How Entrepreneurs Dress for Success – Why It Still Matters in 2013


Perception is reality and seems to still be the case in 2013. As further established Gen Y gets, the further we seem to get from proper attire and more towards rugged daily wear. This begs the question as to if dressing well to appeal to the masses is still important, but also who are the masses worth appealing to.

With age comes experience and regardless of our understanding of subject matters, it isn’t until we have lived through something and applied our knowledge that we complete a full learning cycle. Dressing for success is no different as our definition of what success looks like and what we believe we should look like, is also subjective to our experience level.

From my perspective and based on my experience level, entrepreneurship is about freedom and the ability to change the status quo but is also about being a role model and carries a significant level of social responsibility along with it.  Therefore dressing well on your journey may hold just as much importance as dressing well for your victory party. Remember that during your journey it is very likely that you will need a network, friends and mentors; all individuals who will help you shape who you are to become but also lend you a hand or point you in the right direction when needed.

How do these people find you and how do they relate to you enough to join? First appearances still matter and what held true 10 years ago, still holds true today when it comes to how we make friends. We make friends based on our ability to relate and common interest, and our appearance is often the first way we attract or push back new individuals we meet. Anything from the media to simple business relationships will accept or reject us based on the message our attire shares about our values and beliefs.

Regardless of how well you dress in your own perspective, it will always attract individuals who share similar values and belief and therefore may limit your success if your choices are too much to the right or the left. Instead try slightly altering the image of success so you find the perfect balance of dressing well while retaining the freedom behind being an entrepreneur. Think about that freedom as your ability to tweak today’s standards rather than rewrite the code of how society functions. Instead of changing the new standard of how people should dress at work and throwing away your suit, try to simply not wear a tie. As much as you may understand the symbolism behind wearing jeans and a T-shirt to work, others who do not share that same belief and sentiment outnumber you and unfortunately will not relate to you thus separating themselves from you rather than joining your cause and supporting your beliefs.

It is important to understand that your entrepreneurship journey starts the moment you choose to create, innovate, and re-design the way people do business or think, but is isn’t until you succeed that you are given the title of entrepreneur and have the opportunity to change how society acts and what its accepts.