Posted by: kerrywills | April 12, 2013

Classic Workplace Moves: Overdressed but Understyled


The next posting in the Classic Workplace Moves series is honoring the “overdressed but understyled” co-worker. This is the person who dresses much more significant than their role but not with the best style. For example, a junior level resource manager who wears blazers to work every day…..but not the expensive ‘look like someone important’ blazer but rather the ratty blazer with patches on the elbows. I know that thrift store song is all the rage these days, but I am not sure wearing thrift store clothes is as popular as the song suggests.

"I wear your granddad's clothes...I look incredible"

“I wear your granddad’s clothes…I look incredible”

I know the saying goes that you should dress for the level that you want to be promoted to, but I really think that one’s work should speak for their reputation and not trying to dress too fancy. To me, this just comes across as pretentious and somehow thinking that one is better than the role they are in. Now that being said, I do believe that one needs to dress professionally and respectable but I would say not to over-do it. If the company culture is not to wear ties than by all means do not wear ties to work.

My guidance would be to dress professional but at a level ad role-appropriate way as to convey professionalism but not arrogance. And certainly save the blazer with the patches for retro-Friday.

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