"Check Your Back-to-School Clothes - Small Biz Success"Who doesn’t recall that annual excursion to the department or shoe store, searching for the perfect outfit or pair of kicks to start off the school year? And then, on the first day of school, wearing that outfit or shoes put you in the mindset of opening a new chapter in your life. Anything was possible with a new pair of Keds or a brand-spanking-new Le Tigre polo shirt!

When you work from home, you can think that your wardrobe no longer matters. After all, who sees you, sitting behind your keyboard? It might be true that the only person who sees you is your cat and the UPS man, but there are still a number of reasons to upgrade your wardrobe – or at least make sure your shirt is Spaghettio-free:

1. Clothes Make the Man (or Woman). Tom Gunn knows the truth: If you look better, you feel better. It’s kind of like taking the time to set a nice table, even if you’re dining solo. Putting in the effort to wear clean, flattering clothes, even if you’re the only one who will see them, will make you feel better about yourself. And when you feel more confident, you act more confident. That feeling will come across in your emails, your voice, and your decisions.

2. You Never Know… You might think that you won’t run into anyone worth meeting at Starbucks or while out picking up a bag of dog food. But potential contacts, clients, and referrers are everywhere – even behind you in line at Petco. It’s better to be prepared than to be sorry. You’ll be a tad hesitant to approach someone, or respond to their overtures, if you’re dressed in a stained 49rs t-shirt and a pair of too-tight jeans.

3. Put Yourself Out There. If you aren’t on YouTube, you should be! And while you don’t need movie star good looks, you should at least get out of your pajamas before filming a video to put forth for the world to view.

4. There Are Times… Every once in a while, you will need to enter the public eye – at an industry event, a networking get-together, or a trade show. The time to find yourself a few attractive, comfortable outfits is not the day before you get on a plane. There’s an unwritten law that the more desperately you need a new pair of pants, the less likely you are to find them.

This isn’t to say you need to go out and spend thousands on a closetful of clothes. But you can head to a reasonably priced department store and find a few separates that you can deem your new work wardrobe. You’ll feel the impact immediately on your productivity and your self-confidence.