Dress for Business Success

To Dress For Success Or Not To Dress For Success?

It appears that in this regard, the South African market place is confused about the impact that Personal Branding has in relation to maximising business success!

Looking back to the late 1990′s early 2000′s, the height of the rise of the dotcom era (which was short lived as we all know); it was during this time that the concept of ‘business casual’ was introduced into the workplace. We even saw your most traditional business sectors, such as Auditors throwing away their ties and discarding their jackets!

This Personal Branding shift did not prove the most successful of business dress era’s as the term “Business Casual” is an oxymoron in itself! Understandably this shift (although possibly relevant in the new-age young, creative IT industries) in the traditional corporate business environment, resulted in dress confusion and a miss-match of business grooming guidelines!

Fast forward to 2012 and many of us find ourselves exposed to the knock-on effect of the current financial woes that countries such as the USA and Europe are experiencing.

As pressure to perform mounts, the international business environment has sobered tremendously and the market mood has taken on a far more serious business tone; and hence it appears that many international corporate organisations have shifted their dress style accordingly. In my experience, South Africa is still lagging in this regard.

Does this mean that from a Personal Branding perspective that a sober, dark matching suit is now the only route to go? The good news is there is still room for style and flair in grooming, and an allowance for adjustment to different levels of dress styles depending on the particular business scenario at hand. However, the key message is, that if we are serious about establishing our client’s trust in us, and are focused on presenting credible first and ongoing impressions, that we will construct a business wardrobe that allows us to adjust our style appropriately to best suit each unique business occasion.

The key to Personal Packaging and Branding is to ensure that the persona we present matches that of our clients expectations! In other words, our clients company may have a relaxed dress style, but does that mean, if we are for example from the banking fraternity, that they expect us to dress in their style of attire? Possibly they have in their mind a clear picture of what a successful Banker, Engineer or Advertising Client Executive will look like and may very well be disappointed if we don’t match their expectation!

Written by:
Beth-Ann Galvin
Managing Director
Business Communication Skills

Enquire now about our proven and practical training courses, or read more about Business Communication Skills Holdings.



I found this course to be very valuable. It held our team’s attention & the facilitator presented very well & gave each of us great feedback. The DVD format brought our own performance to light.

Modise Mzimba, Associate, Actis

Our Trainers