Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Written By Kaisa Kokkonen Published December 27th, 2010

Mark Twain used to say, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” While you may want to think that what you wear doesn’t have much of an influence, the truth is that it certainly can, depending on what type of meeting or event you are attending.

There used to be a time when I went to any meetings in a formal skirt/pants and a jacket and all men wore a suit and tie. That’s just the way that meetings used to be held whether you were in Finland where I started my career, or on Wall Street. But, today, most meetings I have attended have pretty much gone to a standard t-shirt and jeans look. Well, at least sort of. However, it is still important to pay attention to your attire and match it to your audience’s or client’s expectations.

Case in point – if you are a lawyer like I used to be – or are attending a meeting at a law office, I would highly recommend you still want to don the suit and tie. I would not try to get away with jeans in that type of meeting. However, there are some other types of meetings where you can, and probably should forgo a suit and tie.

Step 1: Match Your Dress Code with Your Audience – the RIGHT Audience

Wearing jeans to a law office meeting is not a great idea but you could likely get away with it at any media company. It’s all about knowing and understanding your audience. So how do you know this if you are not exactly socially savvy? Do a little investigative work online before you go, that should do the trick.

Social media sites reveal more about a person than most people would probably want other people knowing! Do a quick search for the people you are meeting with, on Facebook and LinkedIn. Look at those people’s pictures. Concentrate on those photos taken at after-office parties and get-togethers (taken right after people have a typical day of work), they will give you a good idea of how they dress.

You can simply call the office where you will be meeting and sound out the receptionist about the typical dress environment. Just say something like, “I want to make sure I dress appropriately for your office environment when I come there for a meeting. May I ask, do your colleagues wear suits, business casual or jeans?”

Step 2: This is NOT a Place to Take a Risk -Play it Safe

The final tip is that you should keep in mind that it is better to over-dress than it is to under-dress – all diplomates follow this rule for a reason. While your Savile Row three-piece suit may draw a few amused looks at a skyscaper construction site, it will not get you booted. However, a fashionable sexy pair of low cut jeans, a t-shirt and strappy sandals at an accounting firm like Ernst & Young will NOT do much to get you the job or the sale. The WRONG audience.

The old saying goes – “When in Rome…” Interpretation: Try to dress according to what will fit in with where you are going, and dress up a bit if you aren’t sure about the expected attire. The closer you can come to matching the attire of those you are meeting with, the more likely it is that they will feel you are one of them. It is not always a good thing to stand out like a movie star.

T. Harv Eker says:” Image IS everything … and it’s nothing, a classic Zen paradox. Of course people are going to respond to how we look … we don’t need too many primers on that. But we need to look at ourselves as people who are competent in what we do, have value to give, and deserve to be rewarded for it. The money you “deserve” is a choice in life just like anything else. You choose what you receive through what you do. It’s up to you.

T. Harv Eker will be joining the team in Las Vegas for our 7 Steps To Launch Conference on Feb 11, 12 and 13 2011. Look forward to seeing you there.

Roger Due

Investing in Your Destiny® & Coaching Program - Wealth Building Summit Dallas, Texas

My name is Roger Due and I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I am the owner of the Monsano software company. This has been an absolutely fantastic conference. This is the best I have ever been to.