Public Relations

Dress for Success: Fashion Tips for Ambitious Young Businessmen

EntrepeneursYou have made your way into a company that offers you plenty of opportunity to advance. Or maybe you are looking to jump ship and want to find such a company. Whether you like it or not, you have to dress for success to get the job you want. It does not matter whether you are a man or a woman, the way you dress will make or break your chances of advancing.

Table of Contents

Men and Women

  • It is better to overdress than under dress. Showing up your first day in a pair of old khakis to work in a conservative suit and tie office is not the way to make the right impression.
  • Dress at least at the level of your manager. Keep an eye on what your boss wears day to day. You want to upgrade your wardrobe to reflect his or her wardrobe level. Basically, if your boss wears a suit, you wear a suit. Your boss wears shirt and slacks, you repeat.
  • Casual does not mean looking like a slob. Most offices allow casual dress at least on occasion. Go for a business casual look, even if your co-workers dress in jeans.
  • Keep hair and nails trimmed and in good shape. Watching the details always makes a good impression.


  • Button-down shirts if appropriate, collared shirts a must. A button-down shirt in blue or white always works. If your office is a bit more casual, a collared knit shirt in a conservative color is appropriate.
  • A suit and tie, if your office calls for it. Otherwise coordinated jacket and slacks. Even in a business casual office, a jacket and slacks marks you as someone who means business.
  • Conservative ties are always the best choice. Save the fun ties for the days when the boss is away or the office has funny tie day.
  • Match your socks to either your slacks or shoes. The idea is to keep the color changes to a minimum top to bottom. Bright-color or off-color socks jar the visual presentation too much.


  • Skirt to just above the knee, slacks or pants suit. Skirts and slacks should be in conservative cuts and colors. Always have a sweater or jacket handy to dress up skirts or slacks.
  • Brighter color tops in a conservative style. Leave trends at home for a night out. Do not go too wild on color or style. Tops should wear well under a sweater or jacket.
  • Simple make-up with a hint of perfume. Overdoing the make-up does not make the right impression with clients or co-workers. Many people find too much perfume off-putting.
  • Flats or low heels. Leave the high heels in the closet for going clubbing. You need to walk with confidence not on top of five-inch tottering heels.
  • Pantyhose if your office requires them. Ask if you have any questions about the policy.

Dressing for success will open up doors to advancement. While it may seem shallow, your appearance makes an impression on the people around you. You either make the right impression or the wrong one. It is your choice.

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Danuta Smoluk is a teacher with over three decades of experience teaching both children and adults. She specializes in teaching the Polish language to English-speakers. She has a master's degree in primary and early childhood education from WSP Słupsk (currently Pomeranian University in Słupsk) and had her degree validated by University of Toronto. Aside from education, she also has an interest in real estate and home improvement. She has planned and supervised many house renovations. She loves interior design, cooking, and gardening.

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