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An Agent’s Guide to Dressing for Success

Around the office we dress pretty casually. Jeans, comfortable clothes and sometimes even slippers if my feet get tired from standing. When it comes to conferences, meetings, lunches or other business events the good clothes come out as I think they should.

I have a rule that how you dress not only gives people an immediate first impression of who you are, how successful you are, how good your writing is, or how good of an agent you are, but how you dress is also a show of respect. If I have pitch appointments I want to dress in a way that shows the author I respect what she’s saying to me, I think she’s a professional and I’ll treat her as such. Shorts and a t-shirt don’t convey that, at least in my opinion.

As conference season rolls around I know a lot of authors are going to be worrying about what to wear. I don’t think you need to run out and buy anything new, but I do think you need to consider how your choice of clothes might influence another person’s impression of you. Suits aren’t necessary, but looking your Sunday best is probably a good idea.

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6 comments

  1. It’s funny you blogged about this today. Just yesterday I was thinking about how I dress for certain situations and it has as much or even more to do with how I feel different in those clothes than it does about the visual impression it gives others.

    In addition to business situations, when I have a meeting for my son’s IEP or a sit-down with a professional regarding any kind of family business, I consider my “getting-ready” time as part of my prep work. I dress that way because it makes me feel more confident and I think it shows that even if it’s not a business situation, I MEAN business. It makes me feel stronger. It’s my armor.

  2. Agreed. Clothing and appearance is important because it conveys a message. What is hilarious is how much effort I put into hair and makeup when meeting my girlfriends for lunch. Poor mr. Silver gets yoga pants and a pony tail.

  3. It’s funny, because I agree with this in theory, but I live in Seattle. If I were to, for example, go to a job interview in a suit, I’d be REALLY out of place. (Heck, we can go to church, funerals, and the opera in jeans in Seattle.)

    I could wear something other than jeans and a nice shirt to a writers’ conference here, but I’d feel very strange. And physically uncomfortable.

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