Where has our sense of style and poise gone people? The days of making an effort to look nice to go out for dinner or to a friend’s party. We have all become lazy and default to jeans and t-shirts… the highlight may be taking off your flip flops and putting on a pair of shoes if you are a guy, and high heels if you are a girl.

The current new group of celebs coming through are not helping – after all Justin Beiber is always seen wearing tracksuits that look like P Diddy’s hand me downs, and Kristen Stewart wears converse high tops to red carpet affairs.

So what are the golden rules of being suitably dressed for a function?

1. At no point in your lifetime is it ok to wear jeans to a wedding
2. Guys – never wear a singlet unless you are 70 and it is under a shirt or you are on a sporting field
3. Black Tie means formal attire. Men wear tuxedos, women wear cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates.
4. Formal means the same as black tie, but men sometimes wear a long tie instead.
5. Cocktail is an elegant dress for a woman (LBD) and a dark suit for a man. Informal is actually the same as cocktail (so don’t assume it means casual).
6. Business casual think country club
7. Casual – the only time jeans are acceptable.
8. You can’t buy taste, so stick to simple.

And if in doubt, dress up, not down.


Can you dress to save your job? Apparently so according to some experts. And before you say it, this does not mean low cut tops and mini-skirts for females!

The key to being retrenchment proof is looking the part all the time. Staying modern and relevant is key. This simply means updating your wardrobe with a few new pieces each season and guys not wearing the 1980’s cartoon character ties, and ladies avoiding that big shoulder-padded shirt or jacket (despite trying, they still have not been made fashionable again)

For men – a well cut suit, trousers or shirt; clean shaven and a decent haircut (not a number 3 all over!). Grey hair works to your advantage too. Wearing a tie that is too short is not a good thing!

Women – not too much make-up; nicely cut dress, trousers or skirt and heels. Grey hair or bad hair roots are not a favourite with employers, and flat ballet shoes or sandals should be saved for the weekend.

You can still show your personality through dressing, but do it in a more subtle way – shoes, socks, belt, a piece of jewelry all work.

A few basic things that can get you on your way –
1. Grooming costs very little, there are no excuses!
2. Don’t go too heavy on the aftershave or perfume
3. Dryclean your suits and iron your clothes (rule 101 people!)
4. Invest in a few pairs of good shoes
5. look at how your CEO dresses and take the cue from there

And remember… perception is everything!