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Look the Part -- Clothing and Appearance (Men)

Because people often judge you only by your appearance,
 your clothing should always "fit in" with what is expected,
 and you should always maintain a neat appearance.

The main thing that people "see" when they first meet someone is how that person is dressed and his or her overall appearance.  The person’s "inner qualities” are simply not visible in most social situations, including job interviews and other significant contacts.

That's why it’s extremely important to stick to the unofficial—but still very real—clothing and appearance "code" if you want to make a positive impression on employers, landlords, and others. 

Without trying in any way to minimize your personal individuality, here are some clothing and appearance guidelines we suggest you follow closely in order to go forward successfully in job interviews and other important situations.


Clean, recently cut, and neatly combed.  On the sides: trimmed around the ears with no (or very small) sideburns.  In front: completely out of the eyes, usually the higher the better.


Usually, clean-shaven without any beard or moustache is most appealing to potential employers and other contacts.  If you do want to keep a moustache or beard, it should be very neat and well trimmed.

People who show up for a job interview or other important meeting with a scraggly beard or an out-of-control moustache have considerably less chance for a successful outcome than clean-shaven or neatly trimmed applicants.


Freshly brushed, mouthwash if any chance of not-so-good breath.

Hands and Handshake

Fingernails closely trimmed, hands and fingernails clean.  Handshake is firm but no bone-crushing.


These are our strong recommendations for a good shirt for job-hunting and other important contacts:

  • plain, not shiny
  • single-colored (white, light blue, light green, light tan, ivory)
  • no designs or “messages”
  • neat collar
  • always tucked inside the pants


  • color:  medium to dark brown, dark blue, black, medium to dark gray
  • cuffed or un-cuffed, both OK
  • trouser legs should touch the top of the shoes with a slight break in the crease (no baggy folds at the shoes)


  • dark brown or black leather
  • very simple buckle
  • no more than about 2 inches of the belt should extend beyond the buckle, and be held up by a belt loop


  • solid black, dark brown, or dark blue
  • no multicolor or patterns
  • no white or other light colors (unless required for diabetes or other condition)
  • long enough to hide legs completely when walking


Black or dark brown walking shoes that actually look like dress shoes are a fine choice.  These are very comfortable and can be used for daily around-town use as well as for job interviews and other dress-up occasions.

Shoes should be lace-up type (no buckles, Velcro tabs, etc.)

Regular sneakers or other sports-type shoes are OK for around-town use if they are clean and not scuffed.  However, they are not suitable for job interviews or other important meetings.

For employers, one of the best indicators of a potentially good and reliable employee is well-shined shoes.  This is a secret weapon you can use to advantage in your job interviews and other social contacts.


Except for religious reasons, hats, caps, or any other kind of head covering should never be worn inside any building.

Hats and caps say a lot about the person, both good and bad.  Ten-gallon hats are fine in Texas but out of place in most other areas.  Any headgear that looks too unique or “special” should be avoided.

For daily around-town activities, as well as for outdoor work, the only kind of hat you need is a simple broad-brimmed one.  This is especially important for sun protection.  Of course, if your job requires wearing a hard hat or another kind of hat that is part of a uniform, you will need to do so.

Size Guide

To accurately determine your own size measurements and find the corresponding clothing sizes, you can go to a separate website, Sizeguide.net, by clicking here.  

Exercise:  You will obviously want to be well-dressed for job interviews and for meeting with potential landlords.  Can you think of other kinds of contacts where it would be to your advantage to make a good clothing and neatness impression?

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