I need some advice on what to say to upper managers and directors when they ask me about why I am now wearing more professional clothing (button up shirt and tie, slacks, etc.)
Most male employees at my workplace dress casually. Since I have started working here, I too have been dressing casually. Since I have started listening to manager-tools, I have made many improvements in my behavior at work. One of these improvements has been to start wearing shirts and ties. Since I have done so, many people have commented in one way or another, mostly positive.
Yesterday, I was in a meeting with my boss and two of his peers. They are all director level employees. None of them dresses more formally than dockers type pants and button up shirts with the sleeve rolled up. Two of them were wearing jeans and polo shirts. One of them, who also happens to be my previous boss, asked me why I have started dressing the way I am now. He then asked if I was interviewing. The question was asked at the beginning of the meeting with the other two directors present.
My response was given in a joking manner. I stated, "I'm always interviewing." In a sense, it is true, in that I am, at least according to my current boss, about to be offically promoted to manager with a pay raise, etc. This will be next month when annual reviews are completed.
Thinking about it later, I am thinking I should have replied differently, perhaps being more candid in that I want to present a more professional image and ensure my promotion, as well as working towards becoming a director level employee for the group I am managing. The group may soon be expanded as the company is building another location for R&D.
Should I go back and explain to them why I am dressing this way?