We are the entity represented by our business. I recently went to a networking event and was SHOCKED at what some of the professionals were wearing. There was an attorney there that was wearing jeans (and not the really nice, crisp blue jeans, but grungy ones) and a hooded sweatshirt. I started thinking, if I was in an accident, would I call him to represent me? NO!

He might have been thinking, but I am just going networking, I don’t have to dress like I would for a client, but now I am in a position where I have to decide is that him all the time, or just how he wanted to dress that day.

In the past  few decades, the dress code for the business world have relaxed quite a bit, for many professions. Gone is the time where all men in the professional world would wear suits. Now, oftentimes khakis and polos may be acceptable, or even jeans and a t-shirt!

In addition, geography and industry may play a role in what you wear. For example, I live in Florida, where it’s hot, and many professionals can get away with nice khakis and a polo shirt (preferably one embroidered with your logo). In speaking to an associate who frequently visits Hawaii, she shared that almost everyone wears shorts & Hawaiian shirts (I guess that’s where they get the name) and it is fine. I was recently in Texas, and a sports jacket with jeans and boots is acceptable.

What is appropriate for you in your industry in your area? Take a look around, look to your competitors that are being successful!

Your apparel is not the only thing that can impact the 1st impression others have on you. In addition, you may want to check:

  • Is your apparel crisp or does it need ironing? Do you have stains?
  • Does your clothing fit appropriately?
  • When was the last time you had a hair cut or shaved?
  • Are you wearing the appropriate amount of make-up? (too much can be a turn off)
  • What accessories are you wearing? And are they appropriate? (For example, a Tattoo artist may be able to sport tattoos and facial piercings that would be a disadvantage to a realtor. Or pink  hair can be appropriate on the hair stylist, but not the attorney)
  • Also be conscious and aware of smell. If you are coming directly from a factory that has tainted the air around you, freshen back up.

Double check yourself in the morning and before meeting with clients and be sure you are putting your best foot forward!

About Tiffanie Kellog

Tiffanie loves to help people make more money while saving time, so they can hopefully have more fun!

4 responses »

  1. Ken Schiff says:

    Hi Tiffanie, I once went to an Open House and the Realtor who was hosting came to the door in a mid-drift top and shorts! I Never occurred to me she was the agent. And it was not a staged, Jimmy Buffett Margaritiville-themed event–just an average boring Open. Maybe that was her way of adding excitement instead of featuring the home but all it did was show a lack of professionalism. And I don’t think too many visitors would want to engage her to sell their homes, which is half the reason to be out there working on a Sunday.

  2. Adriana Mellas says:

    Hi Tiffanie!! Excellent point! Thank God you are speaking out this issue!!!!
    This post should be MANDATORY to all enterpreneurs!!!! Yes, it is hot in Florida, but people get WAY to the extreme and carried away with the “dress down” concept!!
    If i am doing business with someone and that someone is representing me or connected with me in anyway, I do expect that person to leave a great impression from head to toe!!!!
    Yes to suits and highheels!!! presentation is crucial!!!!

  3. I was told recently that you should dress like your best client. That really went a long way with me. What kind of clients do you want? You choose who you want in front of you by the way you dress. It really makes a difference!! Thank you to the woman who made the comment to me ,.. she made a difference in my business life and I hope this makes a difference in the lives of those who read it!

  4. David Caraker says:

    Being in sales, I would never want to be outdressed. Dressing sharp shows you are professional and care about not only your appearance, but also your clients. For that reason, there is no “casual Friday”.

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