Dressing Right as a Banker

Image 26.06.2013

K-pop culture is gaining immense popularity.  I witnessed it lately when I was conducting training for a few groups of bankers.  A lot of them dressed like K-Pop stars.  Men with hair covering their foreheads, came to work in their dress shirt and skinny pants.  Some ladies came in short skirts.  They looked really good.  However, there’s a question I would ask,  “Is this image appropriate as a Banker?”

In December 2010, the Union Bank of Switzerland drew up a 43-page code with advice to their retail banking staff to have a polished appearance to impress customers with their professional look.  With this development, it reiterated the importance of image to dress appropriately as bankers or for anyone who is in the financial industry.
I have said it many times in our Image Workshops that your first impression is formed within 4 seconds.  When you dress well, you feel more confident.  If the bankers dress like a K-Pop star, no doubt, they will attract a lot of young people, but some businesspersons may not find them credible.  They look cute and nice but are they portraying business finance based on their dressing?  How can we create that professional “bankers look”?
Is this image appropriate for a person selling financial products?
How would you rate a person selling financial services with this image?
Body shape is always the first topic in our Image workshop.  Even the men were thrilled because they realized that grooming was for them too especially after getting to know their body shape, the right cut & style.  With this knowledge, it will enhance their professionalism and empower them to meet businesspersons.
As for the ladies, most of them wanted to look slim and tall even though the clothes were inappropriate for their profession.  I was once a banker and I had the same misconception about clothing language.  As long as I looked good, even if the clothes were not appropriate to wear to work, I didn’t really care much.  Until I attended my first grooming class conducted by Sheila Wong, I started to be more conscious about my dressing.  We can look good and conduct business professionally.
After we have determined our body shape, wearing the right cut & style can empower our look.  Apart from wearing the right cutting, we must understand dress code.  We recommend bankers to dress right for the occasion.  For example, ladies must have their skirt length up to their knees and wear the right shoes, use pumps.  Simple strategy is that women in the financial industry must not have clothing that is revealing, even for the feet.  As for the men, the tip of the tie should just cover the belt buckle; breast pocket must be empty except a good pen (metallic pen), black leather shoes, black belt and dark coloured pants.  Men’s hair must be away from forehead and ladies hair must be either half up or all up.
“Colours” is another topic that arouses curiosity.  Why? It is because understanding the psychology of colours and how to use the right colours to influence mood will also affect productivity.  We will share more about this in the next article.
I personally feel that every individual must look good and beautiful. However, dressing right for your profession is important.  I am an Image Consultant and I make sure I dress appropriately even when I am not teaching.

You are making your first impression everyday.  It’s not a one-time thing.  Everyday you are meeting people and in order for us to build the trust, we must always look professional and confident.  Always ready for success!

Text: Cherrise Tan, SWET Image Professional