How much does appearance matter? A smart, well-chosen suit alone will not impress the client or get you through your professional review.
The right skills and expertise are essential. But there is no doubt that first impressions count - possibly for more than they should.
So why is it that the old yellow pages joke 'Boring - see civil engineering' can be so readily applied to the dress sense of much of the profession?
NCE talked to contractor Robert Gooden, who has strong opinions on the subject - and then sent geotechnical engineer turned construction hack Paul Wheeler for a makeover to discover whether clothes really do make the man.