Dress to impress


“Hey, you got a job interview today?”

“You must have an important presentation today.”

“Oooooh, lookin’ sharp!”

By simply adding a sportcoat to my usual button-down shirt and dress pants, I got these reactions from co-workers yesterday.  But why? 

The correct response was #2, a presentation, which I made more important by dressing up a notch.  It was a simple, non-verbal communication act that said “I care about this presentation” when I walked in the room.


Sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s, Silicon Valley business culture went very casual for men – from suits and ties down to polo shirt and khakis, degenerating to Greenday t-shirts and jeans.  You even saw Hawaiian shirts on start-up CEOs, like it was a badge of honor to rebel against The Man and his stuffy dress code.


I’ll never forget the early advice I got from college campus recruiters.  Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.  For men, that can mean adding a simple sportcoat.  For women… well, I gave up on solving the mysteries of women’s clothing a long time ago… but whatever is equivalent to a sportcoat, do that. 


Isn’t it one way to stand out when everyone else is standing around?


Explore posts in the same categories: Communication

5 Comments on “Dress to impress”

  1. Mike Says:

    Clap Clap Clap…So how should I dress if I want YOUR job? 🙂

  2. Jeff G Says:

    Sound Advice!

    So where do parachute pants or Members Only jackets fit in the equation? How about Capazio shoes? What is their message?

  3. davidgoad Says:

    Very funny Jeff G! I suggest you may want to fire your stylist if he or she is suggesting you wear those things 🙂

  4. Solid advice, Mr. G! Now that I am aggressively promoting ‘Brand Me’, I am conscious to always dress at least business casual whenever I’m out & about. I have run into ‘important’ people in the strangest places, and I’m glad that I wasn’t wearing a t-shirt & sandals.

  5. Richie Knight Says:

    Is Jeff G the elder brother?

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