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Should you blend in or stand out when dressing for business?

I was recently in the audience for a panel show event run by a company that aims to help 16-35 year olds start their own business. At this event, four female entrepreneurs were telling their stories and answering questions. They all had very interesting and inspiring journeys, with lots of tips and advice of how they would recommend a successful self-employed individual go about making their business a success.

One of the questions an audience member posed was about her sister, and some advice she had been given. The advice was that in order to get the role she wanted, she had to dress like the rest of the people already in the business, not wear bright colours, only wear black, brown and navy blue, and to try and match their style in order to blend in and secure the job.

I’m interested to know the thoughts of the Female Entrepreneur Association community.

My view is that people, whether self-employed or otherwise, should always aim to stand out rather than blend in. That’s something I stand by wholeheartedly. If you are going for a job where the rest of the company has a completely different style to your own, then 1) is this somewhere you will actually want to work anyway? And 2) maybe tone it down a little, but don’t lose your own identity for the sake of pleasing others.

Yes first impressions count, but they are also forgotten as soon as you start talking. One of the panellists mentioned avoiding wearing leopard print. My view is that if you want to wear leopard print then go ahead and wear it, then impress them with what you have to say, and the ideas you have to bring.

If you can stand out for the right reasons then that will get you much further than trying to match other people.  

How far would you go to blend in? How much should you stand out? What should you stand out for? Please leave your thoughts below.

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About the author:

Jodie Cook, Birmingham, UK

Company: JC Social Media 

Jodie runs JC Social Media, a specialist social media agency based in Birmingham. They have produced an online Twitter course designed to show companies exactly how to use Twitter to generate sales. Jodie is passionate about fitness and entrepreneurship!

{Clothes: Black dress | Leopard print dress

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