Suits have power. If you don’t believe that, just ask Geoffrey Zakarian, restaurateur, Iron Chef, and host of the new Food Network show
“Cooks vs. Cons
Zakarian is one of the most stylish chefs in the TV hosting game, and he’s a firm believer in the power of being more sharply dressed than the guy next to you.
His dressing philosophy is pretty simple: “There will always be the ability to get a leg up interviewing [or] working if you’re the … sharpest-dressed person,” Zakarian told Business Insider. “You will always get the attention … and other things will come your way.”
He calls his exclusively suit-and-sport-coat style “non-casual,” taking the “dress for the job you have” adage to heart.
“Dressing up is back in vogue again, but for me it always was,” Zakarian said. “It’s just something I do. I feel comfortable.”
Besides the fact that it might make you more successful, everybody notices when you dress up.
“Very reinforcing for me to always dress in a suit,” Zakarian said. “I wear a suit and tie on the plane. And I’m one of maybe two people that have a suit and tie on the plane, and everyone notices. I like that. I like that fact.”
Plane travel is one of the places where the dress code has relaxed most in recent days, which Zakarian says is an issue.
“If you’re on an aeroplane you shouldn’t dress like a slob,” he said. “You’re not at home in bed with your jammies watching ‘Homeland.'”
For Zakarian, it all started with his father. He always wore suits, and Zakarian says it “rubbed off” on him.
“My father was a very formal guy and he always wore a suit and tie,” Zakarian said. “I never saw my father in anything less than a suit and tie.”
If suits are a little stodgy for your workplace, or would put you too far out of place in any given situation, just remember a simple rule: “I always try to differentiate myself from people. If everybody’s casual, I’m formal. If everybody’s semi-formal, I’m very formal,” Zakarian said. “I strongly recommend that you always dress up versus dress down.”