Dressing for Professional Success


By Rita Santamaria

What is considered to be appropriate professional attire in this global melting pot we live in?  We need to remember, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.  That being said, the information below is with the understanding that this article is directed to those who reside in the United States of America.  Therefore, my suggestions on professional dress would be for the office personnel in the United States of America.

Many companies are requesting an informative and direct approach to employee dress.  It has changed considerably over the years as our society has become more and more casual.  Even while attending our churches and synagogues, the dress has taken more of a weekend, relaxed style.

When your job is in sales and you are selling to the public, there are some guidelines that allow you to look professional while not overdressing for the climate or client.  Golf or collared shirts are good choices for men during the day.  Loud prints or overly baggy shirts or pants are not good choices.  Dress slacks that are not made of denim are the best daytime selection for men.  Never wear a cap of any type while involved in your workaday world.  Even if selling country property, leave the cap at home.  If you are selling in the farm and ranch market, then wearing a hat, boots, and denim jeans are always appropriate.

Women should wear dresses, skirts, or slacks with blouses, jackets, or sweaters.  Revealing tops, tank tops, and halter tops are considered inappropriate office attire.  No denim, Bermuda shorts, or Capri pants should be part of a salesperson’s career wear.  When in doubt, always remember to dress better than you would for an athletic event.

Men should never wear the following for work:  tank tops, tee shirts, mesh shirts, warm-up pants, sweat pants, blue jeans, gym shorts, or any athletic wear.

Ladies should never wear the following in the workplace:  tee shirts, halter tops, cut-offs, sweat pants, warm-up suits, blue jeans, tennis wear, shorts of any kind, or low cut tops.

Shoes should always be in good shape and shined.  Never, ever wear flip-flops of any kind during your workday.

Even in our more casual society, there is a customer expectation as to the appropriate attire of their salesperson.  More companies are reverting back to the basics with specifics on what to wear and not wear due to their customers becoming aggravated and the consequent loss of sales due to the poor judgment of the salesperson.

When in doubt, dress up and not down, and you will always be making the correct decision.

_____________________________________________________________________________Rita Santamaria is the owner and CEO of Champions School of Real Estate which was founded in 1983 and is a five time Pinnacle Award Winning School.  The Champions School of Professional Development was founded in 2012 and has grown in a short time to be a leading development venue for individuals and companies.  For more information, visit their websites at www.ChampionsSchool.com or www.TheChampionsProfessional.com.


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