People who say that appearance doesn’t matter are, quite frankly, lying. At least when it comes to business.
I’m not saying that what’s on the inside doesn’t matter more – ultimately, it does. But considering the fact that you’ve already been completely assessed and judged in the business world before you’ve even opened your mouth, how you present yourself matters whether you like it or not.
Last year, I had a phone interview with the agency I’m now working for. In this case, a phone interview equated pacing around my dorm room on a cell phone and hoping that none of my residents knocked on the door with an emergency. But my dad gave me a good piece of advice before that interview, and it was this: Dress as though you’re going to see your potential boss in person.
So there I was, 10am on a Friday when I had no classes, in pumps, a dress, and blazer. And honestly, it helped. Professional clothing has a way of pulling you up and demanding that you present the best of yourself. And we’re talking about real professional clothing here, not the skintight pencil skirts that women where on TV. Sexy doesn’t have much of a place in the office if you want to be respected, but classy and lovely always work. Think Audrey, not Marilyn.
My agency is pretty lax on dress code, especially when it comes to the creative department. We’re rarely seen by anyone outside the agency, so jeans and t shirts are totally acceptable. But most days that’s just not how I jive. I find that I work better when I’m dressed nicely, and I’m taken more seriously too.
So you know, dress to impress. Because earning respect starts the minute you walk through the door.