How to Dress for Success

Charles Payne, host of the Fox Business Network program Making Money With Charles Payne, talks about the importance of dressing for the job you want, not the job you have.

Charles Payne properly attired in a white shirt and tie.
Photo courtesy of Fox Business

Charles Payne is no fashionista. But that doesn’t mean the host of the Fox Business Network investment-advice show Making Money With Charles Payne doesn’t appreciate the benefits of dressing well.

Earlier this year, the Teaneck resident was visiting friends in the Bronx when his college-age godson appeared in a black shirt and tie. “It was the kind of thing you might wear to a disco,” says Payne.

The problem was, Payne’s godson was on his way to a job interview.

“I thought, There’s some common-sense stuff that’s just not being taught in high schools,” says Payne.

Determined to help, Payne quickly secured a white oxford shirt for his godson. Once his godson was out the door and “actually feeling confident about what he was doing,” Payne bought 50 more white oxfords and, through school guidance counselors, distributed them to other Bronx teenagers.

In September, Payne and his wife, Yvonne, launched Shirt and Tie For Success, a nonprofit aimed at helping sartorially challenged young men who might not be able to afford proper business attire.

Financial need is not a dead end, Payne believes. He grew up poor in Harlem, but was motivated to find his way out. “I started reading the Wall Street Journal at 13 and was buying mutual funds by the time I was 18,” he says.

Payne began his career on Wall Street in his early 20s as an analyst at E.F. Hutton in 1985. In 1991, he founded Wall Street Strategies, an independent stock market research firm, where he is CEO and principal analyst. He published his first book, Be Smart, Act Fast, Get Rich, in 2007.

The new show—which premiered in June—“is a real career benchmark for me,” he says. He hopes his nonprofit will propel a wide swath of young men toward white-collar benchmarks of their own.

“A little thing like dressing right goes a long way,” he notes.

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