Is It Okay to Dress Better Than Your Boss?

They say “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” But what about dressing better than the guy who has it now? With a bit of sartorial knowledge, it’s completely possible to set yourself apart without stepping on any toes. Here’s how.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Italian auto magnate Lapo Elkann is known for his extravagant fashion sense.

Italian auto magnate Lapo Elkann is known for his extravagant fashion sense.

Many people equate being stylish with dressing in a way that grabs the attention of others. But standing out too much can be detrimental to your relationships in the workplace. Studies even show that teams who dress alike have better productivity and higher spirits, in addition to receiving more attention from their bosses. If your clothing reflects a lifestyle unrelatable to those around you, it stands to reason that they might also question whether you share the same goals and priorities. However, don’t jump to the creepy conclusion that you need to mold yourself in the image of your boss just yet.


Act the Part, Don’t Put On an Act

It’s important to take cues from your colleagues and superiors about the dress code, but it doesn’t have to come at expense of your uniqueness. Considered in terms of speaking, the idea is a bit clearer. Imagine you’re an American employee working for a company with a very relaxed office culture. You make a move to their UK office, where everyone is a bit more formal. While your new peers will certainly appreciate if you speak properly and drop the slang, they don’t also expect you to emulate their British accent.

Don’t be afraid to do things the right way.

So if nobody in your office ever wears a tie or cufflinks, it’s unlikely you’ll earn any points for breaking out the tie bar and silk knots. But if you’re a sharp dresser, don’t let it stop you from making sure your sleeves are the right length, or that your shoes are the right color. Similarly, if everyone is wearing untucked shirts with jeans, leave the full suit at home. You don’t have to be shy, though, about getting your shirt length tailored so it doesn’t hang like a nightgown.

At the end of the day, the office isn’t a runway, so it’s not the best place to flaunt your knowledge of the latest avant-garde trends. Generally though, if something fits the office culture, don’t be afraid to make sure it also fits your body. Nobody will fault you for presenting your best self.


Put your best foot forward, with a shirt tailored to fit your office culture:


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1 reply
  1. Jorge
    Jorge says:

    Hi! Thank you for this blog. What are the right length for sleeves and which relation should keep with a coat sleeve? Is there any one-fits-all rule? Have a nice day.


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