If you choose to vary your business attire depending on the day’s schedule, make sure that you are prepared for the unexpected. Have a change of clothes at the office. And remember that it is always easier to dress down than up. If your client wants to have lunch at the beach, it’s no big deal to take off that coat and tie, However if she decides she would rather go to your private club, you might be scrambling to pull that off in your plaid sport shirt.


It used to be that men’s fashion changed with all the speed of a herd of turtles. Men’s professional attire moved at an even slower pace. Since the arrival of business casual, the pace has quickened. Men are rapidly abandoning the traditional gray flannel suit in favor of more relaxed clothing. Suits and ties aren’t dead yet, but there are other items in the business wardrobe.

Business dress now falls more in the category of situational dressing. What a man wears to work depends on the business he is in and what his clients expect to see.

The popular rule of thumb is to dress for what you will be doing for the day. If the big boss is coming to town, break out the suit and tie. If you are entertaining a client at lunch, a jacket and tie may work well. If you are hitting the links with the client, a polo shirt and khakis are called for. If you don’t plan to see anyone outside the office, wear that open-collar shirt.

If you choose to vary your business attire depending on the day’s schedule, make sure that you are prepared for the unexpected. Have a change of clothes at the office. And remember that it is always easier to dress down than up. If your client wants to have lunch at the beach, it’s no big deal to take off that coat and tie, However if she decides she would rather go to your private club, you might be scrambling to pull that off in your plaid sport shirt.

If you follow the rule of always dressing appropriately for business, you won’t be caught off guard.

Whatever level of dress you choose, keep in mind that quality counts. Invest in colors, styles and fabrics that look like business. Make sure that whatever you are wearing is neat, clean and pressed.

For the just-out-of-college set, it may seem like enough of a stretch to don a long-sleeved shirt and tie. Take the next step, and make sure your shirt is ironed. If you can’t operate the household iron, there is a laundry on every corner willing to help.

When you stare into the closet every morning before work, consider dressing for the job you want, not simply the job you have.

About the author

Lydia Ramsey

Lydia Ramsey

Lydia Ramsey helps people promote themselves and grow their business by showing them how…

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