Celebrity Business Attire

I happen to click on a link talking about the 25th anniversary DVD release of the cult classic, Stand By Me, when I saw this picture, which featured the stars (minus the late River Phoenix):

Stand By Me 25th AnniversaryPhoto courtesy of MSN.com
Standing, L-R: Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner
Sitting, L-R: Jerry O’Connell, Corey Feldman, Will Wheaton


Now while I rarely discuss men’s fashion, I think this picture speaks volumes.  It perfectly encapsulates much of what I’ve preached for years, that how you dress for work determines your level of success.  All of these men are actors, all have appeared on camera, all knew cameras would be present for the reunion DVD launch, yet only one bothered to dress like he’s a star enjoying a lucrative career:  Jerry O’Connell .

When I first looked at the photo, my attention was drawn to Will Wheaton’s crazy shoes, then to Corey Feldman’s white socks, then to Mr. GQ, Jerry O’Connell.  It’s ironic that in the movie, Jerry played the fat kid everyone made of fun of; now he’s enjoying the most visible career of all of them, and he dresses like it.

I guess what surprised me most about this is that all these men know better.  This wasn’t a candid shot on set that someone put up on a website.  This wasn’t a backyard barbecue that some paparazzo with a telephoto lens caught while hiding in a tree.  This was a product promotion.  Everyone knew pictures would be taken and they knew those images would go global by the end of the day.  Yet Dreyfuss, Reiner, and Wheaton all reported to the photo shoot looking like they’d been pulled out of bed for a 4 am makeup call.  Feldman fared a little better, but still looks a bit like a clueless college kid with the white socks.  Only O’Connell looks camera-ready.  In an industry where image is everything, only 20% of the group made the effort to dress the part – the man with the most visible (and probably the most lucrative) career.

So what can you learn from this?

It’s so easy to be lazy.  It’s so easy not to make an effort, which is why most people don’t.

Business Wear MagicWhich is why, by default, it’s so easy to stand out from the crowd.  All you have to do is exert a little effort and you’re miles ahead of your competition.

So learn which business attire is appropriate for you and dress like the star of your industry that you are (or aspire to be) – especially when cameras are present.  You never know where your pictures might end up.



  • Shel

    Reply Reply March 28, 2011

    As a weight-challenged child, Jerry O’Connell probably learned the hard lessons early in life that appearance does indeed affect how others treat you. Dress accordingly! Thank you for sharing this great photo. Love the white socks.

  • AJ

    Reply Reply May 29, 2011

    Hmmm, I’ll agree that the two younger men might have done a better job, assuming they’re still looking to be actors (though I think Wheaton is a writer these days), but Dreyfuss and Reiner look appropriately dressed to me. They don’t look like stylish young actors, because they’re not. Neither has any need to impress the media in order to get a job. While I generally agree that showing up for work dressed poorly isn’t the best thing for one’s finances, I think that comparing Mr O’Connell to those two elder statesmen is a rather poor example. He might look like he’s the one with the lucrative career, but I suspect that compared to someone like Rob Reiner his bank account would tell a different story.

  • Alina

    Reply Reply January 17, 2012

    I think the way you dress is a form of respect. Respect for others, the party or event you attend, for the hosts: you show respect for their effort etc.
    And respect for yourself: you are worthy to be invited, worthy to wear that suit!
    Dressing appropriately is not about how many advantages you gain from it. (in response to AJ’s comment)

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