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Update wardrobe for job success

Abridged Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO, IL -- A recent study by two economists at Elon University in North Carolina suggests people -- particularly men -- who invest in their appearance receive higher pay. The thinking is, if you care enough to put on a necktie, there's a good chance you're also a conscientious and agreeable worker.

While good grooming wasn't a negative for women, it didn't boost pay since women are often assumed to be detail-oriented anyway. The study, by professors Steve DeLoach and Tina Das, adds to a body of research on the topic. One paper, published in 1994, found that men with facial symmetry -- a handsome mug, essentially -- earned 12 percent to 15 percent more than men who ranked in the lowest category for looks.

Of course, rating attractiveness is not an exact science, and there is more to getting ahead than being a bombshell. But career coaches say it's important for both genders to dress appropriately for the job.

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