Dress for Success/Business Etiquette Presented By: David Smith, Jr.
Topics of Discussion • Dressing for success • Business Etiquette
Failure to Dress for Success • Letting your family choose your clothing • Letting your favorite sales clerk choose your clothing • Letting your designer choose your clothing • Letting an image consultant choose your clothing • Letting your background choose your clothing
Environment • We are preconditioned by our environment • The clothing we wear is an important part of that environment • It is possible to change your dressing style • People who look successful and well educated receive better treatment
Dress For Success • Not only individuals, but industries, professions, specific jobs, geography and climate dictate a natural clothing range that is easily identified through common and business sense
The Right Clothing will make you look: • Authoritative • Powerful • Rich • Responsible • Reliable • Friendly
We all wear uniforms • Uniforms are clear and distinct signs of class (upper middle/lower middle) • Socioeconomic level of our clothing • People react to our uniforms accordingly • I am more important than you • I am your equal • I am not your equal
Corporate Dress Codes • Most companies have dress codes • Many went casual during the 90’s (business casual) and are starting to return to more formal dressing codes • Clothing styles were too relaxed (Tank Tops, Slippers, etc)
The Suit • The suit is the single most important garment worn by a business professional • Most expensive • Your status, character and abilities are judge based on your suits • Central power garment
The Business Suit • Suits are positive authority symbols, worn by people who make important decisions in our lives • We are much more likely to believe, respect, and listen to the person who wears a suit than the person who does not • In any level of society, suits are associated with authority, with position, and with power
Buying a Suit • Decide on: Color, Pattern, Texture, Weight, Material, and Style • Know your approximate size • Decide how much you are willing to spend • Buying a suit is a serious, thoughtful endeavor
What to look for in a suit • Feel the material and know what it is • Read the label • Look at the stitching behind the collar to see if it is neat, even and reinforced • Examine the lining (interior pockets) • Look at the workmanship of the buttonholes (plastic or bone) • Look at the pattern • Twist the sleeves of the jacket - should spring back into shape (final test)
What material to look for • The best material is wool: does not snag; fits well; does not lose its shape; is resilient; lies better on the body; warmer in winter; outlasts any other fabric • Second-best suit fabric is a polyester andwool blend - general rule is that the more wool the richer looking the material and the better the suit • Avoid any suit made with less than forty-five percent wool
What color to look for • Blue • Gray • Beige • Brown and shades thereof • Black (limited basis)
What pattern to look for • Solid suits (the best) • Rich and soft if they are standard business suits • Two types of stripes are acceptable: a very narrow vertical pinstripe (white or blue stripes) and chalk stripes - wider about 1/8 inch - tricky (Wall Street) • Plaid (mainly summer suits)
Psychological Association: Suits • Solid Navy: upper middle class • Solid Dark Gray: upper middle class, negative with lower middle class • Dark Blue Pinstripe: upper middle class, negative with lower middle class • Dark Gray Pinstripe: upper middle class, negative with lower middle class • Medium Blue Solid: positive with all classes
Psychological Association: Suits • Medium Gray Pinstripe: upper middle class, negative lower middle class • Medium Blue Pinstripe: upper middle class, negative with lower middle class • Light Blue Solid: Positive with both classes • Light Gray Solid: Positive with both classes
Psychological Associations: Suits • Dark Brown Solid: Positive with both classes • Dark Brown Pinstripe: Positive with both classes • Medium Brown Solid: Positive with both classes • Medium Brown Pinstripe: The only pinstripe suit that tests well with all groups in our society
Shirts • Most common and most acceptable material is cotton • Feels good to wear • Soft and smooth • Looks very rich • Breathes • Wrinkles (should dry clean) • Second best- blend of cotton & polyester • White is the most popular color
Business Etiquette • The Corporate Culture • The Job Interview • Business Attire • Complimenting dos and don’ts
Corporate Culture • Success in getting, keeping, and advancing in a job depends 85 percent on “people skills” and only 15percent on technical knowledge and skills • Critical to know the rules of business etiquette • Relationships in the business world has always been based primarily on rank • The old gender rules have been discarded within the corporate culture
The Job Interview • The basics of corporate etiquette begin with the job interview - your overall demeanor may have a critical impact on your future • Dress conservatively • Enter the room, smile, and make eye contact with your interviewer. Then wait until you are asked to be seated. Don’t touch anything on their desk. Thank the interviewer.
Business Attire • Never, ever underestimate the critical importance of attire within the corporate culture • What you wear says a lot about you • You can damage or even destroy your chances of success in business by dressing inappropriately • If your organization has a dress code, observe both the letter and the spirit of the code • If there is no dress code, observe the workplace and and ask your supervisor
Business Attire • Jewelry: shouldn’t be obtrusive, and it shouldn’t jangle. Avoid wearing rings on the right hand. Wear a watch (promptness counts) • Furs: Don’t wear them in the business world • Shoes: Shine them • Briefcases: Keep them polished and clean
Business Appointments and Functions • Take off your topcoat • Give it up or hang it on the back of your chair - don’t carry it around • Keep your suit jacket on in someone else’s office • Don’t scatter things around. Keep files on your lap. Put your briefcase or handbag on the floor, or keep it on your lap.
Two Types of Business Functions • Black tie formal: The correct term for “tuxedo” is “dinner jacket.” Black is always correct for men. White jackets are not. Women don’t have to wear gloves, and never should shake hands in them • Informal, or semi-formal: slightly less dressy than black tie. Men should wear a dark business suit, a white shirt, and a dark silk tie with a quiet pattern. Woman should wear a dressy suit in an evening fabric, or a long skirt and blouse
Introductions • General Rule: People of lesser authority are introduced to persons of greater authority – Ms. CEO , I would like to intro….. A client is introduced first. • Look at and speak to the greater authority first; look at and speak to the lesser authority second • The person who is being introduced, or “presented,” is named last • Include background information
Introductions • Greetings • Upstanding (everyone should stand up when being introduced) • Shaking Hands (firm, not crushing grip) • Comes with eye contact • Is firm but painless • Lasts about three seconds • Takes only two or three “pumps” • Starts and stops crisply • Doesn’t continue through the entire intro.
Introductions • Hugs and Kisses: In general, hugs and kisses are inappropriate in any business environment • Touching others in the workplace is impolite - includes patting on the back, arm around someone, or putting your hand on their shoulder • Don’t address someone verbally by a corporate title
Titles • Titles are vitally important • In the company of others, show your boss respect by addressing him or her formally as “Mr.” or “Ms. Smith.” • “Ms.” is the appropriate address for a woman in business, regardless of what she chooses to call herself in her private life. “Mrs.” and “Miss” imply social, marital, and sexual distinctions that have no place in the business arena
The Workplace • Proper etiquette in the workplace generates efficiency, helps to eliminate distractions, and creates a pleasant environment
Workplace • Your Co-Workers (relationships) • Your Superiors (Respect) • Visitors (you are the host when in your office • Visitor should be greeted out in the reception area • Doors: If you reach a door first, regardless of gender, you should open it, go through it, and hold it to ensure that it doesn’t hit the person following
Workplace • Elevators: If you are nearest the door, you get on the elevator first, then hold the door until everyone else has entered • If you are near the control panel, ask the others what floor they need and select those buttons for them • Smoking: Not allowed in most workplaces today • Telephone Etiquette: Speak unto others as you would have them speak unto you - when using the telephone, use your mouth for speaking only. Avoid chewing, eating, or drinking