Why You Should Dress to Impress – The ROI of Fashion

neil patel boss

Think it really matters how you dress? If you’re a good person overall, shouldn’t people realize it and not judge you based on your threads?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but people judge you based on the clothes you wear. I don’t care if you’re walking down the street or sitting in a business meeting; people are constantly looking at what you’re wearing.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve dressed like a bum, worn decent clothes, and dressed like a boss. I must admit, there is a huge ROI in wearing nice clothes, especially in the business world.

The Bum Years

When I first started out as an entrepreneur, I didn’t have much money. Whenever I went to networking events, I either wore baggy jeans that looked like I had poop in my pants or slacks and a shirt that typically didn’t match. Most of my threads were from Target.

As you can probably already guess, half of the issue was that I had no sense of style. The other half was that I didn’t want to spend much money.

Whenever I went to meetings or conferences, people wouldn’t really give me the time of day until they got to know me. Once they learned I was somewhat smart, they were willing to listen to me and potentially work with me. The issue was it took people a while to warm up to me because no one wanted to waste his or her time talking to someone who looked like a chump.

After a few years of going through this, I was approached by a friend of mine, who kindly suggested that I spend a bit more money on my wardrobe, pay more than ten bucks for a haircut, and get a decent pair of shoes.

I invested two thousand dollars in making myself over. And boy, did it ever make a difference…

Note: During this phase of my life, my hourly consulting rate was under $100.

My big breakthrough

With my new clothes, a somewhat decent haircut, and a nice pair of black shoes, I made a breakthrough. At first, I noticed that people were more willing to talk to me when I went to conferences. I also noticed that during my business meetings, people took me more seriously.

However, none of those things really mattered because they weren’t big breakthroughs. What was a big breakthrough was that people assumed that I was somewhat well off because I was dressing much better. When I starting talking to potential customers, they naturally assumed that I was successful and my services were costly because I was better dressed.

When it came down to locking in new deals, these potential customers started offering me more money. As I got a taste of money making, I wanted more, so I decided to take things to a new level with my wardrobe.

Note: During this phase of my life, my hourly consulting rate went up to $250.

The Boss Years

From Gucci suits to designer shoes to five-figure watches, I stepped up my appearance as much as I could within my financial constraints. Not only was there a huge ROI, but the difference from this move far superseded the difference I experienced when upgrading myself from a bum to an average business suit wearer.

Once I started dressing to impress, successful business owners started to flock to me when I attended networking events, and people listened when I spoke in business meetings. In addition to that, I was praised for wearing rare watches that other business owners wanted but didn’t have.

This experience taught me that successful people like to hang with other successful people as they tend to feel comfortable around people like themselves. By no means am I saying that all successful people dress nicely, but chances are if someone comes up to you wearing a five-figure watch, he or she has money.

When you start talking about business with these successful people, they know that if they do business with you, it’s going to be costly for the following reasons:

  • You have an expensive lifestyle – if people realize you have money, they know that they are going to have to pay a pretty penny to work with you. They know that if they throw small amounts of cash in front of you, you just won’t care.
  • It has to move your needle – in business, there is saying that if it doesn’t move your needle, it’s not worth doing. So, if the amount someone is willing to offer you isn’t life changing, there is a much greater chance that you won’t accept it. Due to this, business owners will throw much larger amounts at you if they want to work with you.

By dressing like a “boss,” I managed to change other business owners’ opinions of me, and my credibility went through the roof. I was able now to close seven-figure business deals.

Note: During this phase of my life, my hourly consulting rate was above four figures.


Although you should dress to impress because there is an ROI, there are a few caveats that you ought to know.

The first is that if you aren’t clever, dressing to impress won’t work well for you. People will see right through it, and you won’t build any valuable business relationships. So, before you go out and start spending money on clothes and watches, make sure you know what you’re talking about.

The second thing that you need to know is that after you have “made it” and people know you’re successful, it doesn’t matter how you dress. Although I still feel I have a long ways to go in my career, most people see me as being successful. These days, I wear sneakers and cheap t-shirts, and I don’t really sport fancy watches because I want to focus on work. That stuff was never me, and although I used it to get further in my career, I still prefer shopping at Target over Nordstroms.

In the short run, dressing to impress is definitely worth it, but you also have to make sure that it doesn’t go to your head. You can quickly start spending thousands of dollars on clothes, and after a certain point, you won’t notice whether you spend one or five thousand dollars on a suit.

Now that you have heard my story, do you think it’s worth dressing to impress?

P.S. If you want help getting a bigger ROI with your online business click here.


  1. I’ve just started investing in better cloths. Before now, I always thought a $195 pair of Hugo Boss slacks was a rip off and waste of money.

    Part of success in business is your mind. 80% psychology 20% mechanics rings true. With higher quality clothing, not only do you look better, but you also feel better. If you feel successful, you’ll soon start acting successful. It’s an incredible positive feedback loop.

    • Nice post Neil. I like your comments too Adam, an incredible positive feedback loop. I recently had an experience where I went to Starbucks in Hong Kong, long story short, I met a successful business person. I was so grateful that that day I chose to wear my office apparel to the office (I started slacking off wearing jeans and a t-shirt). We enjoyed our confrontation and he has since given me a consulting opportunity. You are what you wear, and if you’re not now, you soon will be. Cheers!

    • Definitely,
      You make some good points, thanks for your thoughts.
      It is true the more confident you feel the better chance you will succeed.
      Typically dressing nicer will give you a boost in your confidence.

      • I know this post is getting a little older, but Forbes just posted an interesting article on dressing the part.

        “It’s about trust and credibility. The reptilian part of our brain tells us to trust what we see more than any other sense. And trust what the person is wearing.”

        “Several well-known studies from the 1960s involving lab coats, prison guard uniforms and electric shocks show we are more likely to rely on uniforms as an indicator of expertise and authority, than not. Robert Cialdini’s New York Times bestselling classic, Influence, also has some interesting things to say about uniforms listed under one of his “Six Weapons of Influence.””


    • Well said. Before, I also thought spending more than $100 on a pair of shoes was a waste of money, but now am beginning to see how my overall presentation is an investment in itself.

  2. I believe it’s always good to dress to impress. Even if you can’t spend thousands of dollars on lavish clothing and accessories, you can still spend a few hundred dollars on something that still looks as good as a thousand dollar suit.

    Now a days, it’s hard to even tell the whats a hundred dollar ensemble and what’s a thousand dollar suit unless you look at the name or logo.

    Always try to put your best foot forward.

    • I agree.
      Thank you for your input. As long as you feel confident it what you are wearing and put an effort into what you look like, people will respond back pin a positive way.
      It isn’t about spending as much as you can, rather finding something that makes you look and feel better.

    • Totally agree Jeremy. Keeping it simple is the key to smart and classy. Just changing the subject a little, but along the same line, I bought a good car (B$W) because my business ad is on it, best move ever!

      • Keeping it simple is always a good idea.
        Congratulations on the new car, the ad is a nice touch.
        Glad it worked out for you.

    • I have to disagree, I can spot a hundred dollar suit from JC Pennys across the room, I can also spot a Brooks Brothers suit or Brioni Suit as well. People who know the difference and enjoy the quality of a good suit can tell the difference immediately. If you want a cheap suit to look somewhat good you will have to take it to a tailors.

      • There is certainly a difference, yes. However as long as you are attempting to have a professional appearance and carry yourself well then you are more likely to make a favorable impression.

      • Interesting.

        But how far will you go to judge a person based on your obviously superior perception about their clothing? Will you (or others like you) think he’s “cheating” by not spending enough money on clothing?

        Does it feel like a man (women’s clothing is different) isn’t dressing well until a certain (princely) sum of money has gone into his clothes, no matter what else he looks like or wears?

  3. I just wanted to say besides loving the heck out of this article. I must say Neil is looking “Suave & Debonair” 🙂

  4. Most business think that people will equate an expensive suit with wealth, success, but as many of you have pointed out, it’s not the price of the business get up, it’s how you wear it. Mostly. So much in the business world depends on appearances and presentation, but it’s not necessary to spend an arm and a leg to make a good impression. A suit doesn’t have to be expensive; it just needs to LOOK expensive and presentable.

    • Definitely,
      I agree, it is more about how you present yourself, then the amount you actually spent.
      It is always best to look your best, the price of the suit isn’t important as long as you feel your best in it.
      You never know when it will benefit you, or who is looking.
      So always dress to impress.

  5. Mike Illenberger :

    Dresspect! This is not just about the ROI I think. I learned that the better you dress the more respect you get from people,and better customer service too 🙂

    • Thanks,
      It is true that the more confident and appropriate you look, tends to command a certain type of respect from people.
      It is especially affective when dealing in business.

  6. Jacques van Heerden :

    You will be amazed to see how different people can act around you when they notice that you are wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre or a Breitling watch.

    Success appeals to people like a baby does to milk. They want more of it and if they don’t have it already, they want to know how to get it.

    I would say that I agree with you Neil on talking the part as well. There is nothing more irritating to me than someone that dresses like a superstar, but can’t speak to me longer than 10 seconds. I easily pick up on the situation and then I keep poking holes in his story in my mind.

    I am aware that — that shouldn’t be the case, but unfortunately it sometimes is.

    Have a great week Neil.

    • Definitely,
      People like to be amongst power and typically expensive clothing and accessories imply power.
      I agree, everyone wants to have something they know is better.
      There is nothing more frustrating then people who can dress to impress, yet don’t meet up to their expensive attire.
      It is quite unfortunate.

  7. Being travelling the last 6 months now in the valley. Was about to buy some $50 jeans today. This has given me second thoughts!

    Plenty of studies have shown the more attractive someone is the higher their perceived intelligence and competence, every little bit helps for making a good first impression.

    I think dress like the people you will be hanging with, if your hanging with people who have made it, small biz owners and developers wearing a Gucci suit and a tie will make you look like an outsider/tool at first glance.

    For some corporate events/consulting gigs you definitely need to bite the bullet and look the part. I don’t own a watch and despite this article can’t see myself spending more than 3 figures on one :).

    • Nice, sounds like you have really studied up on this. Thanks for your additional input.

      I could see how dressing similar to those in your group could create a more comfortable relationship. In a way it would give you some common ground.

      I have trouble spending a lot on such items too.

      • Ended up buying a second hand pair for $2 (which rock).

        I’ve noticed some people wearing the same clothes in all pictures they have online, I think the theory being it makes them more instantly recognizable.

        Also I’ve heard it only takes seeing someone 5 times (online or on TV etc) before you start to feel like you know them personally. Very powerful for selling online or offline.

        Do you notice this with people you meet that have read your blog before?

        P.S. you look pimp in a suit.

        • Now there is a deal!

          Hum, could be. Interesting theory, it would certainly help make one more memorable.

          I could see that. It’s possible, especially since trust can be created from familiarity. It’s easier to buy something you trust and easier to trust something you recognize.

          For me people typically recognize the fohawk lol.

          Thanks, I appreciate the kind words.

  8. In high school, our baseball coach was a lawyer who in his first year as head coach, spent thousands of dollars of his own money to buy new, classy uniforms for the whole team because he believed, “the better you look, the better you play.”

    That was one of the few things I learned in high school that has stuck with me.

    • Thanks for sharing,
      I am curious, did you play better?
      It seems if you look impressive and together then you tend to reflect the same style on the inside.
      That must have been a generous coach, to spend so much of his own on new uniforms.
      Glad it had an influence on you from such a young age.

      • I think we did. He also required all the long-hair types to cut their hair. This happened my senior year and it was the best year we had when I was there. They also continued to do well the next few years. It’s hard to attribute that to short hair and nice uniforms though.

        But I can say that I speak more professionally when I’m wearing a suit than I do when I’m in jeans.

        • That’s good to hear.
          I feel people act more casual when they dress casual.
          That’s why when you dress professionally then you are more likely to act professionally.

  9. Although I don’t earn even a penny , I’ll keep this in mind 🙂

    Have a great week ahead 🙂

    • You can still dress to impress on a budget. A lot of the reason one should dress better is to help reflect a since of confidence and strength.
      It isn’t always about the brand or price rather the attitude that comes with dressing nicer.
      Try and find some decent, cheap suits and collared shirts and if you can manage dress shoes.
      It doesn’t matter where you get them from as long as the appearance of effort is made and the clothes are clean and pressed.

  10. Johannes Borchardt :

    I think it probably depends on the industry sector. In my case, app development, some customers want to talk to people that are technically top and convincing, some don’t want to deal with technical stuff but want to talk to a well dressed businessman whose words they understand. Its difficult, but: A tie can always be taken off when one feels overdressed 🙂

    • Absolutely,
      Depending on the line of work you are in can affect what your style should be.
      However, people tend to respond better to more professionally dressed people.
      It is always better to dress up then to dress down and like you said a tie can be easily taken off.

  11. Fortunately class and style is not something money can buy, so ask someone who has good taste in clothes before you drop a couple grand on that black shirt with shinny shit on it. It’s tacky, and find that a lot of fellow entrepreneurs fall for it because they think it attracts attention. It’s the wrong type and you just look like a Guido.

    Also, spend some money on staying fit. Workout every day. Especially before important meetings/interviews. You’ll own it with energy.

    • I agree,
      All good tips. It is always a good idea to get a second opinion from someone you respect.
      As well as staying in shape, is not only good for appearance but health as well.
      Thanks for the input

  12. Neil has a great point here. I’m sure most of the people reading this blog are familiar with the Zukerberg “hoodie”. Once you have wealth (Neil’s article on wealth is pretty good), not to be confused with riches, you can pretty much wear whatever you want. Some of the wealthiest people I know are perfectly comfortable in cargo shorts and a regular shirt. One of the multi-millionaires I know was a guy who was working for minimum wage at the same store I was working at as a teenager. When I found out about his real financial situation I was more than surprised. However, that was simply his choice because he didn’t want to be at home all day and loved to interact with people. And I was only doing what we all, as humans, naturally do. We judge. Taking that into consideration, when I was first starting to meet the rich and powerful and getting them to give me their money, I was extremely nervous and out of my realm. I was almost afraid to ask for money. But the amount you say you’re worth establishes credibility. If a guy came up to you and said, “Dude I’ll sell you my brand new Bentley for $1,000,” you would be wondering what was wrong with it. So I started buying some power suites and utilizing patterns that emphasized my 6’5″ stature. I found out that if you are tall and can make yourself look powerful, people have this subconscious and psychological behavior to want to impress you or make you happy. If you pay attention to social environments, you can really learn a lot for your advantage. Good article Neil.

    • Thanks. They are definitely good points. At some point if you have been fortunate enough to be extremely successful, then you have the ability to get away with wearing whatever you want.

      It is a very good idea to never judge a book by its cover, like you said some people with money don’t necessarily care to show it. Also it can be troubling for people to trust something that may sound “to good to be true.” It seems everyone no matter how rich, respond well to an appearance and attitude of power.

  13. Hello Neil,

    Your are looking awesome in this dress.

  14. wow, other photo of Neil finally
    thanks for the article, it has better explanation-more acceptable to me, than the same topic in lifestyle magazine!

  15. sell used textbooks :

    I really had fun reading your article. I love the way you said five figure watches — there’s nothing like the good feeling of being complimented on one’s watch! When I started dressing up, it was initally disheartening that wearing fancy clothes actually DID make people react more favorably towards me (I’d think that was shallow of them), until I realized something important — by me dressing up, I was actually showing *respect* for others, which is a good thing. Thanks for your good article!

    • I Agree, This is a good point, that people feel respected.

      Respect yourself and others will respect you too.

      • sell used textbooks :

        Thanks for the ‘agree’ — as I agree with Neil’s philosophy on this. In fact, even when part of your job is approaching people who dress casually, I don’t feel that means that you should dress ‘casual’ too. I’ve always thought it was okay to overdress. (But, hey, I lived through the 80’s — among the coolest fashion periods ever 🙂

        • Yep.
          I agree, when it comes to dealing with others especially in business or if you want something, you are more likely to get it dressing up.
          There are few people who will take someone seriously when they don’t dress seriously.
          I bet there was some great style then.

          • sell used textbooks :

            Neil, yes there was great style then, in my opinion, because men were able to find more colors to dress in. For example, the turqoise-blue/royal blue striped and woven linen shirts, white linen pants with lotsa pleats, dark brown shoes with gold buckle, and big loose gold watch. Doesn’t that sound fun? Nowadays, if a person were to dress like that, ha!

      • Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Thanks,

      Great point, I think that is a better way of looking at it.

  16. Shilpi Singha Roy :

    I have heard ” Dress speaks half about the man” so thanks Neil for the post and you look great….

    Online Business Virtual Assistant

    • Yep.

      It really does, people underestimate the effect of clothing sometimes and the effect it can have.

      Thanks for the compliment.

  17. Hi,

    Is the guy on the right side of the image is you?

  18. Whole Body Vibration :

    I love to dress up, its professional and makes a statement, but I also like to show my flavor. Shorts, flip flops, and maybe throw in some cowboy boots!

    • I agree.

      Adding your own touch is a good way to have fun with what you wear and yet still look good.

      I myself enjoy wearing colorful socks!

  19. Generally people do judge others by the book cover. Which I know is wrong, but that’s just how it is, even I Do it. So investing in your wardrobe is definitely a good move to get your foot though the door. Once you have impressed them, and they know what you are about, you can dress as what you like, it’s the initial braking of the ice.

    • Definitely,

      People typically can’t help but form an opinion based on what they first see. Like you said until they get to know you the only thing they have to base their opinion off is what they see. Which is why what you wear can make such a difference.

  20. Nice article!
    If you can’t afford a expensive suit, make sure that your suit is fitted wel. It makes a huge differents when a suit fits wel, instead of a baggy suit.

  21. Rent College Textbooks :

    Great post Niel! I have always been a fan and looking your best. While this wasn’t as important in Florida when I didn’t meet clients, but now the game had changed and I always dress up in order to look my best and feel confident when representing the company I work for!

    • Great,
      It doesn’t seem like it should be important, but little things like the way you dress really make a difference.
      Especially to those around you, typically people see the way you dress as a sign of how much effort you are willing to make at what you do.
      To some people if you aren’t even willing to make yourself look nice, then it’s likely you aren’t going to make the effort to make your business look good either.

  22. Web Design Resource :

    Well Neil i am little bit disagree about dress, in my opinion if people have great skills and they produce excellent profit for organization then clothes do not have any issue 🙂

    • Definitelty,

      It is most important to have strong work ethic and skills. Dressing well is, as they say, the “icing on top of the cake.” Think about it, lets say you go to buy a cake.
      Which would you most likely choose, the one with a smooth icing and nice design or, the messy, lopsided one that appears incomplete?

      Both could be delicious, however it is unlikely one would take the risk on trying the cake that is less appealing. People do this when they look at others, the person that appears nicely put together is probably the better choice.

      • Web Design Resource :

        In this situation we should taste all that cakes, then we can reach the results :). Similar in job, instant problem solver employees are good whether they dressed well or not. What do you say mate ?

        • Rent College Textbooks :

          I am going to have to agree with Niel here. The only person I have seen being able to dress however, is a friends Dad in the Coal business. He has a ZZ Top looking beard. Wears ripped jeans and Birkenstocks. He has got the money and has proved himself over and over again. That is why he can pull it off, he has already made it time and time again, people are lucky to get his time. That said I think you should always try and present yourself in the best light you can. It doesn’t hurt to look your best.

          • Thanks,

            You definitely make a good point. When you have already become successful then you can really wear whatever you want. Until then it is a good idea to look your best until you are the best.

          • Web Design Resource :

            As Neil said people minds are not same. So in this moment you will have to decide whom with you will go for job. Yeh.. it is true that when you will become popular in business you can go for anything 🙂

            • They definitely aren’t. Making the decision on who to go with is never simple. That is why dressing up can give you that added edge and make you stand out that little extra bit.

        • Sounds good. If you have the option of trying each cake then even better. However it isn’t often you have that option of trying each one until you find the one you like best. I agree employees can be good regardless of how they dress, but when dealing with other people not everyone is so open minded to dealing with an unprofessional looking person.

          • Web Design Resource :

            Yeh it is true for some organization, but if you go for big firm like google, facebook etc… you can see bunch of talent inside ugly dress.

            • All true. However only a handful of people work in large organizations such as those. So some people may not need to dress to impress, but most people do and can’t afford to look unprofessional.

              • Rent College Textbooks :

                The other thing that comes to mind after reading these comments, is first impressions do last a long time if not for life. If you show up looking sloppy and unkempt people may take that as a sign of whats to come, a hot mess. And what one person thinks they will more than likely pass along what they thought of you, to another. Depending on what area you work, those impressions can go a long way.

                • Definitely,

                  You can never have a second shot at a first impression. Very few people will respect or have faith in someone who looks as you put it a “hot mess.” It is also likely that those people will not be encouraged to give you any good referrals. Others opinions can strongly affect your business. So it is always better to be safe then sorry.

  23. Absolutely true Neil. I had an image consultant whip me into shape over a year ago and it was the best thing that I ever did for my career. I highly recommend the company Tom James for clothes for people who don’t know how to pick clothes. They come to your office and you pick out stuff, they hand tailor it, and bring it back. Great service.

    • Getting a consultant is not a bad idea, sometimes you need an outside perspective. Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll say even though it feels like it shouldn’t matter what you wear, it does and most likely always will. When you dress nicely you reflect a better image.

  24. Nice post Neil

    I used to attend some seminar’s in India , but I never used to dress well during those .. I was pretty known online for the work I do , but the people there never knew that and I assumed that they knew me and would like to talk to me . But it never happened .

    I think as you said , in the short run , dressing to kill matters and thats the first thing which attracts people ..

    I am gonna take this more seriously now .. One thing which I have learnt is that one has to dress well when one meets a useful contact for the first time , other wise what you wear can destroy what you say !


    • Thanks,
      Most of the time when you don’t look important, people assume you are not. That is a mistake on their part but a common one that is made often. People tend to trust what they can see and typically won’t trust anything that doesn’t look nice. It seems people not only listen with their ears but their eyes as well, so when you go to speak to someone they are not just listening to your words but the listening to what your clothes say to them and others around you. It’s been said, “A picture is worth a thousand word.” Now when people look at you they take a mental picture without even realizing it sometimes. So it is up to you to decide what you want that picture to say.

  25. This realization came to me Friday night when I was on a date with my wife. We went to see Crazy, Stupid, Love…I know poor reference. However Steve Carrell’s character goes through a divorce and he dressed kind of like me. Wrong fitting clothes, polos, jeans and sneakers, etc. Ryan Gosling’s character smacks him around and gets him to dress better, ultimately changing the way he is perceived amongst the ladies and importantly (Spoiler Alert) his estranged wife. Needless to say I spent the whole weekend shopping for new clothes as the confidence factor alone makes up for the cost of my new wardrobe not to mention compliments from management at work. Do I hear a raise in the near future?

    It’s funny that when nature is trying to tell you something, you get it in many different ways. This post is 1 of the 4 different times I got the message that my wardrobe needs to be upgraded over the last week.

    • Not at all, that is a good example.

      Granted it just a movie, but all the same true. Dressing is all about marketing yourself. So when you dress better you market yourself to be more appealing and desirable. This not only works when dating, but also when doing business. Unfortunately, regardless if you agree with it, you are a reflection of your work and you clothes are a reflection of you.

      So go out and buy clothes that reflect your how hard you work. You won’t regret it.

    • I had the same reaction to Crazy, Stupid, Love. Glad to see I wasn’t alone in (over)analyzing a romcom!

  26. Jen from MBAchic :

    Hi Neil,

    This is a great post. The fashion ROI is absolutely real! This is what I am trying to talk about in the Keep It Chic series on MBAchic.com. Dressing professionally totally helps you steps your game up (or down), whether or not you believe it!

    Newly subscribed- looking forward to more!


    • Thanks,

      I agree. What you wear can really steer you in the right or wrong direction. If you let your best efforts shine not only on the inside, but on the outside as well it can do wonders.

  27. Perception is usually perecived as reality in the human mind. If you dress like a bum, people may think you’re a bum and treat you like a bum. If you dress like a cop, people may think your a cop and treat you like a cop. If a man dresses like a woman people may think he’s a woman and treat him like a woman. If you dress like a gang banger, people may think you’re a gang banger and treat you like a gang banger.

    ….and if you dress like business professional, people may think you are a business professional and treat you like a business professional.

    It nice to be optimistic but not realistic in this situation.

    • Definitely,

      Nice points, thanks for sharing. However you like it, you should learn to expect people to treat you the way you look. It may seem shallow but, it is what it is.

  28. Nora McDougall-Collins :

    When I teach a web development class, I dress up, even though most of my colleagues wear casual clothing and the classes are held at an adult learning center. My students have commented that they appreciate my professional appearance in class. I see it as a way to respect both my students and my topic.

    On a similar note, checking your spelling and grammar helps people take your writing more seriously. (There are two errors in the article above.) I have been semi-successful in disciplining myself to read what I have written before hitting the Submit or Send button!

    • Definitely,

      I too dress up when I give talks. It is more professional and gives me more respect from the people I speak to. It is always easier for people to listen to someone who appears professional.

      I do go through my post before I submit them, guess a couple got by me, but hey I’m only human.

  29. Vidya Sury, Freelance Writer & Blogger :

    😀 Yes. It makes sense to dress to impress, especially in a world where people judge you by your appearance. Sometimes even after one’s “made it”, the envious ones will still pick nits about someone’s appearance, in the hope that others will somehow be less impressed.

    These days I work from home – but during my “corporate life” about 14 years ago – as the boss, I had the interesting task of ensuring the sales guys wore pastel shaded shirts, dark trousers, the right socks, and decent ties (and polished shoes). The best part was checking to see if their hair cuts were propah and their nails trimmed. Can you imagine? But hey, when someone went from our company, people remembered – and yes, we enjoyed the tremendous ROI from that – because the security guards let us in easier than the ones that weren’t “dressed to impress”. They’d be somewhat intimidated – and of course, the receptionists really appreciated a smartly turned out visitor.

    Now – even though I work from home, I still dress for work because it makes me feel good. So I leave out the perfume because my husband is allergic to it…but that’s another story.

    I like the points you made.

    • That is very true. It can be quite a cut throat world, even when you “have it all” so to say. Sometimes no matter what you do right it is never enough to some people and that is just life. Typically when that happens, it is not so much about you, but rather their own personal issues.

      Sounds like you have an eye for detail then. I bet they always looked good with you checking up on them. I don’t doubt it was beneficial to look more impressive, it always is.

      Dressing up even when no one is around seems like it would be a waste of time. However I agree it can make you fell better, even if you are on your own.

  30. Being a man of color (Black Man) I have learned (sometimes the hard way) that people tend to treat you the way you dress.

    It is ironic that the better I am dressed, the better I am treated. Not just in the business world, but even on the street, I guess that’s life.

    In any case I do love to dress up and I firmly believe that nothings looks as good as a man dressed in a nice suit or a nice sport coat and slacks (tie optional).

    Neil, as always…it is a pleasure hearing from you…


    Chicago South SEO Services

    • That is unfortunate, but sadly true.

      It seems no matter who you are or what you look like, dressing nicer gets you better treatment. I too enjoy dressing nice, I feel I always look my best when I dress my best.

      • Professional With Dreadlocks :

        Yes it is indeed true, however, the perspective that best allows me to retain clarity and peace when observing the incidence of the “better/more respectful treatment when dressing better” phenomena, is simply recalling that This Is Just How It Happens To Be At This Time, in this particular momentary spectrum of cosmic time when we currently find ourselves walking around alive sporting our looks. What people value and what society elevates are fickle matters when indulged in non-biological-survival-related contexts. Fashions of all kinds are highly likely (in my humble opinion) to vary to the point of near-unrecognizable change from one millennium to the next… 30,000 years ago for instance, we gentlemen may have particularly enjoyed the now-mythical quadruple-Windsor knot; a technique sadly lost to antiquity, perhaps. Just a thought I find useful and uplifting sometimes 🙂

  31. Hi,

    Cannot believe I am getting hooked to ways of Mr. Patel in about 3 days- yes that is when i first visited the site- accidently.

    Agree with the comments in general with a likewise experience just today 🙂


  32. You’re absolutely right Niel. Dressing does and will effect your business, especially when you know what you’re talking about…and even sometimes when you don’t. It does more than just impress your potential clients, it also changes your mindset. If you dress nice, take some pride in your personal appearance, your confidence level rises and all sorts of things start to happen. You gain that sense of prosperity consciousness.

    Great post. I always look forward to them!

    • Absolutely,

      Even the smallest thing from fixing your hair to a nice watch or shoes can really bring on a whole new personality. I agree, the confidence you feel in how you look, will stick with you. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  33. Neil,

    I totally agree with your position that dressing with purpose does make a difference, not only in business, but everyday life.

    I know if I’m going to look at buying a car or even a laptop, that dressing well makes a difference in the way I get treated. Want to take that nice new car for an overnight test drive? … make sure you don’t look like an unemployed, ragged out, bum!

    Keep posting Neil!


    • Thanks,

      Glad you see it that way. It is a great way to not only get you noticed but like you said better service as well. It would definitely be more difficult getting what you want dressed like a bum. Stick with good style and you won’t regret it.

      Will do. As long as you keep reading!

  34. More good solid counsel.
    One could call this “personal branding”.
    Or better yet “personal packaging”.


  35. Hi neil,
    LOVED It! I was with my granddaughter last night and one thing that always impresses me is her deisre to DRESS the part. She loves Fashion and at 19 she knows much more than I ever would in that arena.
    As a retired Principal, I use to tell my Teachers YOU MUST Dress to Impress your Students. Sad to say do not see that as much these days. Thanks for your great Reminder.

    • Happy to hear it.

      I too believe it is important for people working with kids to look professional. Especially teachers, because it sets an example for young influential minds. That is unfortunate to hear that it may not still be that way.

  36. David | Knowledge and Investment in Africa :

    Wow Something I have been thinking about over the last few weeks.
    Thanks Neil.

    • No problem.

      It is definitely something to think about trying out. By adding more professional looking items into your wardrobe you will have a larger range of options. The professional look will make a large difference.

  37. I believe in this 100%. Not only does dressing make you look smarter, but it can give you some extra confidence if you are missing it. I used to be a bit shy, and would have trouble at networking events. After deciding to change my style, the shyness didn’t have as strong of an effect.

    I recently found a great site for buying expensive looking clothing, with exceptional value. Check out indochino.com, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

    • I agree.

      It undoubtedly can give you that something extra that people are typically drawn to. Thanks for the recommendation. It isn’t necessary to spend all your money on buying expensive clothes just to impress, but it is beneficial to go out and find something affordable that makes you appear professional.

  38. I am like you neil, I believe that clothes does not matter but for that, people should recognize you and they must know that you are successful. Otherwise you have to show first that you are successful and your attire tell them that you are successful. so, if you are not crowd then you can wear what you want otherwise do what others do to attract other big business.

    • Definitely,

      I agree, clothes really shouldn’t matter. Unfortunately that is not realistic. So until you make it fake it.

  39. Hi Neil,
    I have always loved your blogs and this one, especially, is so damn awesome and true that I can actually relate it to my own story! I am still in one of those ‘Bum Years’ and have realized that your appearance speaks for you initially and if you pass in that then only can you proceed further. It’s not just about business events or conferences but anywhere and everywhere you go, unfortunately that’s the way our society is moulded!

    • Very true, people usually feel what they see is what they get. If you can get pass the initial critique, like you said then the rest comes down to your skills and quality of your product.

  40. I love all your info…but FYI it’s BEARER not barer…..

  41. Hey Neil, I would love more details/writings on that price ladder proof/validation , oh man! I’m drooling for those 4 figures an hour!

    • Certainly,

      I don’t mind giving you more details. If you send me an email at neil@neilpatel.com with more specific questions, I would be glad to help.

  42. Great post Neil, I can really relate to this (more so the bum years right now). The first thing I did after winning a business competition at the start of college was buy a decent suit and shoes. The ROI fair exceeded my expectations!
    Also I believe that entrepreneurs, and more importantly young entrepreneurs trying to make it in business, work really hard and really do know their stuff. Get talking to more people and share your experience. The ROI there might be even bigger.

    • That’s fine, as long as you are happy with your life at the moment. It’s nice to take a break every once in a while. Yep, it’s amazing what the power of ROI can do.

  43. Have just share the link with my Business Partner who is a true believer “Dress to Impress”. I bet in next couple of days, both of us will add lot of premium stuff to our wardrobe.

    Also being a start-up it make lot more sense to be presentable as that adds at least little to your credibility.

    Thanks Neil

  44. Off to Tommy Hilfiger to get the right attire …..>>>>>

  45. Dear Neil,
    Thank you for this post! I’m a first-time mom to a now two and half year old little girl and I’m getting back into the working world. Being a stay-at-home, ones wardrobe suffers. 3 months ago, I started my own Social Media Management company that now has two great clients, a televeision network and an organization in the film industry. I have now had to take meetings with these clients and I gotta tell you, the clothes count for a lot. I love Nordstrom but have been making it work with a few of the boutiques in my neighborhood of Sherman Oaks, CA. You inspire me with this post. Thank You 😉

    • How nice, congratulations. I could only imagine. When working with people in such an industry that focuses strongly on appearance, it does make all the difference. As long as you can make it work and it looks as though you are making the effort people will respect it.

  46. Completely agree with what you have written and to an extent, it is also about feeling comfortable and confident about yourself and fancy cloths, watches, mobiles phones and cars do that to an extent.

    Kind of sad but costly truth, which often people realize a little too late in their career.

    • Appriciate it. I agree, it can boots the feeling of confidence which in returns helps increase productivity at work. Like you said it is sad it has to be this way, but the earlier you realize this the better.

  47. Abhimanyu Patel :

    Another great post 😉 I love how you can read the post and it doesn’t seem like you’re being a showoff or something like that which can easily happen when one is writing about a subject like this one. Keep on writing these awesome posts and I’ll keep on reading them!

    • Thanks. For the kind words. Happy to hear you liked it. I’ll I am doing is helping people learn from the mistakes I made. I will, as long people like you keep reading. 🙂

  48. Great post Neil. I agree that dressing up for the job is important and it can be done for a fairly reasonable amount. If a person doesn’t know where to find good stuff for a decent price. Ask a friend who does. One of my friends always called me whenever he needed to buy clothes and we didn’t buy the most expensive stuff but we did focus on clothes that were right for him and looked nice. Personally, I worked in hotels and wearing a suit was part of uniform but I always bought these suits whenever I was visiting my home in India. They are a fraction of the price here in N. America but looked amazing so everyone thought I dropped a big amount on them.
    I have to say that people always judge you by the way you dress.
    The point is one can dress very nicely without spending a lot and if you don’t know how then ask a friend.

    • If you go over seas you can get things for pennies on the dollar. As long as your suit fits well, looks good and is a good fabric, it doesn’t matter how little you spend.

  49. Mustapha I Imam :

    Good post Neil, In Nigeria your clients look at your dressing before giving you a job especially for a startup. When you have made a name then the always assume you dressing is always expensive.

  50. You are right on… and don’t forget to also invest in a great head shot / profile photo. Not only are we meeting people in person, but also online. The right photo of you can really entice someone to approach you. Professional headshots can cost as little as $85 for a single digital print. Make sure you get it retouched also… The cost is much less than a pair of shoes, but the payoff is can be huge.

  51. Hey Neil, you are right on, No matter what we would like to think as we are out and about, people are visual and if you look like a slob, people avoid you, if you are neat and look like you give a care, people will make conversation with you and they will be much more receptive to conversations that you open. nice article Neil, thanks

    • Funny enough one of my friends is a slob. Smart guy and could make a lot of money, he just doesn’t want to dress the part.

  52. Great post. Completely agree.

    Though the tough one for some people judging by the comments is the watch. Not that I would ever condone it but there are plenty of ‘copycat’ versions out there under $50 that are easily passed as the real thing except under close scrutiny. This might even work in people’s favor as it will discourage showing off in case you get busted!

    On another note based on this post there is a case for brands like Patek Phillipe and Rolex to actually support cheap rip offs as they are helping create their customers of the future. That little nugget’s got to be worth at least 2 hours at current rates to their Brand Team… 😉

  53. Katie Shackelford :

    Great article! However, maybe it’s just because I am a woman and enjoy shopping, but you don’t have to spend thousands to look like a million bucks. I am always on the hunt for a bargain and don’t think I’ve ever paid full price for anything. This works especially well if you pick timeless pieces rather than going with whatever is considered trendy. Stores like Off 5th (Saks), Last Call (Neiman Marcus) and Nordstrom Rack are great for finding high-end clothing at reasonable prices. Outlet malls are good for this, too.

    But yes, you are right. I’ve been told I’m one of the “best dressed” at my work, and I definitely get more respect from my superiors than the people who tend to wear khaki pants and a polo shirt.

    And since women don’t care about watches as much as men, I guess our substitute is a nice set of pearls or diamond earrings – I have a few ‘investment pieces’ in my collection that I wear whenever I want that extra edge or even a confidence boost.

  54. Let me get some new clothes this weekend. It makes sense. Another big point is when you dress up you have more confidence too. So this plays apart into people taking you more serious.

  55. Chandra Shekhar :

    i do not know what “dressing sense” is & fashion is all about Clothes one is comfortable with …!!!

    Chandra ……

  56. good points..but Neil what say about Steve Jobs when it comes to dressing 😉

  57. I had one experience in Mumbai when I went to meet one of the real estate client in 5 star hotel. I make myself outstanding in terms of outlook, had nice pair of shoes, coat and did hair cutting just 1 day before meeting to the client. And the amazing thing after the meeting is that I got the project. First impression really matters, thanks for sharing your ideas Patel 🙂

  58. Mc Donalds Coupons 2011 :

    This is so true that people make judgements on the way you dress. They always have and always will. You can choose to benefit from it or not.

  59. Hi, that worked for me too!!

  60. Great post Neil. People buy with their eyes most of the times, the image and appearance you project is key. The vehicle you drive also plays a role.

    Of course, like you said, you have to back it up by actually being the expert that you claim to be.

  61. The way you dress becomes even more notable in the workplace. In school or around friends it shouldn’t be an issue, but in competitive domains, it matters. However, there’s a charm to dot com millionaires who ware $10 shirts and flip flops.

  62. António Ferreira :

    Possible Business: rent (like that other post about bridesmaids) nice apparel & watches to wanna be entrepreneurs! Nice…

  63. I want to start a new line of womens fashion from casual to formal wears, hangbags and belts etc, but i really dont know where to start can anyone tell me and give me useful tips? please.. like suggest where can i get pattern makers, does anyone know any good places esp in Bangkok?

    • You just have to create your items and get them out there. No one will have the answer for you… just start and learn as you move along.

  64. Jane | Problogging Success :

    That’s pretty true. Indeed that’s a bitter fact, but we have to accept it since it’s a fact. I didn’t have much of dressing sense when I just came out of college – even while in college I don’t dress like a college student.

    And my phd days were still ridiculous, when it comes to dressing. I wear all kinds of jeans (torn like fashion lol). But then when I got the job as a Scientist and better yet, when I got my own project to work on as a Young Scientist, I was sort of compelled to dress to match my profession.

    Thanks for the bitter truth Neil 🙂

    • The funny thing about scientist, they can wear whatever they want and get away with it. As long as you are smart, which you are, you are good to go as a scientist. (or so I at least think)

  65. Dressing like a boss doesn’t stop you looking like a twat

  66. I think this rule applies more in LA/NYC/DC. In San Francisco, if you show up wearing a Gucci suit to an entrepreneur meetup, people will think you are a tool.

    Also, dressing up doesn’t need to cost money. I’ve found some sweet designer items at Goodwill and Marshalls and get compliments all the time.

    • Good point. To some extent you also want to make sure you are dressing the part. You need to fit into the environment you are in.

  67. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, although in my case its a slightly different problem..
    I tend to wear salwar kameez for business meetings, but it is making it hard for potential clients/partners to ‘place’ me..
    I’ve been thinking for a while about ‘suiting’ up to present a more professional look….

    • Not only is it important to dress nice, but you have to make sure you are also comfortable with the clothes you are wearing.

  68. Excellent post Neil! I couldn’t agree more. Years ago we would dress biz casual and the office motif was beach themed. We thought we would be different. Wow, what a mistake. Here we are today…suited up with a lux office theme. Everything we do, everything the client touches or receives is a reflection of our brand. We are the Ritz-Carlton of our industry and now our average new client brings in six-figures in revenue AND our exclusivity is through the roof.

    Love the blog – it’s my fav!

  69. These days I work from home – but during my “corporate life” about 14 years ago – as the boss, I had the interesting task of ensuring the sales guys wore pastel shaded shirts, dark trousers, the right socks, and decent ties (and polished shoes). The best part was checking to see if their hair cuts were propah and their nails trimmed. Can you imagine? But hey, when someone went from our company, people remembered – and yes, we enjoyed the tremendous ROI from that – because the security guards let us in easier than the ones that weren’t “dressed to impress”. They’d be somewhat intimidated – and of course, the receptionists really appreciated a smartly turned out visitor.

  70. Malignant Hypertension :

    Great post Neil. People buy with their eyes most of the times, the image and appearance you project is key. The vehicle you drive also plays a role.

  71. Nurseries in Dubai :

    Yeah, walking in wearing flip-flops isnt gonna cut it.

  72. Neil what do you think about Steve Jobs with Blue Jeans and Black t-shirt ???

  73. In this world when everybody knows the importance of good dressing sense, this post has pointed that out in a perfect way. Seeing the results after each phase bring the point strongly.

    Forgot to mention you look really good in the picture. What I have always felt is that you cannot learn styling. When you say that you did not have a good dressing sense earlier, you actually had the correct one for that time and now you have this which is again perfect for this time. People who are stylish will always keep up with it.

    As I am not very good, I do not think I would ever be that good.

    • Yea, I enjoy dressing up every once in a while. I try to look good… but some times my outfit just doesn’t come together as much as I would like.

  74. I totally agree with your article, Neil, but I happily dress like a bum.

    I’ve worked hard to achieve success and not have to wear a suit. 🙂

  75. Hey Neil,

    I too agree with you. have experience the same issues too many times.

    • Glad to hear it. It is better to dress up then to dress down because then there is less of a chance that issues will surface in work.

  76. I have to to agree with a lot of what you saying..sometimes it’s hard when money is tight but I think with a little effort somebody can look professional without investing thousands dollars…

    • It can be difficult to spend the cash when you are low on money. However like you said it is still possible to find professional looking items without braking the bank. Just go out and see what you can find because it will be money well spent.

    • You can buy decent close without investing thousands of dollars. You can also shop when there are sales being able to save some money.

      • Great point, there are definitely places where you can get nice suits at lower prices you just have to look out for sales.

  77. Hey Neil,

    Great post and I totally agree with what you say.

    The problem is, I am so lazy that I never feel like going to the mall to get some decent clothes lol. But then again, since I talk to most of my clients over the phone, I guess it does not make much of a difference for me.


    • Thanks,

      It can be kind of a hassle getting out and to the mall to go shopping, but in the long run the effort will be worth it. However if you do most of your work over the phone then it wouldn’t be necessary to change your clothes because no one is seeing them anyway.

  78. recording studios uk :

    i am in the process of venturing into franchise business, the problem now is for me to choose the right franchisor or in other word the right business that wil give me shorter ROI (return of investment).. so please “earthling”,,pls give me sight beyond sight….. 🙂

    • The choice is really up to you. Decided who you want your target market to be. Then what would be the best product for you to sell to them. It must be something either high in demand or easily marketed to sell. That should produce you the most sales.

  79. recording studios uk :

    ok provided that i secured a very good loc in a shopping mall with a very reasonable rental…

    • I would think that if you have a good location and a product that people want then you shouldn’t have a lot of problems making sales and profit.

  80. recording studios uk :

    attraction that fashion jewelry does. I would guess the margins are better too.

    • Not a bad guess. Jewelry makes as much of a statement as clothes do. Accessories can complete an entire look.

    • Jewelries don’t really fit in a business meeting. They are more suitable for different occasions like parties, birthdays and more but for a business meeting clothes have greater importance.

  81. I should probably take this lesson to heart. I’m not really dressing up as a bum. But i guess, I can step things up by dressing up like a good-looking professional.

    • It wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you dress more professionally then it is more likely you will get better reactions from those you work with.

  82. how to make a blog :

    We should dress well for all functions and meetings so it will make us looks more professional

  83. Business Templates :

    the very well and most interesting discussion on Fashion and Dressing personality.

  84. I am a fashion designer with 1yr. work exp. n have been into surface embellishments and embroideries. Now, I want to design graphics and logos for t-shirt prints. I am on a 4 months break from job and want to learn the necessary software. Plz. suggest about courses that I can pursue.

  85. Online Law Degree :

    Your are absolutely correct, I agree 100%. As part of my day job, I interview for hiring. Those who dress in conservative business attire are perceived as more qualified. I often wear a bowtie when taking meetings. People seem to give me more clout and think I am more qualified than perhaps I really am.

    What about the idea that you will feel better if you dress better. Years ago, high school football coaches made us polish our cleats and iron our uniforms, under the guise that the pride in appearance would carry over onto the field.

    • Yep, you tend to come across more professional to people when you dress up more. It seems strange but when you dress better you get a more positive reaction from others. That positive reaction causes you to feel better about yourself and preform better. It sounds like you guys had a good coach.

  86. john@web design london :

    According to me we should be well dressed at all circumstances

    • If thats how you like it, then go for it. Nothing wrong with looking good all the time. Some people enjoy being casual when out of a professional environment.

  87. It takes time to get to know someone, but only a split second to judge them on what they are wearing.

  88. Want the big bucks? Gotta dress the part. 🙂 Do you ever see lawyers looking shabby when clients come in? Of course not. Think about it, there’s a reason.

  89. Tendai Sean Joe :

    I really enjoyed this article. Dressing makes a great difference even in non business circles, it also boosts one’s confidence

  90. You seem like at typical self-absorbed NYC hipster to me. I bet you have maxed out your credit cards and spend weekends wondering how you are going to scam your next victim. I know people who shop at Wal Mart and are worth millions. So many poseurs like you make me sick.

    • I am sorry you feel that way. I am not from NYC, I live in Seattle. I actually came from no money, so I value what I make and rarely spend it. I just believe when it comes to work it is worth it to splurge as much as you can afford to, in order to look good. It doesn’t matter where you shop or how much you spend the idea is to look nice, so you can appear more professional.

  91. Great points here! Dressing the point also allows you to ‘fake it until you make it’ if you just starting out. If you are confident in yourself, dress the part and success will follow. I am more apt to work with someone who ‘looks’ professional and acts professional than to work with someone who doesn’t really care.

  92. Robert Marshall :

    I couldn’t agree with this article more. There could be a 10% difference in earnings by how you dress. That is my whole goal is to get men to dress better so they can be more successful.

    • Dressing nicer will hopefully make you look as if you are worth more, therefore getting you a better paying job. It is a ll about how you market yourself.

  93. absolutely important. im from NYC originally and if you aren’t dressed to impress head to toe by 5am in the office your going to lunch alone 🙂

    • You are constantly making an impression even if you realize it or not. You just want to make sure that impression is one that will carry you far. If you want to get good, start by looking good.

  94. Web design New York :

    yeah, our dressing speaks of our personality and overall attitude. sometimes dressing plays important role in client face to face meeting in which important decisions are to be taken. each and every role you have described above have unique responsibilities and according to that the dressing sense also change its paradigm.

    • It really does. It is said first impressions can make or break you. You want to certainly make sure the way you dress is appropriate for whatever or wherever you are.

  95. Alex @ Easy ways to make money :

    A good dresser is an important quality of every individual, who wants to impress a person or a group of people. But like you said Neil, having a good dress is not always the most potent tool to impress people but rather your character and most especially your knowledge over the things you’re presenting them.

    • Definitely, it is more about the way one carries themselves and communicates. Looking good is just a way to help boost confidence for yourself and for others who see you.

  96. Chetan Rajani :

    Oh boy. This was a sore spot for me for a long time. But, I have finally come to admit that, like it or not, optics are a part of business and you need watch how you look. It always bothered me that my Canadian friends and colleagues could get away with jeans and t-shirts, sneakers. But on me, well, they looked dumb. I entered the business world as an author, complete with black turtle necks and beret. But it just didn’t work, taking meetings with suits, and nattily attired designers and art directors. Finally a friend clued me in: the secret was in the accessories: hand out the coolest card in the room, one that got admired and passed around; have the nicest looking cell phone. He said, having blond hair and blue eyes didn’t hurt. I didn’t look for blue contacts right away. Fortunately, I worked with a designer who made her own clothes, and learned about universal style: classic stuff that suited YOU, and made you look good and stand apart in any situation–slightly overdressed in casual situations and casual chic in formal situations doesn’t hut. And cool cards, and $10 watches that looked like more expensive ones! I still prefer black jeans with curry stains, and black t-shirts, but I have a few combos always ready for surprise meetings. The trick is to find your “classic” look at your budget, and hope for the day where your reputation precedes you and all it takes is a nice smile and a hand shake.

    • Definitely, it can be hard to adjust at first, but worth it in the end. I am glad you found your own way and style. Thanks for your input.

  97. Reiki Bedfordshire :

    I also find that it pays to dress according to how people perceive your business, for example, if somebody attends a reiki class they do not expect to see you in a sharp business suit but rather something a “little out there”.

    • Dressing to “fit in” so to speak is certainly a good idea. You want to make sure whatever you wear is appropriate and impressive.

  98. I like to dress impress but I wonder if its not going to attract unnecessary attention. Of late, I have slow down a bit, but I dont know if its going to affect me negatively

    • It depends on what you are wearing to determine the amount of attraction it may draw you. It’s not about being overwhelming in appearance, but rather being appropriate for the occasion.

  99. Yasir Khan Quantum SEO :

    There is always a dress code to be followed to make you successful. The only people who can dress the way they feel are Bill Gates, Steve Jobs (RIP) and Mark Elliot Zuckerberg rest have to dress to impress.

  100. Houses for Sale in Chula Vista :

    Dressing up is huge in how you feel and how you present yourself. It certainly makes a difference

  101. I just have to say one thing, that boi Neil Patel is one sharp looking dude!

  102. Eloquence, Inc. :

    Glad I came across this article. Been feeling a little stuck in a rut and while slowly overhauling different facets of my life, I realize reading this article I need to invest in clothes and shoes that have me looking great and admirable everytime I step out of the house. Especially the shoes I tend to wear shoes into the ground and it’s time to step the game up and have several nice pairs of work shoes and nice simple shirts to wear with work pants. Button ups, pants, slingbacks, pumps, and a nice little chain and pair of earrings do so much for appearance. And I have noticed I could even walk into court for a hearing on some minor foolishness and the cops and staff their assume I am one of the LAWYERS because of how I am dressed and carry myself…it is definitely powerful. And people definitely trust you will know what you are talking about before you even open your mouth when you are dressed well.

  103. I love dressing up, it makes you feel great about yourself and makes you try harder to get stuff done.

  104. I think it is worth dressing to impress if your audience or peers are dressed up.

    I saw an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians where the brother showed up to a clothing label meeting dressed in sweatpants. They gave him a hard time for it.

    I guess you gotta be Eminem to pull that off 😉

  105. I have never dressed higher than a 20.00 outfit because I have had the misfortune to have to take care of family ALL of my life yet, with my fashion fatality as is referred to here, I have excelled in every position; had the utmost respect from peers, co-workers and management; learned more done more than the average worker because (are you listening) I do what is necessary to accomplish the job. THAT is what being successful is. I don’t EVER look in the mirror and say to myself, “I’ll never get the job done or have their respect because my dress cost 100.00 less than theirs or my 2.00 panty hose aren’t up-to-snuff”. I think you’re on the wrong track with business if you sum someone up by what they are wearing rather than their knowledge and work ethics. I’m glad I’ll never do that. It would have pushed away many of my mentors in life as well. Of course, I’m “the little Joe” in life but….I’m probably happier and don’t go home and down a couple of glasses of bourbon because I’m more worried about “what they thought about how I looked” v. “Did you see their faces when I told them it was DONE!?”

  106. (AGREE:)

    “2. Impressing.

    No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all “things.” People may like your things–but that doesn’t mean they like you.

    Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship.

    Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.”

  107. Christmas Carol :

    I agree that they should like you for you, but if they don’t get pass your appearance, they -the employer- will not get to know the real you-potential employee. First impression can be the last impression when one is trying to get hired. It is best to dress to impress in an interview than to show up in clothes trying “to just be yourself”. As stated earlier, it shows professionalism and respect. People actually do treat you better even in an interview with a company that has a casual dress code everyday.

    In fact, in a past job, I was chosen out of several applicants because I showed up in professional attire just to apply for it. They interviewed me not only for the position I applied for, but for another more lucrative one in the same company. After they hired me , the supervisor said that I was the only one who dressed the part and appeared serious about working there from the getgo. My new boss told me “You would not believe how some people dressed for this important career position!” (I think they had people apply in person, just to see how they would dress for the job. They may have stacked the applications in 2 different piles-the losers and the winners and not even looked at that loser pile.) Some of those people may have been more qualified and had more of those inner substantive items you refer to, but they blew it on the surface and not only didn’t get to first base-never got to bat.

    Impress for the job appropriately, get the job, then make those happy genuine relationships with those substantive interpersonal skills, to get the work done! Remember, the employer or client doesn’t know you yet. So dressing as Neil advises here is an important plus. It even makes doing your job easier because coworkers will even help you, I have found. You present as a professional, other peers will draw to you.

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  109. hey neil,
    yes i agree that “it’s worth dressing to impress”. its an impressive post and interesting as well.



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  113. I’ll be impressed the day I actually meet someone that can actually use the features of their Breitling Navitimer, Montbrillant, etc.

    The only thing lamer than spending $5,000+ on a watch is dying in a fiery plane crash because you couldn’t use its advanced features!

    In fact, the watch I want is the one that was on the wrist of THAT guy – the guy that perished in the plane crash because he couldn’t figure out how to use his fancy watch. (if you’re the executor of the estate of said victim, I only wear brown and rose gold – not interested in silver – thanks).


    • Yea it is sad that most people don’t know how to use the features. I used to be a big watch collector, but I slowed down after I finished my watch phase. Breitling has a ton of great watches.

  114. I must say I agree with the ROI on dressing to impress. Neil I think the change you saw where you didn’t see a difference of wearing a $1000 suit to a $5000 suit when you were already successful was your inner confidence. As you mentioned earlier, the road to your inner confidence was building your outer confidence first, in this case your clothes. After seeing success after success, you knew that although the clothes gave you open opportunities, it was YOU that seized the day and got where you are today. With that knowledge that you can consult for thousands of dollars an hour, the clothes could be taken off and the knowledge of knowing you are a boss exudes without it.

    • Joseph, those are some great points! I think as we get older we find that those superficial things don’t matter as much 🙂

  115. This is such an interesting topic, but one that straddles a fine line. There is certainly an air of respect that can come with a nicer appearance. But, it’s as much as a product of our society as anything else. If we are purely associating finer things with ROI, than “The Millionaire Next Door” would not be true at all.

    This also brings up interesting question along the lines of identity. As men, does confidence and approval come from nice clothes? Or, is there a stronger identity that exists no matter what clothes a man is wearing.

    I hope to live in the latter, believing that the clothes don’t make the man. At the same time, I don’t desire to dress in a shabby manner. I simply don’t want to pull my identity from my clothing.

    • Eric, there definitely is a healthy balance. You should really just focus on doing all the right things business wise — looking presentable and unique is one of them 🙂

  116. Benjamin Ng :

    Very interesting article and I certainly agree that presentation is important. In today’s time scarce society, having seconds to impress a new web visitor and slightly more slack for an in person meeting, you’d want every advantage possible to engage your prospective audience.

    Although shouldn’t your consulting rate be reflective of your experience and ability. I am personally of the opinion that what you charge should not be reflective of how you dress alone but the value you’re delivering to the client.

    I think perhaps the reason why your consulting rates has consistently increased was the increased authority and experienced garnered over time, building the ladder step by step with each client you’ve worked support along with your blog and word of mouth.

    If your services and consulting is making them an additional $100,000/year it certainly justifies paying you $50,000/year.

    • Benjamin, thanks for all the words of support. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

      • I feel bad that u had to spend all that money. People pick on me all the time because of what I were but that’s just me and I hope that people sooner or later will see that:'( 😀

  117. Neil is pictured in a nice, well made suit. But his shirt collar is too short and the know in his tie is too big for that small collar. He should get some shirts with slightly longer collar points and drop the double-windsor knot in favor of a single-windsor.

  118. Chara Olivarez :

    it was a great post! interesting piece of knowledge. Dressing well is one way to impress people. but doesn’t mean you spend more dollars for your suit, making it simple was a good idea.

    • Neil Patel :

      Thanks, you’re probably right, it doesn’t need to be as expensive if you have the style.

  119. Very Nice article Neil !
    Sadly,have to admit, its the physical superficial impression that strikes the first click…then let be business or love….

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