Guest Blogger: Common Professional Attire Myths
True or False? If you are really good at your job, it doesn’t matter what you wear or how you look.
False. Even if you are very good at what you do, the way you look can hold you back.
More and more, professional men and women are becoming aware that many long held attitudes about business attire don’t make good career sense. The days of wearing jeans and flip flops to an internet start-up job are over! Gentlemen in particular are realizing this, with menswear sales growing at a rapid pace to prove it.
If you’re still holding on to the wrong ideas, let’s look at a few misconceptions and try to set you straight.
“It isn’t a good idea to call attention to myself.”
Your urge to blend in and not stray from the established uniform appearance will ensure you are forgettable. Dressing well shows you’d rather be memorable rather than invisible, that you are ready to move up. You belong in the boardroom and aren’t afraid to show it. Your confidence shows and speaks volumes!
“My company and those around me don’t care if I dress down.”
They also won’t care if you dress up. If you dress without much thought and effort, you’re also missing a powerful opportunity to project your strengths. With a pulled together look, you’ll indicate to others that you are competent in every aspect of your life.
“I don’t need to dress as formally as my boss. He makes more money than me and can afford the best.”
He didn’t get that way by accident! If you don’t look like someone who could be an authority figure, you’ll never be seen as one.
“My boss and coworkers will treat me the same no matter what I wear.”
Yes, what you wear doesn’t totally define you as a person, but it does reflect on you. Choose wisely. Test it for yourself- if you are the dress-down king of the office, see how many compliments you get the next time you show up in a nice suit. Remember- if you don’t care about your appearance, superiors and clients might assume you also don’t care about them.
One last question…during an interview or presentation, it takes about 15 seconds for people to make a judgment about whether or not you’ll do a good job- true or false? False- it only takes 7 seconds! In that instant, your attire and appearance are doing all the talking.
I hope we have convinced you by now. Your wardrobe is a powerful opportunity to communicate to others- what do you want it to say? Once you know this, you can make it happen! The start of the New Year is the perfect opportunity to resolve to look your best!
David Eisele, Sr. is the Founder and CEO of Davelle Clothiers, a designer and custom menswear store located in the Reston Town Center. David is a Certified Master Designer by the Custom Tailors & Designers Association (CTDA), the oldest trade organization in the United States. David designs for his own label, David’s Master Collection, and is the author of the book The Business of Style: The Secret to Investing in Yourself.