The weather is starting to get warm. That means summer is around the corner, along with even higher temperatures. It’s time to put away your snow boots and get out your swim trunks. But there is one item that you can leave in storage this summer: the short sleeve dress shirt. I know it’s tempting. I’ve been there myself. Maybe you have a few of these short sleeve gems sitting in your closet. It’s eighty-five degrees outside, and the air conditioning in your office barely works. You think to yourself:

I’m wearing a suit jacket. Nobody will ever know. I will be so much more comfortable. What’s the difference, anyway?

There is most definitely a difference. First of all, your shirt should fit so that a small part of the sleeve peeks out from the end of the suit. It will definitely be noticeable in your short sleeves when there is no shirt coming out the end of your suit. But wearing a short sleeve dress shirt with a full suit is probably the best possible option. It’s possible, albeit unlikely, that people won’t notice. What happens when you need to take off your jacket though? Or maybe you’re actually contemplating just rocking the shirt with no jacket.

Don’t do it.

You will end up looking like an airline attendant. Or you may look like everyone’s favorite Assistant to the Regional Manager Dwight Schrute. Neither look will motivate clients or potential clients to take you seriously.

This post goes beyond vanity. As an attorney your image is not just your own. When you step into court you represent a client, and your image becomes theirs. In a meeting with opposing counsel, taking the time to dress well gives off a better message than looking like the office funny guy. We know that as an attorney it’s important to sweat the small stuff. Your outfit is one of those things you should put thought into in order to make sure you are giving off the right message.