Wear a suit! Business dress for sovereign professionals

As Goldman Sachs relaxes its dress code, Sky News’s Adam Parsons argues for the power of a suit.

Like a character out of an Evelyn Waugh novel I would find myself walking around in sultry heat wearing a linen suit; the only person in a pit-lane wearing a jacket.

And it worked. People remembered me, liked the sheer Britishness of it and, perhaps, the hint of professionalism that came with it. Or maybe they just felt sorry for me.

Dress code can be a nightmare for sovereign professionals. If you’re a freelancer, an interim or a consultant, should you seek to blend in or stand out? Fitting in might get speed acceptance, but you risk losing the edge of professionalism.

It can be especially tough in the tech sector where even chinos and oxford cotton shirts are on the dressed-up side. I worked in that environment. Whenever my boss had an important, external meeting, his PA would put “Wear a bloody suit!” in his diary.

I’m with Parsons. Wear a suit, or at least a jacket. You might stand out, but not in a bad way, and like a uniform, a jacket still carries an air of authority.

Read Parsons’ piece, here.

More musings on business dress, here.

Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash

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