“Business” Is the First Word in “Business Casual” — Even in the Summer

Summer is here — even if the calendar says we need to wait a couple of weeks.  It’s a tempting time to dress down for work.  That might be a career mistake.

This article gives you some common sense tips on what to wear and what not to wear to work this summer…


I always tell members of my career mentoring site that you can brand yourself as a professional, someone to be taken seriously, by your attire.  My best advice is to look in the mirror on your way out the door and ask yourself a simple question — “Does how I look demonstrate respect for myself and the people I’ll meet today?”  The answer to that question will tell you whether you should keep going or head back to the closet and change.

Think about what’s implied in that question: respect — for yourself and for others. Ill fitting and unpressed clothing, missing buttons, shoes that need shined give off a message of “I don’t care” — about myself and about you.  I usually wear a tie when I’m meeting with clients.  Often I’ll hear, “You didn’t need to dress up, we’re business casual around here.”  My answer is simple.  “I’m meeting somebody important today — you.”  People appreciate that.

I’m old school, so I tend to overdress for work.  I’d rather stand out because I’m overdressed than stand out because I’m underdressed.  I advise members of my career mentoring site to dress one level up from the position they occupy.  This sends a not so subtle message that you aspire to bigger and better things.

While it’s tempting to dress down in the summer, do yourself a favor and take the time to look good at work.  People will notice.  And that’s a positive thing.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to www.BudBilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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