Dress the Part

While we are identical twins, there are a few key differences. One of them is the fact that Dagmar is the more sporty twin when it comes to dressing, while Judy is most comfortable in dresses, suits and heels. What we do agree on is that in professional situations, it's best to always err on the side of being overdressed.

On interpreting assignments for legal depositions, Judy frequently gets mistaken for the attorney, which isn't a bad thing. And even though we've shown up to assignments in a suit when everyone else was wearing khakis, that's better than the other way around. Most of us work from the comfort of our homes, and there are no rules: wear whatever works for you when you are by yourself. However, when you leave the house to head to a work-related appointment, you should dress professionally. When in doubt, wear a suit -- you are always well-dressed in a suit, and it's nearly impossible to be overdressed in a professional situation (unless you are going to a charity fundraiser at the beach).

Unfortunately, we've heard the term "frumpy freelancer" quite a bit, and there might be a little bit of truth to it that home-based entrepreneurs can get a bit sloppy when it comes to professional dress. We can all help reverse that trend by trying to be the best-dressed person in the room. And dressing well doesn't have to be expensive: we get great deals on suits as discount stores such as Marshalls, Ross, Steinmart, etc.


Anonymous said...

The frumpy freelancer stereotype is often true! I am part freelancer and part PM, so I see both sides of the business. I went to LocWorld for the first time last fall and noted a huge difference in both dress and general professionalism. The businesspeople at LocWorld were much sharper dressers and were also friendlier and more polite in seminars. Translators are as much a businessperson as Donald Trump, so they should look and act the part.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on January 13, 2011 at 3:40 PM said...

@Anonymous: we completely agree with you. Clothes are an important part of business, and making great first impressions is key. And yes, here's to linguist-entrepreneurs!

Alex Eames on January 14, 2011 at 2:45 PM said...

I agree. For "in-person" business you should dress smartly and look the part.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Most days I prefer to be scruffy, but if I have any "in-person" business of any kind I try to look smarter than usual.

I find I get taken more seriously - even by people in shops - if I take the trouble to present myself.

I do love the fact that I don't have to shave every day though.

Rose on January 24, 2011 at 2:21 PM said...

@Alex So true, I certainly find myself taken more seriously when I dress smartly...

... I probably have become more of a scruffy freelancer. I do most of my business online, but yes, when it comes to acquiring direct clients face to face, suits are the way to go.

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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