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Should You Dress Better Than Your Boss?

Every day when you walk into work, you want to make a great impression. After all, that impression carries weight. It can determine if you are thought of as part of the team, whether you stand out from the crowd, and whether or not you’re going to get that next big promotion.

A lot of that impression has to do with your clothing, which can be a sensitive matter in the workplace. While you want to stand out and be noticed, there’s an unwritten rule that states you shouldn’t dress better than your boss. That being said, rules were made to be broken.

When to Dress Better Than Your Boss

Dressing above your superior’s style of dress is a sticky subject, and one that should be thought through carefully. There are certain times when this rule should be followed, and times when it should be tossed aside. Let’s take a look at each of them.

  • You Want Your Boss to Notice You- Standing out from the crowd can be difficult in a sea of endless corporate faces. However, trying to stand out doesn’t always mean donning suits, stylish men’s tweed jackets, and dress shoes. If you want to stand out, avoid dressing better than your boss. This comes across as “I’m better than you,” which no employer likes. Instead, follow dress code guidelines and consider other ways you can use your attire to get the attention you deserve, like an eye-catching red tie or stylish silver cufflinks.


  • Your Clients Dress Well- Sometimes the deciding factor of whether to put on men’s suits and ties when your boss doesn’t comes down to your clients. How do they dress? Do you have face-to-face appointments with them often? If so, then the way your boss dresses shouldn’t matter. Choose clothing that not only represents the client’s style of choice, but reflects the quality and superiority of the products or services you represent.


  • Your Boss Ignores the Dress Code- Let’s pretend for a moment that the dress code in your office is business professional. This would normally mean you’d need to wear men’s suits, ties, dress shoes, and dress shirts. What do you do, however, if your employer consistently shows up to work in chinos and a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up? Do you conform to his style to avoid dressing better than him? No.


This is one of the times when it is appropriate to dress better than your boss. You’ll not only show uniformity with your co-workers, which can promote team work, but you’ll also avoid any trouble that might come going against the dress code. After all, just because your boss doesn’t follow the rules, that doesn’t mean you still won’t get in trouble if you follow his example.

Whether your boss wearing chinos and a tweed jacket or suits to work, be careful when thinking about dressing better than him. There are certain times when it is acceptable and other times when you may end up making the wrong impression. Select men’s tweed jackets, suits, and ties that adhere to your company’s dress code, your clients, and your employer’s style for the best results.

By Should You Dress Better Than Your Boss? 21 April 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments