Arguments for Dressing-Up at Work

May 3, 2016

I was recently asked to contribute to an article on ReadThink.com written by Sam Mallikarjunan about people that dress-up to go to work even though they don't have to. Since the editor just took a small piece, I thought I'd share the rest of it here. Sam sent over a few questions. Here they are along with my answers.

1. Why do you dress up if the attire is not required?

I dress up because I love to do it, and I am the boss, so I can wear whatever I want. It’s been proven in numerous studies that people that look better get treated better, have more attractive mates, make more money, have more confidence and feel better about themselves. They also get better tables in restaurants, and better service overall from any business.

2. Does it change your perception of yourself? Does it change other's perceptions of you?

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Dressing better gives you more confidence and energy. People will think you make good money, and perception often becomes reality. So, even if you don’t make good money, having an image of being successful will help make it actually happen. Many men, when they dress up will stand taller and talk with a deeper voice and project their voice more. They act strong and in control.

3. Have you ever dressed down? Does it cost you more money?

I dressed down once. I didn’t like it. I missed the special treatment, extra respect, and compliments.

4. Any other thoughts you have on why you should or shouldn't dress up for work!

There are pros and cons for dressing up at work. If your boss is the top boss, then you should not dress better than he or she. If you really like to dress up, then save it for outside the workplace. I have a client that dresses down to go to work, and dresses up to go out.

If you work in a casual workplace, such as the tech industry, you can still standout in your attire. Add a navy blazer to your t-shirt & jeans. Try some stylish patterned socks with some extra color. Wear suede oxford shoes, or put on a vest over your casual shirt.

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