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Does wearing a suit make me look professional?

freelancesupermarket.com newsroom

RSS 07 August 2009
Surveys conducted among British employees have shown that they overwhelmingly prefer NOT to wear a suit.

It would appear the employees favour more casual clothing, some of them even preferring to dress in t-shirts, and a preference for shorter skirts on women is strong. (More strong among men, of course, but still strong among women.)

They observe - and quite rightly - that a suit does nothing to make you look smart.

But the employer overwhelmingly favours the suit, and for good reason.

Employers are constantly seeking employees with certain qualities : vision, initiative, attention to detail. In any position, it isn't the broad-stroke duties that matter, but the tiny details. Showing up to work in t-shirt and jeans may be comfortable, but it doesn't evidence the qualities employers really want.

The purchase and maintenance of a suit are not inexpensive. They require fastidious attention to detail and a commitment to quality over the long run - the fitting can be time consuming, alterations may be necessary, and even the process of donning the suit in the morning takes effort and consideration.

Accessories are also critical. The shoes you wear with the suit must be properly chosen, well-blacked, and sufficiently buffed to avoid polish on the trouser cuffs. Your tie must not only match your suit, but also be tied properly - there is a distinct and obvious difference between the four-in-hand knot, the full Windsor, and the double Windsor.

Shirt selection is also important, including the choice of a forward-point, spread-point, or Ainsley spread collar. A handkerchief or pocket square in the breast pocket of the jacket should be folded properly, and worn prominently. Loose threads, whether on buttons or at the corner of the pockets, must be trimmed. The details are almost endless... and they evidence precisely the qualities employers desire in their staff.

Most importantly, the attention and care you put into your own appearance will also come through in your work. People who wear suits do not simply look as though they are more attentive and detail-oriented; they actually are. The very act of maintaining and wearing a suit brings out these qualities, and encourages them throughout your life.

So give the suit a try. It may surprise you.

© 2010 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Image: The Nonconformist by Martin Kingsley

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