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Dress for Success

By Ray Terris

You can't judge a book by its cover.
But most people do.

How do you dress for success? We are told that first impressions count the most and maybe that is true. People will judge you by what they see. Does this mean you have to wear a thousand dollar business suit, silk shirts and ties to be successful? No you dress for success by wearing the appropriate outfit.

I have a friend in Edmonton, Dan, who is a good accountant. He also likes to work on his own cars, he is also a good mechanic. One weekend he was working on his car, dressed in coveralls and covered in oil. A client of his stopped by to ask him some questions. You can imagine the clients surprise at seeing his accountant all greasy.

Fortunately they had met before in Dans office and the client knew that this was not his usual attire. In fact Dan dresses well for most occasions. We joked about this for a while, wondering how much business an accountant would get if they met all potential clients dressed in coveralls.

How would you react if you were going for surgery and the surgeon came in wearing coveralls and carrying a welding torch? Hmm, I think my tonsils can stay where they are for a while. People expect accountants and other business people to be well dressed.

Well mechanics and other trades people are in business too. How should they dress for success? I don't think I would feel to comfortable taking my car to a mechanic who wore a high class business suit. Mike Holmes, TVs famous construction handyman, wears a carpenters apron and I think anybody would trust him to work on their house.


Dress for the Occasion

Dress for success by dressing for the occasion. A women's clothing chain in Canada has some good advertising on television where they show a woman in high fashion trying to fit into informal situations, then a woman dressed more casually. The results are really quite funny.

Find out what the occasion is about and dress accordingly. I would not take someone on my boat if they were wearing high heels and a mini skirt, or a guy wearing a business suit and tie. Neither would I wear coveralls to a formal dance.

You do not need to spend a fortune to look good, a simple selection of outfits and shoes for the different occasions in you life.

What is important for most times is that you are clean and tidy. Body cleanliness is a must, nothing creates a worse impression than an unwashed, smelly person.


Your Most Important Accessories

When you dress for success you feel more confident. Self confidence (not arrogance) is impressive to people. Even if you feel a little intimidated by the people and surroundings try not to show it, stand tall and proud. You have as much right to exist as anybody else.

When I was a teenager in England the Queen Mother visited our town. As she walked down the line of young people I noticed that the others were very nervous, after all she was Royalty, I was just so pleased to see her. She responded well to my big smile and stopped to ask my name and returned my smile when I told her that I was happy to meet her. She was a great lady.

Most of the rich or famous people that I have met have been just people. They seemed far happier being treated like a normal person than being placed on a pedestal. I am comfortable around most people and people say that I am comfortable to be with. The way you present yourself and your Communication are all part of dressing for success.

So here are some more things to 'wear' when you dress for success, and they are the most important. A real smile, an open attitude, self confidence and a genuine interest in the other person. These are more impressive than money, fame or whatever bull*** you want to throw out.

Dress for success and you are well on the way to succeeding.

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