In this day and age, appearance matters. How you dress and groom yourself for the work day is a direct reflection of your performance. You may not be flawless like Beyoncé but a brush and iron can go a long way.

Imagine this. You roll out of bed, hop in the car and head to work still in your pajamas. You probably will not produce quality work in this outfit and state of mind. Studies have shown that physically getting ready in the morning puts you in the right state of mind, so stop hitting snooze and fire up your irons. The right outfit and grooming can mean the world of difference between a productive day and a day that three Starbucks can’t seem to fix. When you feel good, you perform great.

Decode the Dress Code

With a quality grooming routine in mind, you still have to physically dress for the part. Business casual is constantly evolving in the work place, and some places have even ditched the suit and tie and gone completely casual. A key tip is to establish the dress code before your first day; better to be overdressed then underdressed.

Work environments that require a suit and tie every day provide little freedom, but the trick is to find that shirt or pair of shoes that make you feel great. Maybe they are extra comfy or make you feel powerful. Just make sure you work them in with the outfit policy in mind. There are loopholes to every dress code.

Many companies have an open dress code giving you the freedom to express yourself, don’t abuse it. Casual Friday does not mean sweatpants. Some days may also be dressier than others. If a client is coming in or you are giving a formal presentation, look your best even if jeans are the standard outfit.

Dress How You Want to Be Perceived

You have heard the phrase “dress for the job you want,” and the cheesy memes that follow, but is this phrase accurate. If you want to be the boss should you actually dress like the boss? It’s circumstantial, but a solid reminder that an employee who dresses like a slob everyday probably will not be top choice for a promotion or raise. However, that doesn’t mean you should wear a tux if you work in construction. Feel out the situation and find your way to the top in an appropriate way; you still need to keep work performance in mind.

If the dress code is not black and white, and Tommy wears suits while Brad wears jeans, then dress how you want to be perceived. If you are more of a “down to business” type of person then make your work apparel match. If you are more easy-going, then find a style that is respectable but represents you. Find the company culture and make adjustments to fit in. Jeans can be dressed up. We perform our best when we feel good but are still comfortable.

If you want to be perceived as a slob then I highly suggest finding a stay-at-home job, because that will not be appropriate almost anywhere.

So before you head to your nine to five here are some key points to remember:

  • Always use the iron
  • Simple jewelry and makeup; save the crazy stuff for the weekend
  • Casual doesn’t mean sloppy
  • Items can be dressed up or down
  • Find your comfort items and make them work
  • Wear clothes that fit

Appearance can build credibility, so make sure yours is top-notch.