Well, I am absolutely, 100%, categorically not qualified to write a post on how to dress for success. But I figured I could write a post on how to dress for FAILURE. Please understand that my younger brother got the gene to know how to dress for success. I got the gene that makes me socially backwards.
One thing I should note, the more offensive things (like #1) are not expensive to fix. I realize if you don’t have the cash to dress appropriately, you are stuck between a rock and a hard spot, and even Will Smith in Pursuit of Happiness pulled of an interview in horrible attire. But please, don’t break my #1 rule below 😉
Top 10 Things a Guy Can Do To Dress For Failure
- Wear white socks with your suit pants. This really is the funniest combination I’ve seen, and continue to see. In all age groups. I’m not too surprised when I see a 13-year old kid with a suit and white socks… but when I see an adult sport the white socks I wonder if this is the only time they are wearing something other than jeans or shorts in this next five years. My favorite dress socks are either black or dark gray.
- Wear Dickies pants. These are work pants. If you are trying to impress someone, and this is your idea of dressing up, you probably ought to be applying for a position where you need to wear a hard hat. If it’s an office spot, Dickies looks like interesting jeans, and I doubt you’d interview in Jeans (even really nice, overpriced $250/pair jeans).
- Don’t align your GIG-line. This refers to the line that your shirt buttons and pants zipper make. Imagine you take your shirt, and pull it far to the side, so if it were to keep going the line went to your foot, instead of straight down the zipper. The zipper and the buttons should align in one straight line. (thanks to Jonathan David, whom I dined with in Silicon Valley, and his Navy training, to set me straight… it is not a jerk line, it is a gig line… you can see a bunch of results on a google search for gig line)
- Tie your tie so the front, fat part is HIGHER than the back, skinny part. I was taught your tie (the front part) should fall a few fingers below your belt. Not higher than your belt, and not much lower. Definitely NOT higher than your belly button. Bonus, have the front fat part higher than the back skinny part. My seven year old son has to tuck the back part of his tie into his shirt, because the tie is to long for him… but the point is, the back part is supposed to be out-of-sight.
- Wear your pants too high or too low. No waders… I don’t really want to see your socks when you are standing. And, don’t let your pants hang below your hips, like you just got back from the skate park. I’m not interested in seeing your boxers, or tighty whities.
- Wear a short-sleeved shirt with a suit jacket. No problem… until everyone takes their jacket off and you want to, too. It just seems stupid. Maybe I’m wrong on this one… but I’ve been embarrassed when I’ve done it.
- Wear a brown belt with black shoes. Your shoes and belt should somewhat match. Black goes with black, brown with brown, etc.
- Walk into the room with the back of your shirt untucked. I’ve seen this happen when someone has been working, bending over, or just getting out of the car. Before you are “on,” check to see you are tucked in nicely – all the way around.
- Don’t wear a full undershirt. I don’t want to see aspects of your body through your white shirt. I’m not talking about those sleeveless undershirts, I’m talking about a white shirt that looks like a t-shirt. NO LOGOS, or other artwork, either!
- What’s your number 10? (or number 1)?
I’d like to do a Top 10 Things a Woman Can Do To Dress For Failure, but I only got three. What are you Dress for Failure tips (for men or women)?