Dressing for Success is a Science.

How you choose to dress has a direct relationship to leadership, leading yourself and others. That’s right, your morning dressing routine has direct influence on how you lead and your success!

Being successful is not a product of what you have or achieve. Richard Branson writes, “So many people get caught up in doing what they think will make them happy but, in my opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.

The primary objective of what you choose to wear is best driven by… what makes you happy! How you dress can directly influence how you feel from the inside out. How you feel from the inside out is immediately projected onto your environment. And so, how do you wish to influence?

Wear what makes you feel the way you want to feel and how you want to influence. Do you want to exude happiness? Wear the bright colors that do that for you! Do you want to feel natural? Wear the material and earthy colors that enhance that natural, earthy, connected feel.

Most days I want to feel connected, grounded — and warm. Wool does that for me. So, even if I wear a suit or a light dress, I’m probably wearing merino wool under-layers. I also love to feel strong and sexy. Hugging, dark blue jeans are one item that accomplishes that feeling.

How you dress is a science. How you dress in the morning can absolutely set your day because you are essentially deciding on a big influencer on how you will feel, and in subtle ways even act throughout the day. Want bold, sassy, sexy, strong, loud, alarming, connected, or warm? Be mindful of how you dress.

Here’s the key: how you dress is to enhance your self-expression. It’s not about looking for approval. It’s not getting it all perfect and even necessarily all matching. Seeking validation is not a leadership quality. Creativity and self-expression is.

How about the time it takes to choose and organizing for the sake of efficiency? My 12-year-old daughter recently came up with a coding system to address just that. Previously, she would fling clothes in this and that direction looking for the perfect match and then run. She came up with numbers on hangers for clothes that were for winter versus summer and for clothes that match. Keep in mind, she’s just becoming very aware of environment. Environment does matter. Current fashion does matter very much so, and she has found a way to be fashionable quickly.

If your main concern is economy of time and decision-making energy, then I think she provides a great example, and I am proud of her innovation. She did after all consider her authentic self in her choices and innovate before coding. Also taking the time to tune in on the particular morning as we grow in leadership awareness is so worth it.

How you choose to dress not only brings out a particular feeling and expression of that feeling on the day, but importantly supports you in practicing that leadership quality. As a leader, people want to hear not only what you have to say but how you say it. Taking your focus off of what people think of you and shifting that focus to what and how you want to express a part of you is learning to trust your own authentic self-expression and feelings — so, so key to being trusted as a leader.

In the morning, take a few moments to feel into how you want to express what’s inside of you to be expressed. Take a moment to tune into how that expression can most positively enhance your day and support the voice you want to have heard for whatever purpose and goal for that day. You are not truly expressing yourself if you are not mindful of how you are putting yourself out in the world as your most authentic self in your authentic power. Use the potential of dress to fully express your self and communicate what you want. Show up in the feeling you want to express to the world.

The world needs more people attuned to what brings out their self-expression. How you show up matters more than words. You truly are working with your greatest potentials when you dress for success. Be attuned to your feelings and what is needed in your day, and boldly express what wants to express itself through you through dress — not so trivial a thing, after all.



Originally published at medium.com