Does it matter how you dress if you work in the service industry?
What if you're a master electrician, own a small plumbing company, or do work as a butcher with your small family business.
Does clothing really matter in these instances?
My answer: YES
In fact – your clothing is perhaps even more important that that for a man in a profession that wears a suit daily.
A professionally dressed blue collar worker sends the signals of trust & competence.
These two feeling – if evoked in a potential customer – can lead to higher sales and lower complaints.
There are plenty of posts that talk about how a man should dress in an office environment.
The reality is that an office is not the only place that men work. Some men have very successful careers as blue collar workers.
I dedicate this article to the hard working blue collar worker and answer the question on what they should be wearing to work.
In this post, I will be answering the following questions:
- Does clothing really matter for someone in a blue collar profession?
- How can a blue collar worker’s clothing be interpreted?
Allow me to start with a short story.
When I was living in Ukraine, we would frequent the food markets. One sight in particular stuck with me – I remember seeing meat being sold that was surrounded by bees & flies.
As an American – I was used to seeing meat neatly packaged in plastic wrap.
So to go from that to seeing meat sit out for hours and touched by insects – I asked my wife if the meat being sold was fit for human consumption (on a side note – we did not buy this meat – we had a trusted resource we went to!)
My point here?
Your clothing is your packaging – does it send a signal of trust?
No matter what you do you want your person and your clothing to send out a signal of trust. You do not want people questioning your professionalism or your authority.
If you’re a butcher then there is that expectation for you to appear in an apron, perhaps a blue collared shirt and some gloves. If you work with meat from the back then you should have a hairnet on as well as a clean coat. You should always appear relatively neat, well-groomed and professional.
As for your wares, there is an expectation that they are sanitary, stored in a cool and dry place that is free from insects and sterilized.
You want to dress in a certain manner so that you can earn their trust.
The key for blue collar dressing are these points
- Understand that you need to be dressed for function and/or protection
Aprons, long sleeves, protective gear, bright colors and similar details are there for a reason. They exist to make sure that you are able to do your job well without hurting yourself.
- You want to make sure that the company name tag as well as your own name tag is visible for your customers and clients to see
When you show up to someone’s house dressed in ordinary clothing, chances are the person at the door will refuse to let you in because they don’t know you.
This is the importance of having a uniform with a clear company and name tag on it. The person at the door can immediately identify that you are the electrician or the plumber that they called and a sense of trust is established.
Conclusion – Clothing Matters For The Blue Collar Man
Yes, clothing still matters even if you are in a blue collar profession.
The type of clothing that you wear to work can be interpreted in two ways:
- If you are dressed appropriately people will see you as trustworthy, professional and someone they will gladly do business with.
- If you choose to dress carelessly and sloppily, then people are less likely to trust you and may choose not to do business with you at all.
It really is as simple as that.
Want more? Watch this video – “Working Man Casual Style Tips”:
Learn more about How Men Dress for Blue Collar Work
Get more information and useful style tips for the working man.