“Hey, you got a job interview today?”
“You must have an important presentation today.”
“Oooooh, lookin’ sharp!”
By simply adding a sportcoat to my usual button-down shirt and dress pants, I got these reactions from co-workers yesterday. But why?
The correct response was #2, a presentation, which I made more important by dressing up a notch. It was a simple, non-verbal communication act that said “I care about this presentation” when I walked in the room.
Sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s, Silicon Valley business culture went very casual for men – from suits and ties down to polo shirt and khakis, degenerating to Greenday t-shirts and jeans. You even saw Hawaiian shirts on start-up CEOs, like it was a badge of honor to rebel against The Man and his stuffy dress code.
I’ll never forget the early advice I got from college campus recruiters. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. For men, that can mean adding a simple sportcoat. For women… well, I gave up on solving the mysteries of women’s clothing a long time ago… but whatever is equivalent to a sportcoat, do that.
Isn’t it one way to stand out when everyone else is standing around?