#1 of 37 Lessons -- Dress Slightly Better Than Your Part

As I said yesterday, I just retired from a 37-year career in risk management. Over those years, I learned thousands of lessons. I attempted to put just 37 of those lessons into one blog post and found the post would get exceptionally long, which would far exceed my stamina and probably yours too. So, here’s what I’m going to do – one a day for 37 days. The lessons will appear in no particular order. They will span a wide range of subjects. I hope you pick up on a few tid bits to improve your life.  Today’s topic: 

Dress slightly better than your part– Look around and you will notice that workplace and public dress is becoming more and more casual every day. If you want to get ahead and garner a bit of favoritism, dress slightly better than your part. The way you dress provides the non-verbal first impression of who you are and first impressions are everything. I’ve experimented with various forms of dress and find being a little better dressed than most can work wonders. 

Once when flying, I needed to get to the front of the security line because I was WAY late for my flight. When I asked the TSA agent nicely if there was a way to get me to the front of the line; his answer was, “only if I take you.” I responded, “would you please take me?” I’m convinced my suit and tie was the deciding factor in his decision to help me. Despite complaints from other travelers, he whisked me to the front of the line, once through security, I barely made my plane as they closed the cabin door behind me.

 When it comes to dressing for work, I suggest a manner of dress that is better than called for, while being careful to not over-do it. Unless you work in the fashion industry, leave the latest bold fashions for outside of your work life. To do so will help you standout without the expense of always chasing changing fashion trends. Pick a look and go with it. It is easier to mix and match looks that are similar as opposed to always trying to standout with bold and current fashions. I have a friend whose dad was a banker, his dad bought five suits at a time — all of them the same. He rotated the suits with different shirts and ties. It was his uniform. 

 Even if you work in, or are going to a place that is super casual (e.g. jeans and hoodies), make sure you present yourself in neat and clean attire. When I dress up (even just a bit), I feel more confident, open and self-assured and that makes me feel better and somehow more productive. Besides opening some doors, you never know who you will meet that can give you the next “leg-up” in your life’s journey.

How are you going to dress?