Dress to Impress

wpe18By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

Making the right impression can be summed up in three sentences:

1. Presentation counts.

2. Casual shouldn’t mean slovenly.

3. Dress as you want to be seen: Serious, professional, upward-bound, organized and ready to meet clients.

1. Presentation counts.

a. All clothing choices should be in good taste
b. Choose clothing that is the appropriate fit. Tight fitting is not office appropriate
c. Look pressed and polished.  Wrinkled clothing and scuffed shoes are not appropriate
d. Pay attention on how others present themselves.  Do you look the same or perhaps one step better

2. Business casual shouldn’t mean slovenly

a. Conservative athletic or walking shoes, loafers, clogs, sneakers, boots, flats, dress heels, and leather deck-type shoes
b. If the dress calls for ‘business casual’ ask specifically for the parameters. Many times this does not include jeans or sneakers

3. Dress as you want to be seen: Serious, professional, upward-bound, organized and ready to meet clients, providers and other professionals

a. Use a full-length mirror
b. Hair should be well groomed so you don’t look you just woke up and came to work


Words of Wisdom from the Harvard Business Review:

Three Reasons You Should Wear a Suit

In the tech boom of the 1990s, people began to trade in their suits for business-casual khakis and sweaters; and business attire has continued to get more casual ever since. Dressing appropriately is critical to landing clients, impressing your boss, and making business interactions easier. Here are three reasons to consider going old school and wearing a suit:

  • Ease. There’s no need to agonize over whether you’re dressed up enough. Because a suit is at the top of the dress-code hierarchy, you can wear it worry free.
  • Professionalism. There is no doubt that wearing a suit makes you both look and feel professional. It can be a good way to raise someone’s opinion of you — perhaps even your opinion of yourself.
  • Respect. Wearing a suit shows whomever you’re meeting with that you value the meeting enough to dress up for it.


In addition, table manners are critical when dining with someone in a business setting. You can make or break an important meeting just by the way you order and eat your food. Personally I think many people have deplorable table etiquette – and I don’t think you have to graduate from the Emily Post Institute to be well mannered.   If you would like to receive Frequently Asked Questions on Business Meal Table Protocol, please email me at Marsha@MarshaPetrieSue.com. This includes How to Handle Tricky Foods!!

Bon Appétit, Marsha


Cheers, Marsha

Cell 602 418-1991
Bring Marsha in for your next meeting
Professional Speaker, Executive Coach and Best Selling Author
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