Dress for Success
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Like it or not, what you wear matters in business.
USA Today columnist Rhonda Abrams writes, “What you wear can increase or decrease the chance you’ll land a deal, motivate your employees, even get better terms from a supplier.”
She defines the three levels of dress that are typical in a business setting:
Level Three, Business Formal: For when you have to look your most professional, such as negotiating a big deal, giving a presentation, doing international business. For men, this means a business suit or similar. For women, this means a business suit or coordinating dress or skirt outfit.
Level Two, "Spiffy" Business Casual: This has become the norm for the most important business meetings other than those in major urban centers. For men, a sports coat, no tie, nicely pressed pants; for women, a coordinated skirt or pants outfit.
Level One, Informal Business Casual: For working with casually dressed customers, while traveling, meetings in casual settings such as resorts. Men and women can both choose casual pants -- even nicely pressed jeans or khakis. Women could also wear a casual skirt or dress. But even the most informal business casual doesn't mean shorts, messy jeans, T-shirts, tank tops. That's just casual, not business casual.
Sounds basic, right? But often the rules of dress are not that simple. For example, the location of your meeting should also be taken into consideration.
Where you do business… makes a big difference in your clothing choices. I live in Silicon Valley and if you showed up for a business meeting in a suit and tie, you’d look like an out-of-town insurance salesman. In Washington D.C., on the other hand, you better not wear jeans for an important meeting.
According to Abrams, the basic rule of thumb is to “dress at the same level — or no more than one level up — from your customer, prospect, or important connection.”
Read the full article here to gain some more useful attire tips.