Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Dress Above the Dress Code?

If you were to take a snapshot of a modern office and compare it with one of 50 years ago my guess is there would be, without fail, two big things that you would immediately notice are different between the two. The first is, obviously, computers. The second would be a conspicuous lack of suits, ties or even button up shirts in some offices. The general trend of office dress codes are most definitely on a more casual trend, which is fine until it gets taken a little too far. And if you're wearing shorts and a t-shirt to the office, it's definitely gone too far. Even if your office has a very lax dress code (or none at all), that doesn't give you an excuse to throw on whatever clothes you happen to pull out of the closet. Today I'll tell you why, even today, it's important to look your best at all times

First Impressions Count

Whether it's on the agenda or not, you never know who is going to show up on any given day at the office. It might be a valuable client, the president of the company or maybe even a local politician. No matter who it might be, the first thing that person is going to see when you introduce yourself is how you look. If you only managed to throw on a t-shirt with some wrinkled jeans that morning, how do you think you will come off? Dressing well displays a level of confidence and professionalism to those around you and will give those you meet a more positive impression of who you are and what you stand for. Take a look at the guy below and ask yourself: "Would I want to do business with him?" Didn't think so.
Oversized shirt & pants, exposed undershit.  Yikes. | GQ

Rituals Change Your Mindset

If you've ever been a part of a sports team, you've done warmups. Warmups are important for you to be physically ready to perform, but warmups also affect your mindset. Warmups signal to your brain that it's time to focus, play hard and win. I see taking the time to dress well for work as a warmup for businessmen. When I throw on a tie and suit, I know that it's time for me to be working my hardest, putting on my best for clients and making my way towards that corner office. Believe me, you will start feeling and thinking differently when you dress well to work. A big part of that is feeling confident in how you look, as such you won't worry about it and can focus on your work.

That's more like it | Beckett & Robb

Image Influences Everyone

Whether you are leading a staff, reporting to multiple managers or flying solo; those you work with are going to notice how you look and will adjust their expectations, attitudes and results based on what they see. While most will not be able to exactly pin down what it is about you that makes them expect more (or less) of you, they will subconsciously be sizing you up. After that, they will create expectations of you in their mind based on the references they have of others who look or act like you. So who do you want them to be referencing you to, their stoner college roommate or that dynamite account exec they used to work with?
Navy Blazer and Jeans, perfectly tailored | GQ

Keep in mind that dressing well does not have to mean dressing up. You can look great in jeans and a blazer, a polo and khakis, or a button up and slacks. While I love to suit up, the key to looking great is putting some consideration into what you wear to the office. Make sure your jacket and pants are tailored well, take the time to iron a shirt, whatever it takes. People will notice, and you will too.

Thanks for reading. As always, be dapper.

3 comments:

  1. Great post, I totally agree. You need to dress above if you're gonna make an impression.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I couldn't agree more! I love looking my best.

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