One of the most common complaints by employees in uniform is that it just doesn’t suit them, Wearing your uniform so that it doesn’t wear you is not that hard. Fitting in to a organisation while standing apart is an important consideration if you want to be noticed for the right reasons. It’s also an element of communicating your personal style.
To avoid feeling like you are just another number in the company or have faded into the too-routine conundrum, it’s worth doing some sartorial introspection and self-evaluation.
Start by considering why you are working for that company. What attracted you to them, was it their vision, values, the appearance of the facility or establishment where you work? Or was it the people?
All these factors will come into play when determining how you are going to wear your uniform. Because there is a difference between you wearing a garment authentically, and the garment wearing you so that you really do just disappear into the background.
Get to the root of why you are there, your passion and purpose for your job and the company you work for. Even in uniform, true style is all about revealing yourself and letting your light shine.
This may seem like a tall order or it might seem ridiculous but stay with me. As you go through my five steps don’t feel pressured to tick every single one off your list, try a couple and see what amazing changes it can bring you. Being stylish in uniform doesn’t mean having the most expensive garments.
True style means expressing yourself as a authentic and unique being so that you come across as competent, confident, professional and attractive to your clients, management and peers.
It is after all, about helping you succeed.
1. Be the leader
- It’s not always about what the uniform is like (athough that does help).If you are confident in your personal style awareness, you can wear anything well. Own it. Love it. Live it. More often than not, it’s the unexpected that will get you noticed. Being confident in what you wear shows off your vibrant personality, which is definitely a good thing.
- Be inspired. If you have a colleague who always looks amazing in her uniform, take notice of how she wears it, what makes her look so amazing that has you noticing and take noted for yourself.
2. Fit is everything- make the most of your age and shape
Great style always starts with discovering and then mastering the styles that best suit your shape and age. When you realize what style works for your shape and age, embrace it. Then look at your uniform and identify what you can do to wear it in a way that celebrates your personal style attributes.
Invest in alterations to ensure that you look your best in your uniform. When it comes to alterations, a little goes a long way. Taking in the waist or adjusting the hem can make the world of a difference in making you look more polished and pulled together.
Research has shown that your mood can be seriously affected by what you wear, so if you don’t try to look great in your uniform, that’s only going to affect your whole appearance, and how others perceive you, which isn’t going to help you get ahead.
3. Be a Head of the Rest
- Consider this. Anything around your head, hair, makeup and eyewear, will be noticed first so make them count. These are three things that are worth spending time on to get high-quality results, even if it is for work.
- Cheap eyewear isn’t just sartorially disappointing. It may end up damaging your eyes too. Take your time in selecting frames that are both chic and fits properly with your face shape.
- We all can’t afford a blow out everyday, or is it appropriate for the work you do, sometimes you just need to get it out of the way.
You can however, keep it clean and in good condition, and that means maintaining your colour if you have foils or full tint. There’s nothing more ageing that grey roots.
- Good skin care is paramount. Even the most expert application and the best makeup products cannot conceal bad skin. Your skin is everything. So remember, always remove your makeup at the end of the day and never ever leave the house without sunblock on.
- As for makeup, choose a feature you love to highlight and stick with that as your signature. For days when you’re hectic, do the basic, you’’ll feel better when you see your reflection and your clients will notice too. Even the smallest amount of mascara, brow colour if you need it and colour on the lips can make all the difference, despite the demands of your job telling you you don’t need it. This is about your self esteem and helping you feel great!
4. Watch your Body Language
Complete your new found corporate style with the attitude to match. Walk, sit and gesture with confidence. No outfit or uniform is complete without the confidence and bravado of the woman wearing it. Even the smartest uniform will go to waste if one looks grouchy or acts like a wallflower. So hold your head high ladies, you now have the outer beauty and style to perfectly match your inner essence.
Take these simple tips from TED on how to subtly convey confidence in your posture everyday.
5. Watch your language
In this world of social media, is it any wonder how some people have lost the art of communication and speaking clearly, to the point where I could question whether clients understand you at all sometimes, or vice versa.
The casual insertion of slang and lazy words can often make your conversation jointed, and difficult to follow, meaning your reputation can be tarnished or worse still, lost business purely because you were not clear and understood.
Face to face communication and conversation empowers you to not only establish your credibility and knowledge, but gives you the opportunity to establish rapport with your client and encourage her to like, trust and respect you, important if you are serious about building your personal brand.
Are you a person who uses what I call ‘lazy words’ such as ‘like’ ‘you know’ and ‘okay’ in your conversation? It might be appropriate amongst your friends, but in business, people will judge you on not only how you look but also how you sound. Any inconsistency in these elements can cost you dearly.
If you’re wanting to be perceived as a true professional in a highly competitive industry, minding your language and verbal style of communication can significantly elevate you to the top of the class.
So what must you be mindful of in order to get it right?
- Make sure you pronounce your words clearly. If you are having to recite complex ingredients, learn how to say them properly and explain what they are, in language that your client can understand.
- Open your mouth when you speak and take time to think about what you are saying. Refrain from using common words that can become habit and demonstrate that you can’t find alternative words to express your thoughts.
- Speak kindly to others, give compliments and enunciate your words, don’t cut them short, such as dropping the ‘g’ from words that end in ‘ing’.
Remember, people will give up trying to understand you if it sounds alien. It also makes you sound uneducated and then you run the risk of not being taken seriously.