I was recently asked by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) to write a “Top 5” article that would help the association and non-profit executives of Washington step their wardrobes up a notch.
Click on the image to the left to view the full piece.
Now, for those of you outside the Beltway, it may come as a surprise that associations are actually a big deal here in D.C. They play a huge role in shaping policies and educating decision makers about a wide variety of important issues. ASAE is itself the trade association for those work in the association business.
In addition to its excellent magazine, ASAE regularly publishes a special supplement for the D.C. market (the epicenter for association careers) and this is where the OTC article appeared.
Though initially targeted at the younger executives who roam the Capitol’s hallways and populate the many think tanks, advocacy centers and trade association and non-profit offices of this fine city, I’m posting the article for all to read because I think its message holds true no matter where you live.
The message is simple: choose the core pieces of your wardrobe with an eye for the long term and modify where needed. For example, if you never wear a suit and never expect to do so, than get a really nice blue blazer for the times you need to dress up. Then, you can spend a bit more and get a couple of extra pair of pants or some nicer shoes.
Just use your common sense and focus on how you want to come across to your peers, your clients or your boss. How you dress does in fact matter, especially when you are on any sort of public stage. Ignoring this important fact can work against you, even cost you a promotion, as one human resources VP recently told me.
I’d be remiss I did not point out the Top 5 list for women. I’m not nearly as useful when it comes to women’s wardrobes, so let’s just say I had some help from a panel of experts – including my beautiful and very sharp wife.