work style

Make Your Style Work

work style

FIRST impressions count. In life we are constantly judged by the way we dress by friends, strangers and even our mammies. But in the world of work, what you wear plays an important role in how you are perceived by those around you. In the 1980s, work wear was all about power dressing, but the office has become a much more casual environment. This doesn’t mean the dress code has become extinct; but it does vary dramatically in different companies and sectors. Malwina Koperwas, associate director at Sigmar Recruitment, says that first impressions are hard to reverse. ‘Research shows that the first ten to 40 seconds of meeting someone is the most crucial as people instinctively form an opinion from their first impression.’ At the interview stage your attire can have a significant impact on your chances of getting a job, but Koperwas (pictured) says once in a company the way you dress can demand respect from colleagues. ‘Whilst it’s true there may not be a direct link between the length of your tie and the length of your qualifications on your resumé, attention to your attire can tell a recruiter or interviewer a lot about your interest and dedication to landing a position. The better dressed you are, the more respect and attention you’re automatically going to get.’ Koperwas says the way you dress can help move you up the career ladder. ‘Ultimately receiving a promotion will be dependent on your work and achievements, but your image can play a helping hand. As any good salesperson knows it’s easier to make a sale if you mirror a client in subtle ways, this trick can be applied in how you dress. If you dress like those above you, they’ll subconsciously see you as one of them.’



Stylist and founder of, Julie Cobbe, says getting the basics right is important at any point in your career. ‘Invest in great basics no matter what level you are at in your job. The trick then is to create lots of different looks around core classics.’ Cobbe says that your dress should be in keeping with your workplace, but that you don’t want to blend in. ‘It is important that you fit in to your surroundings but you don’t want to blend in. This is especially true the higher up the ladder you are’ ‘Dress is seen as more formal for top management and so more than ever it is important to put your stamp on your look. This is where attention to detail comes in. I think great shoes, a handbag, belts and quality over quantity really count.’



Stylist and Off the Rails presenter, Sonya Lennon (left) knows the way someone dresses can have a huge influence on a person’s daily life. ‘The old adage is ‘Dress for the job you want not the one you have.’ I think how we dress is often a snapshot of who we are. If our dress is organised, considered, appropriate and attractive, the chances are, we are too.’



The assumption is that men are subject to less scrutiny than women when it comes to their attire, but Lennon says this isn’t always the case. ‘I think it’s often easier for men to hide beneath the security of a suit.


‘However, many look a little lost on dress down Friday, and fading into the crowd does not a captain of industry make. It is easier for women to make mistakes as there is more choice.’


Realising the importance of appropriate dress for interviews, Lennon decided to bring not-for-profit organisation Dress for Success to Ireland, to help disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.



Metro Herald

Posted by Ruth Tobin on 28 November 2017

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