Dress for Success

Unless you are working for Google – people at your work will usually wear smart dress if they are customer facing.

This is great news if you hate to dress smart and IT people in particular love to wear their jeans and tee shirts with amusing slogans on.

Here is where you can become unstuck though.

People judge other people based upon their appearance and general grooming. The slob who comes into work looking like he just fell out of bed will never be taken seriously. He probably doesn’t want to in fairness which makes your job of looking smart easier.

You don’t have to rush out and buy a new suit but a shirt and trousers will completely transform the way others perceive you. Add a decent haircut and a shave and hey presto – a completely new image.

I highly recommend you do this if you want get ahead.

Paul Browning

16 Responses to “Dress for Success”

  1. I have noticed that I get different reactions depending on what I am wearing. I am looking for a new job now, and I have been going on interviews. I got a great hair cut last week. I think that it improved my confidence, but it also makes me look more professional. I am getting a better reaction from the people interviewing me.

    • Before I landed my current position, I went on several interviews. I was shocked by people interviewing in jeans! I made sure that I was neat and pressed. I don’t think that I would risk getting dismissed out of hand on a sloppy shirt.

  2. My sister got a promotion and now is in more of a management role. Her boss told her that she should consider getting a suit jacket. It kind of surprised me when she told me that, but after reading this post, I can see how her company needs her to look the part of a manager and not just a co-worker.

  3. It’s very true that people judge other people on appearance. All of us do it, even if we think we don’t. There is a certain “look” that conveys professionalism. Even if you have a great resume, if you don’t appear to be professional, you will not be seen as professional.

    • So true! My co-worker has the best ideas, but always shows up with the absolute worst shirt and tie combos. He looks like an absent minded professor and is only taken seriously via email rather than in person.

  4. I learned that there are little details that make a big difference in appearance. For example, if you carefully iron your clothes or have them professionally pressed, you will look much crisper and polished.

  5. I agree with what you are saying. I think that a suit commands attention and is a great thing to make a first impression. I am trying to get my customers to pay a lot for my services, so I want to look like I am very professional.

  6. No matter what we want to believe, appearance counts! I was listening to a story about how physicians wear white coats. It is a symbol of their profession that is a cue to trust them and look to them for help. If you are wearing a t-shirt and jeans, you are giving the impression of someone who is relaxed and casual. A shirt and tie means business.

  7. I had a co-worker who not only dismissed the need for a neat appearance, but also was lacking in personal hygiene. When layoffs were announced, guess who was first to go?

  8. I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, appearance matters more then it should nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I do think a person’s appearance matters significantly. As Paul stated, you shouldn’t look like you just fell out of bed. As I’m sure everyone knows though, sometimes you are judged solely on your appearance. I find this to be very unfortunate. I think your advice is great, Paul. After all, if you look like you don’t care you will be treated like you don’t care.

  9. Seriously, If you wanna people to treat you right, you gotta dress right. A few years ago I was earning big, really big, but i was below 21, so I went inside a prestigious European car dealer. very well know as you see them all around Germany (shhhh hush if you already know) and would you know it nobody from the staff gave me attention, as i was only wearing shorts, and a t-shirt with a $20 watch. I got so pissed. I went out, bought a Rolex, and some sleeves and leather shoes, I went back there and they did lavish me with attention, just to get back at them i didn’t return their calls despite me promising to buy their car.

  10. I think Dress to impress should be the way to go. You never know who you might bump into. good things happen to people who are prepared. A lot of people go to the mall in slippers and those beat up shorts. a guy sees a hot girl, at the end of the day he wonders how come she completely ignored him despite her mother saying she was handsome.

  11. Believe it or not, i make a lot of heads turn when I shave. People life neat people, they don’t want to get reminded of how dirty they run their own life, and besides being neat can symbolize power. And women do life men with power >=)

  12. In my personal observation people respect you more if you would actually take time to make yourself look good. Its like welcoming opportunities to enter your life by not resisting. I don’t know how it happens but it works.

  13. I’m enjoying reading through these older posts and comments. In my opinion, as has been already implied, it is equally important to know what you are doing & do it well AND to present yourself in a way that makes other people trust you and believe you. Dressing professionally for whatever industry or firm you are with (and there are differences) is part of presenting yourself.

    • I agree Nora. I work in an environment that is fairly informal and casual, but still meeting with senior managers or with senior level visitors requires a bit more formality. I’ve noticed that several of the guys keep a jacket and tie hanging in the closet. If they happen to have an unexpected visitor or get called into an unexpected meeting, they are prepared. Very smart!

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