Originally Posted by otterhound
"Take cars. I can't help it. If I see the exact same guy get out of a 2006 Mercedes S500 versus a beat up 1985 Ford Escort, I'll think that Mercedes guy must be doing something right, whereas Escort guy doesn't have his shit together. So I'll give Mercedes guy a chance to prove his other good traits and Escort guy won't get a chance at all. Mercedes guy may still turn out to be a shit, but he bought himself a chance to prove it.
In some areas I know, when you see someone getting out of a new and expensive Mercedes, you think that he is probably a drug dealer. Expensive cars and clothes do not always produce a good impression.
By the way, I recently visited some Swedish colleagues at an IP Law firm, and to my surprise they were all dressing informally. They said that they had taken that decision because they had found that most of their clients (often, R&D staff at hightec companies) did not trust people in expensive suits.
However, generally, I think that dressing well -that is, looking clean and proper and with clothes that look nice- is important to create a good first and second impression. Actually, people who neglect their appearance often also tend to neglect other things. I remember when one of my ex-bosses hired an engineer who used to wear a very sloppy odd jacket. He always arrived late to work and didn't finnish his tasks in time, causing the rest of us a lot of problems.
It is important to care about the details. I guess that is why there is so much focus on the shoe polishing in the army.