What Happened to “Dress for Success”?
We have all heard the sayings “dress for the job you want” or “dress for success”. I have to say that these statements irked me because they are clearly focused on dressing for job achievement. Aren’t we more than our jobs? I believe in dressing for success however I have redefined what it means for me and for my clients.
Success means something very different for each of us. For some it is the job but for others it means waking up feeling good. For your friend or parent, it is a well-rounded relationship. It could be all of these things or none of them. But whatever it is, dress is critical to getting what you want, the goals you set out to achieve every day.
What is really interesting is that when I first start mulling over this, I felt that those statements were narrow-minded and antiquated, especially with the onset of technology in every facet of our lives. This blog was headed in a very different direction. And then it hit me.
It isn’t the statements that are narrow-minded, it is us.
We don’t dress for success anymore – our standard uniforms to impress are long gone. Was this brought on by the business casual dress policies, influx of technology or general acceptance of jeans in all situations? I can’t count how many times I have walked into client meetings where the majority of my colleagues (young and old) were in jeans. Or interviewed a denim clad candidate. And if we are really getting personal, my favorite is opening my front door to a forty-something man who arrived in his lucky-first-date-outfit of T-shirt and jeans. Every time I encounter something like this, I die a little inside.
What has happened to us? Have we really gotten that lazy? Do we just not care anymore? Are we feeling so entitled that dressing up is just not necessary? Whatever the reason, it is wrong. When actors try out for a part, they dress for the role. Why? Because they want it — badly.
I don’t know what motivates each of you but here are some reasons why my clients and I dress for success.
- Saturday and Sunday attire of greasy hair and Lululemon isn’t going to help us out of singledom.
- Dressing up will clear away the gloom and doom mood we are in. Looking good makes us feel good.
- Aspire to be the best you can be.
- Compliments on our appearance always make us feel first-rate.
- Dressing up sets us apart.
- Our presentations to clients are more effective dressed in something chic.
- Apparently airlines upgrade us well-dressed customers over sloppy ones.
- Because we damn well feel like it.