Reader Question

Do You Need a Reason to Dress Up?

Is there a good reason to dress up?

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Jun 18 2019

We’re back with another query from the ol’ reader mailbag!

Today, a reader wonders about a good reason to dress up…

Dave writes:

I work in an office with more women than men…I am way more comfortable in a polo shirt, or a short sleeve button-down shirt and slacks than a long-sleeve shirt and tie. But the girls/ladies always give me positive comments when I wear a tie.

Is it just the effort? Or does the suit hide more flaws? I admit in my quest for washboard abs, I look more like the pillsbury doughboy than Wolverine. What can I say? It’s a work in progress…

Well Dave, I think you’re overthinking things here.

You said the ladies compliment you when you show up to work in a tie?

So….why are you not dressing like this every day?

I once read about a feedback technique performed in a storytelling seminar (who takes storytelling seminars, I don’t know, but this guy in the article did…or was it a book? anyways).

People would tell their stories, and then the group would say only what they liked about the storyteller’s performance. The positive comments reinforced the good speaking techniques, while the bad ones—the lines that didn’t work, the tangents that didn’t make sense—didn’t even get mentioned in the feedback. The result? The parts that didn’t work fell away in the storyteller’s next efforts.

It makes a lot of sense. Why not listen to what you’re being told you’re doing right—overtly and bluntly? In your case, that the ladies love it when you put in the effort with a more pulled-together look. Why not listen to what they’re saying? Is that not enough of a reason? And if they’re not fawning all over you on the days you’re dressed a little more schlubby, well..why not listen to what they’re not saying, as well?

Unless your point is to actively deter women, it sounds like you’ve got all the feedback you need.

If you need more convincing, head to our mission statement for all the reasons why making an effort is worth the effort. To me, they’re more than enough reason to dress up, at least a little more often.

It made me think of this tweet I saw from my pal Peter over at The Essential Man:

Who wouldn’t want to replace a negative feedback loop playing in their head with one that’s positive for a change? Maybe it’s just me, but I have enough negative self-talk going on inside the ol’ noggin that anything changing the internal audio is super-duper welcome.

As for comfort, if you’re wearing shirts made from high-quality fabrics that fit you just so, you’ll feel more at home in them. Invest in a few custom or made-to-measure shirts, and you should notice a difference in how you feel right away.