What Not to Wear If You Want to Dress for Success

Positive personal impact is a key to personal and professional success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to create positive personal impact, you need to do three things.  Create and nurture your unique personal brand.  Be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.  Know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.

The other day, I came across a great article on HRGuru.com called “What Professionals Should Never (Ever) Wear."  Here are the items that the authors suggested you should not wear to work.  Some are funny.  Some are downright stupid.  They all are just not good common sense…

• Crocs
• Uggs
• Fanny Packs
• Scrunchies
• Sweatshirts and Sweatpants
• Footless Leggins and Spandex/Yoga Pants
• Leather Pants
• Face Tatoos
• Velour/Juicy Tracksuits
• Message T Shirts
• Too Much Exposed Skin
• Heavy – or no – Makeup
• What You Wore Yesterday
• Sequins
• Flip Flop Sandals
• Excessive Jewelry
• Sports Teams Jerseys
• Hats and Caps
• Long Fingernails
• Messy, Wrinkled or Torn Clothing
• Wallet Chain
• Glitter
• Sunglasses Indoors
• All Over Animal Print
• Short Shorts

You’d think that people would have the common sense to avoid wearing these items at work.  However, I can recall seeing each of these fashion faux pas – with the exception of Mike Tyson face tattoos – in places where I have worked.  One of my professors at the Harvard Business School used to wear a wallet chain.  He looked like a biker in a suit.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people create positive personal impact.  You can create positive personal impact by being impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.  Professionals should dress in a professional manner.  Take a few minutes to look in the mirror as you leave home every day.  Ask yourself, “does what I’m wearing show that I respect myself and the people I’ll meet today?”  If yes, get going and have a great day.  If no, take a few minutes to change.  You’ll be better off. 

That’s my take on appropriate professional attire.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Do you have a presence on facebook? I can’t seem to find What Not to Wear If You Want to Dress for Success | Bud Bilanich on there and I would like to connect with you there. I like your writing style, thanks Blaze Gaines

  2. Blaze:
    My Facebook name is BudBilanich. Would love to have you as a friend.

  3. I find this blog in Aol and I’m very interested in this topic.
    I’m from Ireland and I read many publicity about it. I think idea of article is quite best and impresive to think about this business and future.Best regards from France.

  4. Thanks for your kind words. Bud

  5. Thank you.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.