Starting this week it’s time to make a change in your closet and dress better. This isn’t about wearing dress slacks everywhere, but rather about being deliberate with your choices for the day.
- Shave every work day.
- Dress a bit nicer than the average co-worker.
- Dress like a man, not a boy.
- Throw out old clothes you wear in public.
Whatever your dress code is at work follow it and then dress half a step nicer to stand out just a little. Don’t go overboard; you just need to have neatly pressed shirts and pants of good material. Many good shirts are wrinkle-free. Don't look disheveled at work.
If you are over the age of 25, stop dressing like a teenager or college guy. This means dumping the shirts with the messages which were never clever in the first place, make sure your cargo shorts don’t look like you got them out of a wad when you put them on, and stop wearing sneakers everywhere, all of the time. Get some casual shoes to wear rather than just sneakers. [Show a little style by matching the color of your shirt to your casual shoes; women may make cracks about Geranimals, but that means they noticed. -VD]
Get a trash bag and sort through your closet this week donating anything which is old, threadbare, not nice for what it is, or doesn’t fit anymore. A t-shirt on Saturday is fine, but make sure it’s a good t-shirt (you know there are grades of the things), and not something that you mow the lawn in. You only need a handful of clothes for the gym and dirty work.
Make sure your accessories look good. Invest in an electric shoe polisher and use it occasionally. Check your belt to make sure the leather isn’t cracked. Put on a nice watch and good ring if you have it, but leave off gaudy jewelry.
It’s better to own seven good shirts than 20 old and worn-out shirts. Very few people, even at work will keep track of your clothes, but they will notice if you wear cheap or lousy clothes.
The main point is that whenever you are going to be around the public, make a little effort and wear appropriate, nice clothes. Not only will it give you confidence people will notice even if they don’t say anything.