Hero’s Guide: How (and Why) to Dress to Impress

I’m not one of those guys that insists on clinging to the latest fashion trends. But, I do like Shakespeare.

What does a long-dead playwright have to do with fashion? Well, The Bard wrote the words that inspired the phrase “clothes often make the man.”

It can’t be argued that sometimes you need to dress to impress. Especially when it comes to getting and keeping a job. You’ve got to find a way to provide for you and your loved ones. Very often, to find a job that engages you and justifies trading your precious time for money, you have to make a good first impression.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re aiming to restart your career, get a promotion, or clinch a deal. We all encounter various situations (particularly meetings) in business where (right or wrong) our appearance is important. There’s no question that “looking the part” is a vital aspect that can go a long way toward success.

Some may accuse me of stating the obvious here, but I’m always skeptical of the idea that the obvious need never be addressed. I’m frequently surprised at how often the obvious turns out to be not-so-obvious.

That being said, here’s how you can be sure to pass the test and land the deal.

Size Matters

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Guys, let’s face it: most of us don’t usually enjoy dressing up. But in important business engagements, the majority of situations will require you to wear a suit. Most men assume that the more a suit costs, the better it will look. While it’s true you don’t exactly want a cheap and tacky solution, budget restrictions shouldn’t limit your success.

In truth, the far more important aspect is to choose the right size. You don’t need to shell out the big bucks for a bespoke suit, but getting properly measured is something that all men should do before hitting the shops or going online to buy. A suit that fits well will always make a great first impression.

Also, remember to combine your well-fitting duds with an in-style pair of shoes that are in good shape. Surprisingly, studies have shown that footwear is one of the most common things people tend to be judged on.

It’s Not All About Looks

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Pleasing the eyes is one thing, but several other attributes contribute to the overall first impression:

Showing great organizational skills will always work wonders, so don’t go into a meeting with papers flying everywhere. Be sure you have a well-designed business card that isn’t too wordy or graphically busy. And don’t forget to pay attention to the other senses, especially smell. This list of fragrance compliment getters should point you in the right direction for a great cologne that isn’t too obnoxious (subtle scents are the way to go in business situations).

When combined with a winning look, these additional elements can make all the difference.

Taken together, they give the unspoken impression you’re detail-oriented and suggests respect for yourself and others. After all, how can you expect an employer or client to trust you with their business needs if you can’t even take care of yourself?

Accessories Are a Man’s Best Friend

There’s the lingering stereotype that only women need to worry about accessories. The reality is much different, however. There are a number of items that are gaining impact in the world of business.

Again, as shallow as it may seem on the surface, you can use luxury watches to impress clients. Ultimately, it’s less about your own beliefs about material possessions versus the thoughts running through the minds of others.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed, pocket squares have made a comeback (some say they’ve never gone out of style). These days, it seems they’re pretty much essential when wearing a suit.

Dress to Impress Yourself

Dressing well isn’t just for the benefit of others. Doing so also boosts your own confidence, and that goes a very long way to achieving your desired business outcomes.

Of course, looking the part doesn’t guarantee success. Nevertheless, it will give you an instant advantage over those that haven’t taken the necessary fashion precautions. If this isn’t an incentive to work on your wardrobe, I don’t know what is!

Featured Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Author: Anthony Simeone

I'm a writer, speaker, and an advocate for everyday heroism. I have over two decades of experience in the practical application of literature, philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines. The culmination of my work is the Live the Hero program, a life philosophy that promotes personal development combined with service to others. Live the Hero combines the wisdom found in the arts and humanities with the latest discoveries related to research in heroism science and positive psychology. You can learn more at livethehero.com.

2 thoughts

  1. As part of a former job I had, I frequently flew into cities, had a quick meeting then flew back out. Whenever I had time I would run into the restroom and change out of my suit to casual clothing. The way I was treated on the plane when I wore a suit was far better than how I was treated without the suit. It’d be interesting to see a major case study on the issue.


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