Matt Damon has a lesson for anyone – lawyers or not – on dress sense and why you need to dress 25 per cent better than everyone else at the office.

damonForbes contributor Carmine Gallo has written a piece on the importance of dress, quoting CEO recruiter James Citrin who tells college graduates in particular to dress 25 per cent better than everyone else in the office and to be 25 per cent “more formal than the prevailing dress culture”.

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And what of Matt Damon’s lesson?

Gallo notes that when he appeared on The Tonight Show a few weeks ago he was super-smartly dressed.

Why?

Because Jimmy Fallon dresses well with custom-tailered suits and “Damon is going to dress as good—if not slightly better—than the host.”

The proof is in another interviewed filmed the same day when he was casually dress in a V-neck sweater, dressing according to the “culture” of the show.

But what, exactly, does that mean? In my experience interviewing some of the most admired leaders on the business stage, my conclusion is that leaders who stand out dress a little better than everyone else, but appropriate for the culture.

The 25 per cent-better-dressed rule is a rule of thumb that will let you stand out, says Gallo.

She has other examples, including this from Shark Tank investor and real estate mogul  Barbara Corcoran.Barbara-Corcoran

(She) once told me that early in her career she always spent a little extra money on brightly colored dresses to help her stand out. She spent the extra money when money was tight because her wardrobe left the impression of success and, as you know, first impressions are hard to erase.

So dress up for the job you want, you lawyers.  After all, looking sharp is always good for lawyers seeking to put their best legal foot forward.

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