Last week I wrote a newsletter article (not subscribed? You can here) about what NOT to wear. I described the rule as “a half level above your audience,” indicating that you need to be dressed better than the norm, but not so much that people will dismiss you as unable to relate.
Today, Dilbert weighs in on the same subject. Apparently Dilbert needs an advisor (as we all do, in so many areas!). But at least the fudge sounds fun!
I’ve seen several cases among clients where folks who dressed too far up were not accepted, and in one case it indirectly led to a dismissal, because a team felt they were being upstaged and the person refused to change their behavior (there were other issues, of course, but dress played into it). That’s not usual, but it does happen.
I can count on one hand where I felt overdressed to the point of self-consciousness. However, there are a myriad of instances where bad info or just plain laziness led me to be more casual than was best. No one will mistake me for a fashionista, but clothing (and posture, but that’s another post) are the first things an audience sees that determines their impression of you. That means it’s important, even critical, to driving impressions and getting a favorable reception.
Dress appropriately for the audience.