What Does Your Work Wardrobe Say About You?

The answer to your career personality can be found in your closet


Did you know that what’s in your closet is a reflection of who you are? That’s right – everything you bought on Asos this week or that you’ve stored since you were 16 is saying something about you to your office mates (and all those years of clothing don’t lie). But what exactly? To find out, just throw open those closet doors and match the contents to one of these categories.

If your wardrobe is full of: 

Monograms and logos

Have more CCs in your wardrobe than your email? You’re using designer threads to send a message about yourself and your social standing. Not that that’s a bad thing. According to Jennifer Baumbgarner, clinical psychologist and author of You Are What You Wear, “Designer labels are connected to financial success. And we tend to directly correlate financial success with the characteristics that help achieve prosperity. Due to these subconscious associations, we may give the person we believe to be successful a higher salary or more opportunities.” Just remember: Out-blinging your boss or clients may not be the smartest thing to do. 

Super trendy pieces

You love looking au courant and make it a point to keep up with every fashion fad that comes along. But careful – you could also be giving off the impression that you care more about your clothes than your job, and that your flitting from trend to trend is a sign that you’re fickle-minded. 

Clothes from years ago – which you’re still wearing

Either you aspire to be on the Jerry Springer Show, or you’re completely out of date. Conscious vintage styling aside, someone who dresses like it’s still 1999 gives the impression that he or she is likely to be out of touch with modern-day happenings. Do yourself a favour and go shopping.

Same-same stuff

If you have a closet full of identical items (you know, multiple pairs of jeans in that specific vintagey blue shade, too many plain tees – ALL with V-necks – plus about a million white shirts), you could be living in a style bubble that you’re afraid to pierce. Some psychologists feel that this is a sign of fear of change and commitment, be it at work or in relationships. Perhaps buying something different is the first step to conquering that fear? #anyexcusetoshop 

Ill-fitting togs

Clothing that’s too tight or baggy indicates that that the wearer is unrealistic or lacks confidence. If you want to make a good impression, make sure your ensemble fits well in all the right places - i.e. the opposite of what’s going on here.

Colourful hues and prints

You’re bold, confident and not afraid to speak your mind. But take note of the psychological effects of the colours you’re wearing. “Some studies have shown that yellow represents positivity, and blue, trustworthiness. Red is good when you want to appear assertive, but don’t wear it if you’re firing someone. Green, the colour of empathy, is better,” says image consultant Michelle Sterling of the Global Image Group. 

Monochrome clothing

According to psychologists, people who perpetually wear black and white are usually introverts. They dress to not stand out in their environment because they’re more comfy with just a close inner circle of friends. (Also, speaking from personal experience, everything is just easier to match.)

Not much

Do your colleagues recognise your faded black shirt as your “Tuesday top” or do your brown pants turn up to work as often as you do? It’s time to fatten your wardrobe so you don’t inflict such regular replay on any piece. We know, having fewer options in your wardrobe a la Barack Obama helps save time and reduces unnecessary decision-making, but unless you have his wardrobe of sharp bespoke suits, you’ll end up looking boring and, urgh, predictable.  

For more on fashion, head here. Or check out Meet Singapore’s Most Fashionable Illusion Museum or You Can Now Shop H&M At Tampines.

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