Dress for Success—Just Ask Duck Dynasty & Oprah

August 16th, 2013

Who would have ever imagined I’d be writing about a Duck Dynasty cast member and Oprah in one blog post?  Yet, the two have something in common that I think is important to lay on the table right now.

It appears that both were snubbed for their appearance recently.  As I described in my last post, Oprah famously alleged racial profiling by a high end store in Zurich after she claims a salesperson refused to show her a $38,000 purse.  According to Oprah, she didn’t dress for the occasion like she had money and so the store clerk evidently wasn’t aware she carries the “black card.”

Nevertheless, according to Oprah, “You should be able to go in a store looking like whatever you look like and say, ‘I’d like to see this.’  That didn’t happen.”

Meanwhile, at an upscale hotel in Manhattan, Duck Dynasty’s Jase Robertson reports that upon arrival at the hotel when he asked the clerk where he could find the restroom, she promptly escorted him outside where she evidently directs all the homeless people she encounters.

Oprah responded to her slight by creating an international incident.  Mr. Robertson took his situation in stride joking that he’d been “facially profiled.” His unshaven appearance does indeed make him appear to have spent very little time around indoor plumbing.

Robertson clearly has the correct attitude.  He didn’t whine or complain like Oprah.  He simply laughed at the whole incident.

Good for him.

But these two events raise an interesting point.  Whether we like it or not, appearance matters.  People respond to how you present yourself. Obviously, it’s a free country and you can do whatever you want, but don’t expect great service, a date, or even a second look if your hair isn’t combed, you always wear flip-flops, never put on make-up, and shower only occasionally.

People respond to how other people present themselves, and that’s just a fact.

Inevitably, you’re going to have those moments when you just don’t look your best.  I know you’ll never believe this, but even I’ve dared venture outside sans make-up and wearing sweatpants.  Quit shaking your head. It’s true.

But you know what?  On those rare occasions, Murphy’s Law always kicks in.  I always end up running into someone I know.  It never fails.  That’s why it’s always prudent to look your best. Otherwise you’re just tempting fate, unless you really don’t care what other people think of you.

As the guardian of good taste, I’ll share with you a few helpful hints so that the next time you’re in Manhattan and ask a native New Yorker where you can get a good meal, you aren’t directed to the nearest dumpster.


  • Haute couture is not only NOT your friend, it will make you look like a weirdo.
  • Stretch pants only work if you’re a Size 4 or under.
  • Big hair is bad everywhere but the Deep South.
  • Bright lipstick should be worn—never.
  • Avoid rhinestones . . . period.


  • Never wear black socks with white gym shoes.
  • Only beautiful gay men can wear high fashion well.
  • Heavy cologne and gold chains will only subject you to an FBI investigation.

I hope this advice helps you, Oprah, and the Duck Dynasty guy.

Just remember this simple life lesson—man up, dress up, and you’ll move up.