Clothes Make the Man or Woman

Appearance matters, and not just because Mom always said so. When you are face-to-face with a reporter, an audience, or a Member of Congress, you will be judged by your sartorial splendor or lack thereof. Indeed, wardrobe is one of the five Video tools you have at your disposal.

A recent letter to the editor in The Washington Post from a former Capitol Hill staffer got me thinking of this. He bemoaned the fact that he was tossed off the House floor a number of years ago because his top shirt button was unbuttoned. Come on, would it have killed you to show some respect, adhere to the rules, and button up? The fact is the world doesn’t revolve around one individual’s comfort. It’s about showing respect for those you encounter and for the institutions with which you interact.

I’m sometimes asked why I nearly always wear a suit and tie for professional appointments. The inquirers are sometimes rocked back on their heels when I remark (as lightheartedly as possible), “I think you’re worth it.” Sure, I’d be far more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. But again, it’s not about me. It’s about you.

Plus, what if I happen to run into that important client, potential client, public official, or an executive I’ve been dying to meet? If I come across as more professional than the next person, well, I’ll take that advantage every time.

When it comes to wardrobe, how do you decide what image you want to portray?



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