THE BLOG
09/25/2014 10:32 am ET Updated Nov 25, 2014

What Does It Mean to Dress for Success?

We have all heard the familiar saying "dress for success." But what does dressing for success really entail?

In a business setting, your appearance matters. Your image educates others on how you want to be approached. Every time you go out, you reflect an image that tells others how to treat you. They are sizing you up and making an assumption of what you do for a living, your income level and your current level of success in life based solely on your appearance.

Successful people maintain an impeccable image. Why? Because they know that their image is part of their brand. Your image is an outside indicator of who you are as a person. A big part of advancing in life is looking the part. This is especially true as a business owner. A keen sense of style when it comes to your image can lead to greater opportunities and higher levels of success.

Dress for the role you want. Keep your look fresh and up-to-date. Remember, you are the top representative and spokesperson for your brand. Your personal appearance has a great effect on your income opportunities. You have to consistently keep your image fresh to continue to grow your business. Dress for where you want to go, not just where you are. What do people in higher positions wear? Observe, and follow their lead. To upgrade your look might cost a little more than what you usually spend on clothes. However, it's better to pay a little more for the image you really want to project.

To dress for success, start by cleaning out your closet. Edit out everything that is torn, old, misshapen and that doesn't fit. Once you're done, go through all of the remaining items and put together outfits that take your appearance up a notch.

To make your closet more functional, it must be neat and organized.
Get matching hangers, and arrange items by type (pants, skirts, etc.). Organize shoes by color so that you can easily pair them with your outfits. For your jewelry, get nice jewelry holders from a store like Michael's. Keep your jewelry visible instead of tucking it away. You are more likely to accessorize if everything is displayed nicely.

Then, play dress-up for a week. Wear your best looks to business meetings and everywhere you go. Keep a journal of the reactions you get from others. People will take notice when you start dressing your best. New opportunities will also come for you and your business because of your improved appearance. Not only that, but dressing up is a great confidence and self-esteem booster.

When shopping, choose quality over quantity.
Buy the best that you can afford. Also, buying in bulk isn't just for groceries -- you can do this for your wardrobe too. For example, if you find a pair of black pants that fit you really well, don't just buy one pair. Buy a few so that you have a backup. If there is a particular kind of undergarment you love that helps you look really smooth under your clothes, stock up and buy in bulk. When you find any clothing staple that you love, buy more than one. Doing this helps you stay dressed for success.

Whether meeting with clients, doing presentations, or in interviews, always dress to impress. In order to do this, you'll have to prepare in advance. Get your outfits together at least the night before. Have them ironed and ready to go, including shoes and accessories. Wear only your best-fitting outfits -- always try them on ahead of time to make sure you like the way you look in them. You are sending out to the public the same vibe that you are feeling inside, so make sure you're feeling good about yourself so others will pick up on that message as well.

When you look your best, you perform at your best. Make a decision right now to upgrade your image and write an affirmation concerning your new look. Write down what you want people to say about you. Include a description of how you feel when you dress your absolute best. Speak the affirmation to yourself in the mirror every day before leaving the house. Affirming your image upgrade aloud will help you make a change in your heart as well as on the outside.

Beautify yourself and upgrade your personal image.
When you look good, you feel good. To attract your ideal clients, you have to upgrade to their level. Even if you work from a home office, dress to impress at your desk. Get up every day and dress as though you have important business meetings to attend -- even if they are just conference calls you'll be taking at your desk. Take your image beyond your ideal client -- you want to look and feel like you can do business on that level. You will speak and act with more confidence when you do this, and it will shine through in your business interactions.

You'll find it much easier to meet new people, express yourself, present in meetings and even close the deal when you are looking and feeling your best. Do something today to upgrade your look so you can dress for success!