Professional Dressing – Why Tech Leaders Wore Business Suits!
The heads of Google owned Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Apple appeared before the US lawmakers on 29th July 2020. They were called upon to defend their companies against certain claims regarding their dealings with competitors as well as data security.
These four gentlemen, need no introduction. They are amongst the most successful, richest and powerful business leaders of our time. Sundar Pichai, CEO – Alphabet, Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO – Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO – Facebook and Tim Cook, CEO – Apple Inc.
Do you notice anything in common amongst all of them? Yes, all four gentlemen are wearing Business Suits!
A lot of people quote the example of Mark Zuckerberg as an antithesis to the concept of Power Dressing. Mark is usually seen wearing his grey Brunello Cucinelli T-shirt and denim. This is a great example of being authentic to your own personal style while being appropriate to the organizational culture. Considering the culture at Facebook and the industry, dressing in casual attire works for him. Much like Steve Jobs, Zuckerberg choses to wear the same attire everyday to avoid decision fatigue. However, he has donned business suits at several occasions, as and when needed.
Let us analyse the reason behind the sartorial choices of the four tech leaders:
- Occasion – The four gentlemen showed respect for the occasion. Even though they were connecting over a video call, they needed to take the situation seriously. They may choose to dress more casually in their own office spaces, however dressing casually would not send the right message for a serious occasion like this.
- Sign of Respect – An individual dresses for the occasion, the goal, the purpose as well as a sign of respect for the people they meet. When they need to testify in front of lawmakers of the country, dressing well is regarded as sign of respect, irrespective of one’s success or wealth.
- Power Dressing – The gravity of the situation can be seen even in their colour choices. All the leaders have opted for neutral coloured suits with a white shirt. Neutral colours do not draw too much attention to themselves and make the person look authoritative and serious. Also, white in colour psychology stands for trustworthiness and sincerity. Another observation is that all of them have opted for ties in neutral colours rather than a dominant colour like red or bright blue. When the colours are neutral with dark and light colour contrast (between the suit, shirt and tie) attention is drawn to the face. Hence the person in authority can hold attention while they speak.
So next time you feel dressing well is not important, do remember, even the richest man in the world had to dress for the occasion, when the situation demanded it. It is imperative to understand that when we need to influence others, attire can be used to our advantage.
And last but not the least in the words of Loretta Young, “Wearing the correct dress for any occasion is a matter of good manners.”