Everyone knows you have ~10-30 seconds when you walk through the door for someone to form an immediate impression. Before you open your mouth or shake a hand, you're being classified. And don't think you're immune from judging others: whether it's polished shoes or a low cut dress, your eyes catch something.
Humans are amazingly observant so ignoring fashion is just plain irresponsible. But instead of calling it fashion, let's call it visual communication; that's all it really is. You're either going to stand out or blend in.
Why would you want to stand out?
-Selected for promotion
-Better client relations
-Favor with your boss
-Getting a new job
-Attracting a mate
Why would you want to blend in?
-Accepted by peers
-Facilitate good communication
-Make a sale
-Better business meetings
-Feel "a part of something bigger"
Your reasons for your attire might be unique to you, but you're undoubtably signaling to a larger community--you are always communicating something. Whether that is confidence or indifference is up to you.
Next Time: Being Attractive: It matters, but why?