Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 12DEC11

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: dress for success

Gentlemen: If you are going to speak at a technology conference, please consider the following so people can focus on your message and not be praying the fashion police arrive to escort you off stage:

    • Well-worn blue jeans that you’d wear to clean out the garage, mow the lawn or watch TV in the privacy of your own home look dreadful on the 15 foot x 15 foot high-definition TV screens at the front of the meeting room. Dress jeans are available for purchase that can be tailored to look great.
    • A shirt that looks like it was just fished out of a laundry hamper doesn’t work.
    • Ill-fitting clothes create a distraction. Wearing a sports coat that was stylish and fit you well 20 years ago doesn’t work, particularly if you’re 30 pounds heavier. Think of what you’d look like if you were wearing a child’s cowboy hat.
    • Not every suit jacket or sports coat color or fabric looks good with jeans. Look in the mirror to determine what you look like. If you are unsure, ask for help.
    • We can see your shoes and socks when you’re seated on stage. They should not distract from your overall appearance. Black socks with bright red shiny dots? Green and yellow argyle socks? Saddle shoes? Really?
    • If you’re 50 years old, dressing like you’re 20 won’t fool anyone. You’re still 50.  This doesn’t work any better for men than women.

Dressing like you just fell out of bed isn’t cool. It’s an assault on our senses. It just might create a missed opportunity for your audience to hear the message that could help your company thrive.

Thought for the week:

“The brave do not live forever–but the cautious do not live at all!”  – Sir Richard Branson

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!


Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting


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2 Responses to Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 12DEC11

  1. Great point, Dave. I often wonder why this is more prevalent among men than women…not sure I’ve ever seen the exact same fashion faux pas among female professionals.

    Not that it’s not equally distracting watching a female presenter who looks like she’s either just come from, or about to go to, a late night party: revealing dress, too many “sparkles,” overly made-up etc.

    This post reminds me of when I worked as a young whippersnapper for IBM back in the late 70s in England and we went on a team trip to France. All the engineers and salesmen (and, yes, only the men) turned up looking like they were about to muck out the stables…I don’t know if they were just glad to let their hair down, but it was a shock to the system; I never looked at the them in the same way from then on 🙂


  2. Wes Trochlil says:

    Dave, you’ve hit on one of my pet peeves. Tech speakers seem to think it proves their “coolness” to dress like this. I’ve complained about it in the past and was told to get past my biases and seek the value of the presentation. True, as far as it goes. But why start out with one strike against you? How hard is it to wear a pair of khakis and a collared shirt that have been drycleaned?



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