Dress Like the Professional You Want to Be

Recently the world gasped when it was revealed that President Donald Trump urged his White House women colleagues to “dress like a woman.”

This spurred an international discourse on dress code at work and whether standards should (and legally could) be implemented that determined how employees, according to gender or otherwise, dress for work.

Despite the dialogue going on in our current events about dress attire, we’d like to formally reject the idea that anyone should dress any way. Rather we invite all legal professionals to dress like the professional they are within the context they work within, and encourage them to always strive to portray an image that is congruent with their career goals.

It’s common to hear professional coaches say, “dress for the job you want”, and by most accounts, that advice is pretty sound. There have actually been some studies that seek to prove this by relating what people are wearing to certain skills such as negotiation and showing the correlation between professional attire and exhibiting leadership skills.

Those who are new to the legal profession may need a few reminders on some of the acceptable and commonly regarded norms for dressing for a job interview as well as keeping that professional look throughout one’s career.

Here are a few tips to get you thinking about how you can dress like the professional you want to be:

Know The Firm

You don’t want to be in the position of completely over-dressing or completely under-dressing in comparison to the culture of the company you are working for. Some firms and companies do promote a highly relaxed dress code with the belief that professionalism doesn’t always equate to a business suit.

At the same time, some companies do promote a streamlined, highly professional attire that does include perfectly tailored business suits for both men and women. Do your research into the culture of the company so that you can adapt your professional style accordingly.

Choose Function Over Look for Shoes

Too many professionals opt for choosing sleek and sexy shoes that either fails to provide adequate support or gives too much height so to speak. As a result, they completely lose comfort and in the long-run face doing damage to posture and may cause other musculoskeletal issues.

Always opt for shoes that will allow you to walk effectively, look professional, and will provide you with a level of functionality to get you through the day without achy feet. Sometimes a perfect pair of pumps just isn’t worth the achy feet and potential long-term damage.

Have a Go-To Outfit

Every successful attorney needs to have that go-to business suit that no matter what the task or what the occasion, you feel like a million bucks in it and feel as though you can take on the world in it. Whether it’s a really great material, something you splurged on a bit, or just has that perfect cut to it, always have your go-to power outfit at your ready for when you need it. It could possibly be the key to giving you the confidence you need to land an important job or to take on your first court case at a new firm.

Be You

Truly, the best thing a person can wear is confidence. Outside of dress codes or any rigid ideas or opinions of how people should dress is the real fact that a genuine personality and the ability to show that you’re extremely qualified in the legal profession is the best thing you can present others.

Stay professional, stay modest, and stay within the bounds of appropriate work attire that professional society has generally come to accept, but always be sure that you are dressing in a way that represents you, the professional you want to be, and the place you want to work with or represent.

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