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Personal Image & the Dress Code: Why it Matters

In a world of billionaires in blue jeans, is it still important to dress for success?

It might all seem a bit out of date. After all, we've all seen images of corporate CEOs is "business casual" or even blue jeans. and if it's good enough for them, why not you.

Here's a rule of thumb: when your net worth exceeds the combined value of two hundred or so of the wealthiest people you know personally, you probably can relax about what you wear.

In other words, ordinary mortals need to dress right.

But what's it really: to dress for success?

Well, it depends--but it doesn't depend entirely--on the culture and standards of your workplace, or, if you're changing jobs, that of the business or organization you hope will hire you.

Even so, there's more to it than meets the eye, and for every genuine mover and shaker who looks like they fix trucks for a living, there are a dozen examples of well-dressed losers.

It's about You not the Clothes

When you dress for success, you make a powerful statement about who you are and where you're going. Putting together this aspect your professional image is important. Think about it carefully and decide what you need to start doing, stop doing or do differently you put your best foot forward.

There's a famous story about Carol Burnett, the famous comedienne, who could never get into character until she found the right shoes. The way you dress affects the way you feel and the way you conduct yourself. For that reason, it also has a big impact on the way that other's treat you. It's human nature that we tend more to respect those who obviously respect themselves.

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Thanks for this post, and for differentiating that it is about "you" and not the clothes. It is important to balance your career aspirations with your own personal style and personality, otherwise you end up just looking like a "stuffed suit."

Much of the work I do with my clients revolves around personal branding, whether or not we call it that specifically. My personal branding model has a component of "Image" which looks at dress and style in addition to other things. Because it is so important, I've teamed up with a great image consultant to support my clients in that part of our work together. We also do a workshop together on personal branding, combining image with career goals (, which is not only a lot of fun, but brings the "dress" and the "success" together in a unique way.


February 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Still

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