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  • Squash the Blue Suit- Lisa Ling’s tips on how to dress for success, the cool way


    How to dress for success can get confusing, especially in a fashionably laid back industry. I reached out to Lisa Ling for some of her personal tips.


    Initial impressions count. In a flash, your total guise is snapped into a visual Polaroid. Sure, resume, personality, and communication skills all are part of the final hiring decision, but nothing can wipe out that first instant recall from someone’s memory. And, your style of dress is key.


    I asked Lisa Ling, co-host of The View and Dryel spokesperson what her thoughts are about dressing to impress in a fashionably laid back industry. After all, Lisa had to win favor with Barbara Walters.

    Following a bloodhound search to fill the Gen X seat on the ABC morning show, Lisa was hired to be “the young one” on The View. Lisa says, “The world of technology skews younger so it’s important to convey thatyoung people are pioneers in a field and shouldn’t hide that. A lot of older people hire young people for a wide range of reasons. To don formal attire may not be what they are looking for.”

    “I have a lot friends at dot coms,” Lisa notes, “that world has the most casual people. The climate has changed, people that are still in the field have stepped up a notch when it comes to their dress. Tennis shoes have traded to nice black boots. It’s not too formal, but more funky, stylish professional at the same time, like a cool pantsuit paired with a funky t-shirt.”

    A dot com is not just a dot com– it is an extension of the industry it represents. Your dress implies more of your overall sophistication to that particular field and the world around you rather than the latest runway look-unless, of course, you are interviewing at a fashion house.

    Before you go on any interview, you should do some research about the company, this includes the dress code. Every industry has its own peculiar set of dress standards. Your mission is to get the knack for that industry’s beau ideal and tweak your interview outfit appropriately.


    While your everyday dress may be more casual at a dot com than if you were a trial attorney, an interview still requires more “correctness” than an ordinary workday outfit. In most cases, this is where you opt for a classic choice rather than an overtly trendy style. Classic does not mean dowdy, just simple, chic, and polished, like the pinstriped suit pictured at right from designer, Rebecca Taylor.

    Do offer a glimpse of personality, though. Imagine the shock of an employer who hires the woman in the conservative black suit to find out she shows up for work everyday in a skirt sooo short you can see what brand pantyhose she’s wearingů ouch!

    Lisa demonstrated her spunk early on when she had the opportunity to sit next to Sam Donaldson as guest anchor on Channel One News. “I didn’t want to wear a “normal” news anchor suit,” Lisa says. “Instead, I wore a funky black suit, a T-shirt with a blue car on it, and black platform boots. I looked cool and Sam complimented my boots.”

    That is the point. On a job interview have the confidence to look like yourself, only better, stronger.

    Lisa’s parting advice, “In the dot com industry, age contributes to the reason they hire because young people are in the forefront of that world, so don’t hide it.”



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