Jun 05

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Undercover: From Classy to Flashy

Sandy Dumont, The Image Architect talking about classy versus flashy dress codesIn a recent episode of “Undercover Boss” the female owner of a large company went undercover to work with her staff undetected.

In order to look like the other employees and not be recognized, she changed her image dramatically. I wondered how many elements they would decide to change in order for her to go unrecognized. Quite a few, it turned out!

She went from a polished and refined look to one that was very dated, unsophisticated and unprofessional.

The photos above are not of the actual CEO, but the types of changes were similar. The CEO changed her hair from an attractive and stylish style to a dated-looking, flyaway shag. Her makeup was more exaggerated, and she wore gaudy colors and very unprofessional styles.

A lot of young employees arrive at the office in club attire, and have no idea how much they are diminishing their chances of success. Unkempt hair also takes its toll on credibility.

The way you look and dress announces how you feel about yourself, and you’ll be treated accordingly. The CEO wasn’t accorded much respect.

Without a doubt, we do judge a book by its cover. If you want to be treated with respect and accorded credibility, you need a professional image from head to toe.

Permanent link to this article: http://sandydumont.com/undercover-from-classy-to-flashy/


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  1. Yvette

    Hello, My Question to you is this. I work for major retail hardware store. We are limit to certian color pants. We can wear dark blue,kakia,and denim. I want to look neat a polish and still be able to move around to and fro.I am 52 yrs young. Do you have any suggestions? thank you and have a great day!

  2. Sandy Dumont

    Just discovered your note to me. Khakis always look rumpled and sloppy. I would choose very dark denim that fits well and are maintained properly.

  3. Sandy Dumont

    Yvette, I would choose the dark blue pants. They will look ore professional than the other colors.

  4. Suzanne

    I agree with the Navy Blue pants. It looks more sophisticated and I would add my own
    “signature” to the outfit– a pin or scarf or hairband that kept me a bit above the crowd.

    I live in Japan, where uniforms are a way of life and people work hard to make them look better that what the customer is wearing. Navy blue and black are always used in “formal” uniforms (e.g., skirt suits or pant suits) that attempt to draw respect from the customer. Sandy, you would be delighted if you took a flight on ANA or JAL. Japanese flight attendants are a great example of how most people in Japan approach uniform wear. They work hard to create that polished and professional image that US attendants created years ago. Although US attendants still have great uniforms, they do not carry themselves with the dignity I see in the ANA or JAL attendants. The attention to detail here is a marvel– a scarf is not just thrown on, it is tied to perfection!

  5. Sandy Dumont

    Thank you for your comment. I’m always delighted to hear that readers love using accessories. A few years ago, some airlines let employees wear khakis and polo shirts. It was disconcerting and made them look as if they had just been hired off the street, with no experience. Luckily, they must have realized this, because they’ve disappeared from most airlines.

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