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Collar or no collar???

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Our company is a framing company turned contractor and previously we as the "salesman" did not really have to worry about what we should wear. Now that we are daily visiting jobs around town and giving estimates on different projects, we came to the question on what is the appropriate dress code.

Right now we usually sport a nice company T-Shirt and some cargo shorts with sneakers. As a home owner do they appreciate the ready to work attire? Or would they like a guy to show up in khakis and a nice dress shirt? Do they think that a nice outfit equals expensive or professional?

Any opinions....
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I've wondered about this too. There have been times I would show up for a meeting in my work boots, jeans and a company t-shirt and it was fine. Maybe I looked like I knew what I was doing...But there have been times when I felt the customer was expecting something else. Im a jeans and work boots guy but I will shine up a bit more when i know Im meeting someone for a high end project...It shouldnt matter either way. Once the customer sees a portfolio or past projects, the work should speak for itself.
IMO dress for the job you are doing. Doing sales? Dress like a salesman. Framing? Dress like a framer.
I've had it go both ways at all income levels. If they get hung up on your manner of dress over whether you can deliver what they want, they're usually not going to be a good client. A clean appearance is essential though. Most people realize that you will not be an effective supervisor in jacket & tie in a small to medium sized company. If your representing a large, heavily advertised or well known firm, jeans & t shirt will not do. They will be expecting a sales proffesional, architect or engineer and expecting their job supervised by someone in jeans.
Shorts to me seem a bit too casual to me but that's probably because in our trade shorts are mostly very impractical in a work situation.
I had a similar question but it involved pants...:whistling...:w00t:
Duluth Trading has some very nice presentation jackets.
polo with your company name/logo embroidered.
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The t-shirt or collared shirt is irrelevant compared to the -- Shorts & sneakers issue. :eek:

No flip-flops?


You need to look like you could work in the clothes you got, but still look nice. I would be hesitant about khakis and a definite "no" on shorts. Decent jeans would be fine with a dress shirt, sleeves rolled up, decent work shoes, but not sneaks. If you look like you've never picked up a hammer, some may wonder of your companies abilities.
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I think it all depends on who your meeting. Iam a jeans and tee guy . Dont know if Ive lost jobs because of it but I know I have got a couple.
In one case home owner tells me he looks at my hands (beat up ) and cloths can tell Im a worker. The other competition sent out a guy he tells me clean and never looked like he picked up a tool. I got the job
I would keep a polo shirt in the car. Jeans, work boots, polo shirt says your in charge but also able to work. I agree you should look like a contractor but also look professional.
Bad word!!!!!!

Dress Crisply and Cleanly. DO NOT impress nor flaunt.

Shoes, face, hair, TONGUE, are the difference!


Tongue does NOT mean Big, Impressive, Ostentatious (prime example) words.
IMO dress for the job you are doing. Doing sales? Dress like a salesman. Framing? Dress like a framer.
Contractor Sales not Used Car Sales :laughing:

I guess when people think "salesman" they think:



I think more along the lines of clean guys in collared shirt (and usually short hair). Unfortunately for me I've got hair more like steve nash or keith urban (been told I looked like both, actually :( )
Bad word!!!!!!

Dress Crisply and Cleanly. DO NOT impress nor flaunt.

Shoes, face, hair, TONGUE, are the difference!


Tongue does NOT mean Big, Impressive, Ostentatious (prime example) words.
Those aren't compliments. Have you seen either one of those goblins?
I think a simple collar (knit or other) on a shirt sets you off as a little above average without overdoing it.

The cost is minimal and you can always switch shirts easily and quick.
notice the frowny face?
Those aren't compliments. Have you seen either one of those goblins?
I HATE wearing t shirts in public- IMO they are tacky and unprofessional. I wear a cotton button down short sleeve shirt, jeans and a ball cap. This works to my advantage when it comes to going to give quotes, although I went to one today after finishing a small job and I was sweaty and dirty- but I got the job though.
How do you know that the SHIRT works to your advantage ?
I HATE wearing t shirts in public- IMO they are tacky and unprofessional. I wear a cotton button down short sleeve shirt, jeans and a ball cap. This works to my advantage when it comes to going to give quotes, although I went to one today after finishing a small job and I was sweaty and dirty- but I got the job though.
Work clothes during the day, come home shower, put on new jeans and a button down shirt before visiting with customers at night. Seems to be working for me.
Dress For Success!!!

I feel that sometimes dressing up too much can scare the customer into thinking that they cant afford your company. On the other hand it can also weed these customers out. I'm in the Kitchen and Bath industry so the initial sales call can make or break the deal and is worth alot of money. If you want to portray what your product or service boasts, it is a good idea to dress as professional as possible. I know I wouldn't consider someone sweaty, scrubbed out, unshaven and unprofessional in appearance even if they claim to be the best. Just as we would prepare a quote, we should take the time to prepare ourselves, this prepares your customer for "the best"... Ultimately, how we look to a customer portrays to them how we run our business, subcontractors and worksites. I was brought up "old school" Dress for Success!!! Dress down in what works for you once you have secured the job, they will respect the contrast.
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