Ah, I just found out the secret to success! It’s not your education or experience.  It’s not who you know.  It’s what you wear or don’t wear that make you a success.  Who knew?

If you are not a fashionista, then you have to do research to figure out what you should wear to that important interview or a business lunch that could make you or break you.

Companies have found that workers are more productive and happier when the dress code is relaxed so “Business Casual” has become a popular way to go. Blazers, slacks, button-down shirts and closed-toed shoes are acceptable unless you are a lawyer going to court, a CEO at a board meeting or don’t live in Arizona where anything goes.

 Unfortunately, I have seen people go to business meetings in old t-shirts with inappropriate sayings or sports team logos, ripped jeans and shorts, sweat pants and worse, yoga pants, and ratty sneakers and flip-flops.  These items, in my opinion, should be worn when you are working on your car or cleaning out the garage. Guys, keep those hoodies in the closet with your Hawaiian shirts, and gals, don’t even think of wearing mini-skirts and tops that show the investment you just made with your plastic surgeon.

There has been a surge of crazy dress codes that boggle the mind, so I have tried to simplify the codes:

Black Tie – get that tuxedo cleaned, guys, and ladies, bring on the beaded gown. By the way, don’t confuse this with White Tie, Creative Black Tie and Black Tie Optional.

Holiday or Festive Attire – Guys, you won’t need the tuxedo, but please don’t wear jeans.  Yes, ladies, beads and bling are fine but don’t copy anything Lady Gaga would wear. 

Dressy Resort – Wearing clothes you would bring on vacation to impress the natives would be a good choice. You never know who you will meet. Beach and Garden attire fall into this category.

Come As You Are – Clean and casual is fine, but keep your pajamas and bunny slippers home. You’re not 7 years old.

Remember that you represent the company you work for, and more importantly, you represent yourself.  People remember that first impression, good or bad.