There’s a saying, “Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want,” and that little philosophical nugget is worth a whole stack of self help books about “how to succeed in business.” Why? It’s all because quite frankly, no matter how much times may have changed, the truth is that making a first impression by dressing well still matters, so if you want a great job, you need to look like someone who’s ready to “claim their power.”
Okay, okay, some of us grew up in an era that undervalues and even scorns the idea of dressing well. In this stridently casual, Internet driven era, some of the most successful entrepreneurs on the planet (okay, Mark Zuckerberg) get by, apparently, with a closet full of sweat pants and hoodies–yet look at their net worth! They don’t dress up, so why should you?
Leave the Hoodie Behind
Sure, maybe the Zuckerbergs of the world can get away with it, but if you’re someone who’s looking to rise up in status, the best policy is to look like someone who’s already arrived. If you’re interviewing for a job or presenting a big idea pitch, the folks you’re talking to are doing more than just listening—they’re looking, too.
The way you dress says a lot about who you are, including your taste, your intelligence, and your status level. Putting together a polished look, with a killer suit from a great designer like Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren (I love this brand of menswear), plus several button down shirts and silk ties, and Italian leather shoes, will get you taken seriously—and that’s not a small thing.
Going Killer Casual
The good suit ensemble is what you want to wear for serious presentations.
You should also put together a casual look that says “class.” Choose casual wear that has a sense of understated elegance, even if it’s a combo of jeans, T-shirts and a sweater. Seek out bargains online or in department store sales—the deals are out there, and remember, this is a serious career investment. If you need to spend a little extra, you’ll make it back by landing that job you’ve always wanted.
If this sounds like a lot of work, ask yourself, is your career worth the effort of looking good? The answer is yes, so start shopping!