My Tank Top Is My Power Suit

danny-0509Insider Secrets to Summertime Dress for Success for Men

Okay, gentlemen, I have the privilege of working with Aleesa Janssen daily, and she challenged me to a blog-off on the topic of dress for success tips for men and women. Well, luckily, I am a bit of an armchair sartorialist, so I’m here to both meet her challenge and give you some useful tips.

First, we are in Houston, so the top two items on our list to address are heat and humidity. Let’s say it again with some passion this time: HEAT AND HUMIDITY.

So ,you’re about to hit that great job fair, or you have a 2nd interview with an awesome company you’ve been trying to get into for years…but it’s 100 degrees outside and 110% humidity, you’ve just stepped out of the shower and your skin immediately feels like a sponge. (Welcome to Houston!)

How can we overcome this challenge of the weather?

First, dress lightly. There are lighter fabrics out there that “breathe” better for summertime weather. Linen alone is not a good recommendation as it is light, but it wrinkles and usually does not come in professional gear (unless your potential position is Cabana Boy). Cotton blends that move us away from the traditional heavy wool suit are something to consider. Lighter colors are also a plus. While a black suit is always appealing, a nice tan suit with a pastel button-up can keep the heat down and make you look lighter and brighter as well.

Okay, so you can’t go on a suit shopping spree. Men, check out www.careergear.org (women, just in case you’re reading this, check out www.dressforsuccess.org/houston). This is a great community program that can help you find professional attire for your job search (at low to no cost).

But, what else can we do to help avoid the sweat stains from building up? I found my current position via a job fair…in August…in Houston. I knew I had to suit up and get to the job fair to sell myself to the employer, but it was August…in Houston. I solved the problem with two simple solutions. First, I wore a black suit (I know…I know…), but I kept the coat on a hanger, under the dry cleaner’s plastic in my car, until I got to the event. I didn’t put the suit coat on until I freshened up (see next tip) and was ready (mentally and physically) to meet my potential employer.

Like I said, before I put my suit coat on, I pulled out a freshly washed and folded handkerchief (fits nicely in suit coat pocket), headed to my nearest restroom, checked my appearance in the mirror, blotted any nervous or heat-inspired moisture from my face, dabbed my face with cool water, and dried my face. I then took a step back, took a deep breath, put on my coat and walked on with determination. Isn’t it amazing what a simple touch-up can inspire?

Alright…we might have to make this a series, but I’ll leave you with that for now. Well, just to be safe though, gents – make sure part of our pre-planning involves deodorant. I shouldn’t have to say it, but I’m saying it just to be certain. Cologne? One spritz or two…in the air…you walk through it. Not a gallon. And, you don’t consume yourself in the scent. Okay, go forth, well-scented, well-suited, and ready to conquer your next job.

Danny Zendejas is the Hospitality Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry and workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.



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