article title image clothing tips

3 Clothing Tips for Management Accountants

Who does not know the world-famous saying “dress to impress”? What it means for management accountants and how you can make sure your clothing is a nice fit for the whole office will be looked at in this article.

Let us start by looking at the purpose of proper clothing. First of all, there is this saying “dress to impress”. What it actually means is that your clothes add to your look and this adds to leave a good impression.

dress to impress as a management accountant

We should consider the following example: Matt goes to office unshaved, wearing old and somewhat dirty jeans. As a top, he has chosen the black t-shirt of his favorite music band. Imagine you meet Matt in the office, not knowing him before. What is your first impression? Well, maybe not the best.

Now imagine the whole situation a bit differently. Don, another management accountant, goes to the office shaved, hear nicely arranged, wearing dark blue chinos and one of his favorite white shirts with light blue checks on it. You, after meeting Matt before, meet Don. It is a completely different feel, isn’t it?

The story behind that is simple. You as a management accountant can not expect people to be able to judge your skills right from the beginning. However, people can and will judge you by your physical impression. This is why it is so important for management accountants to dress in a good looking way.

Now as we discussed the importance of nice clothing, let’s look at the three clothing tips for management accountants:

1# in the beginning dress rather a tiny bit too formal and reduce later on

If you start a new job in finance, then make sure you dress rather a bit too formal on your first days. Doing this, you avoid being underdressed and leave a bad impression on your first days. Remember Matt and Don from the example before.

Our extra tip is to keep your eyes open on your job interviews (where of course you attend formally dressed). Watch out what people you see around wear. Not only the interviewers but also the receptionist, employees passing by, groups of people discussing and so on. From that, you should get a good feeling for the general clothing style of the company.

This will allow you to already adjust your clothing for a second interview. Doing that you also show a sense of adapting to the corporate culture and this could be a plus in your interview. Of course, it helps you too for your first days of actual work.

Not sure where to get appropriate business clothes from? Visit Zalando (their return policy is amazing so you can order different sizes) or your local shirtmaker/clothes store.

clothing tips for management accountants image showing shirts

2# clothing tip for management accountants: go with your feeling

Listen to your feeling. What is valid for so many things in life also applies to your business clothes. Ask yourself what would make you look smart (without overdoing it), in what you feel comfortable and what is kind of generally expected. Then go for it and if needed adjust on the way.

Regarding what generally is expected, it seems that formal dressing is losing in importance. In 2017, a survey conducted by Robert Half states that CFOs see dressing up for work to decline in their departments. See below what seems to be worn:


Where does that leave you? As already mentioned, we think in most times you should go for a smart look (or a somewhat formal look) to impress a bit more. However, listening to your own good feeling will do you well.

3# look at your peers and your boss

Our third tip is to look around you. Take note of what your colleagues and your boss wear. With that in mind, you are likely to dress appropriately. However, your thoughts should go a bit further. Just because all colleagues walk around, say for example in a t-shirt and jeans, does not mean you need to do the same.

Consider your specific situation. You may be a new employee and meet many managers and other office staff. So, it could be appropriate to go just a tiny bit further than your colleagues. For example, go for a casual shirt instead of a t-shirt. Thus, you leave a nice first impression but you also do not look like a suited-up clown (sorry for the expression) next to your colleagues.

With those three clothing tips for management accountants in mind, you surely going to shine in the office. Remember, Zalando is great in case you need to update your wardrobe.


I'm Adrian, a chartered management accountant with many years of practical experience. I studied strategy, financial controlling and entrepreneurship in Switzerland and England.

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