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When I was working for the government, I remember a colleague saying that image is everything. People’s opinion of you is based on the image you portray to the outside world. He had a good point. So what about clothes? For example, which ladies’ jacket makes you look career-oriented? Research has been done on this…
Robert Willemsen, presentation trainer and author, regularly researches clothing through the medium of photography. I previously wrote an article about his findings regarding the effect of the pinstripe. Besides this print, he also investigated which type of jacket makes a woman look most career-oriented. For research, he visited several offices to see what the ladies are wearing. This is also what inspired him to pick five different jackets.
Ladies jacket: 5 types
For this study, he showed people several A4 photos. They were told that these were employees of a large economic-legal service provider. The pictures were shuffled and shown in random order. The respondents had to say which employees would move fastest up the career ladder.
More than half of the people surveyed felt that a woman wearing a dark jacket would move fastest up the career ladder. In second place was a woman in a dark red jacket and scarf. A lady in a jacket with a pied de poule pattern(aclassic pattern that resembles checks) was in third place, followed by a green color jacket. In last place was the white jacket with a Chanel-like appearance.
Which ladies’ jacket looks career-oriented?
I am not surprised that people perceive you as being more career-oriented if you wear dark-colored jackets. Dark colors are more likely to be associated with business activities. What I find interesting is the fact that a dark red jacket also scores so well. As I wrote before, this color is quite difficult to pull off in the workplace. It can be very powerful, but it can also come across as aggressive.
Have you ever consciously put on a jacket in a certain color to make you look career-oriented? If yes, what color did you choose?