I’ve always thought that the advice to “dress for success” is boring, generic and not at all helpful.  Who gets dressed for a big meeting or interview with nothing but success on their mind and does their best to look like a messy slob?

Maybe the way you dress is terrible, and maybe you aren’t looking your best — but that’s not the point.  If you honestly believe you’re looking good — that you’re dressed for success — how would you know you look bad if no one tells you?

Let’s face the facts:  It’s just bad advice. 

Now, when you’re at an event that would make “dress for success” appropriate:

  • Job interview
  • Date
  • Conference
  • Big meeting
  • Wedding

There is more than the clothes that you don to consider.  That is your uniform.

And a uniform is a vital piece to your attire, but there is more.

There is also your style and your confidence, and together, those 3 will actually help you “dress for success.”

Style

Your style is a bit more than your clothes.  It is the overarching “theme” of your clothes. 

I’m not a stylist or fashion expert, so I can’t say what is or isn’t considered a “style” – but I know it’s more than your clothes.

Take someone like Mark Zuckerberg:  Jeans, a grey t-shirt and maybe a black hoodie.  That’s his uniform.  His style is something like “minimalist, relaxed executive.”

Uniform

Getting back to your clothes…. You should definitely get clothes that make you look good. 

That’s a given.

What’s not so obvious is that you should have someone pick them out for you.  A stylist, your girlfriend / wife or some stylish friends that can be brutally honest about what looks good on you and what doesn’t.

Eventually, you’ll be able to do this part yourself… but until you know for sure that your making good choices, get help.

Find out what looks good and get a bunch of it.  That’s your uniform.

Confidence

This is the ultimate part of your wardrobe that you need to put on every-single-day. 

Confidence in your look.  Confidence in your abilities.  Confidence in yourself.

If you don’t think it makes a difference, you are so wrong.  Go look at any executive.  Any successful executive, that is.  I’ll bet they are ultra-confident.

Now look at them.  What’s their uniform look like?  Their style?

Let’s put them all together in the real world.

I hate neck ties.  They’re nothing more than a pretty noose in my eyes.  Hard to tie, easy to look bad, get in the way… just a nonsense accessory.

Personally, I’m a bow tie guy.  That’s just my style.

It ties as easy as shoe laces, looks pretty sweet and it puts you in the company of Bill Nye and Dhani Jones.

So when I’m at an event, like a wedding, I bow tie it up.

And every single time, without fail, a someone talks to me about it.

Sometimes it’s a woman (sorry ladies, I’m married) trying to strike up a conversation.  Sometimes it’s another confident guy looking to talk to someone that doesn’t suck.

My uniform, nice looking shirt + pants + jacket, gets people to notice me.  My style, the bow tie & overall relaxed look of it all, gets them to approach me or be open to talk when I approach them.  My confidence gets them to respect me and actually converse with me instead of just waiting for their turn to talk.

If you’re going for that job interview, meeting to raise money for your company, video interviewing freelancers to build your app or asking that girl you like out on a date, you need to really dress for success.  Not just your clothes, not just your style, not just with confidence, but all three.

The total package.

That’s how you should be dressing for success.