the comments! 

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."