Dressing for Success


how to dress for success - networking tips for beginners

A couple of weeks ago I attended an event hosted by TM Lewin on how to “dress for success”, in other words, work and professional networking. They obviously gave us an introduction to their range of clothing, but they also gave loads of general tips:


  • Buttoning up jackets – Top button sometimes, middle button always, bottom button never.
  • Important to get the right sleeve length – if it is too short it wears at the elbow and if it is too long it wears at the cuff.
  • With regards to quality – the lining and inside pockets are the giveaway.
  • Don’t wear all day – hang it up.


  • Girls should try and match skirt and trousers to a jacket for variety, or even a dress.
  • Choose a skirt option that is practical – so if your job requires a lot of running to court a pencil skirt is not the best idea.
  • Rotate so that the suit lasts longer.


  • Sleeve Length (same problems as the jacket).
  • Measure sleeve length from middle of back, straight out to bent elbow and then to wrist.
  • Should be able to get an index finger in all the way round at the collar.
  • tie the tie in a knot suitable for the shirt collar.
  • when matching tie with patterned shirt, go for the least dominant colour.
  • ironing a shirt – collar then cuffs, sleeves and finally body. Iron from the outside, in with the collar (lining in a good quality shirt if fluid to shape the collar, if you iron out this deshapes the collar and cause lumps at the points.

We also got shown female cuff links (in the shape of shoes) and bow ties (which are harder to tie than they look boys).

Anyone got any dressing for work tips they’d like to share?


  1. These are really good tips. There’s some weird things – the reason men are discouraged from buttoning the bottom button on their jacket apparently dates back to Edward VII who fastened two, couldn’t get the third and left it, it’s now the done thing.

    Also, a bow tie is said to be like tying a shoelace around your neck. Except in every single way.

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