Jeff Zelaya

2 Major Mistakes Made in Dressing for Success w/ Bonus Tips

My mom always told me “Don’t dress for the position that you have, dress for the position that you want.” Her advice has stayed with me and has made me a big believer in dressing for success. Although we teach that we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover the reality is that many of us do. Dressing sloppy, wrinkly or too casual although ok for some jobs, in the business world it could cost you a deal, a relationship or set the wrong first impression.

Depending on your career different dress code expectations are set. For example, a conservative blue suit although normal wear in the banking, accounting and the finance industry it could make you feel out of place at a Creative Type Marketing agency where the company culture is more casual and jeans are the norm. However, although the inter-office culture is laid back don’t take it for granted. I have seen many mis-steps by making wrong assumptions. For example here are two classic “dress for success” mistakes that I’ve seen.

Mistake #1 – Dressing too casually for an interview

Ok. So you’ve done your research and due diligence and you know that the accepted dress code at the job is casual so instead of dressing for success with a nice suit you show up to the interview in jeans and a t-shirt. Ouch! Big mistake. Just because the dress code is casual don’t presume that their interview dress code is casual too. This presumption can give the interviewer a bad impression and make you come across as unprofessional. You won’t go wrong by wearing your business suit. So just do it.

Mistake #2 – Dressing too boring

Just because your dressed in a suit doesn’t mean that you can’t show personality. Although your suit should be a conservative blue, black or grey you can spice it up in the following ways.

Wear French Cuff Shirt – French Cuff shirts are seen as more stylish and elegant.

Wear Cuff LinksCuff links are a requirement for your French Cuff shirt. You dress up the shirt with cuff links that can match your outfit. Word of caution – stay away from novelty cufflinks as they can be seen as too tacky.

Find a Collar Style – There are dozens of collar styles ranging from the traditional pinpoint to the spread collar to the continental collar. Find a style that can complement your face shape and size. Here’s a great site that can show you a sample of different collar types and how they can change your look. Pro-Tips: Make sure to put Collar Stays in your collar. The last thing you want is your collar curling up. I use Aluminum Collar Stays and they work extremely well.

Dressing For Success Collar Styles

Jeff Zelaya

Jeff Zelaya

Head of Sales at Triblio
Thanks for checking out my blog post. I live by the motto: "If you help enough people around you reach their goals, then you too will reach yours". Therefore, I combine my love of helping others & of business to teach individuals & organizations how they can leverage content marketing, LinkedIn & social selling to reach their goals. I live to inspire, engage, educate & entertain. I'm an Entrepreneur , Public Speaker & a Marketing Consultant . Click here to learn more about me or here if you would like to contact me directly.
Jeff Zelaya


Dad, Marketer, Entrepreneur, Sales @Triblio, Host @b2bpodcast // I love #B2Bmarketing #socialselling #demandgen
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Jeff Zelaya
Jeff Zelaya
Jeff Zelaya

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12 thoughts on “2 Major Mistakes Made in Dressing for Success w/ Bonus Tips

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  3. Clare

    Thanks Jeff. looks great for men. Could you find us women some as well please? As a forty something, I am finding this a transition age for work wear as a consultant and would value some advice, not least to know if I might be on the right track too….

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