IT was American writer Mark Twain who first stated “clothes make a man” although William Shakespeare had said something similar a couple of hundred years earlier.

This is as true now as it was when Queen Victoria was the fashion icon of the day. In fact, in many ways, it’s truer.

What set me thinking about this was a report in The Bolton News about Working Wardrobe – the wonderful charity set up last year to provide suitable clothes for interviews for people to get back into employment.

Since it began, it has helped 69 people back into work. That’s six a month and nearly half of the 141 people it has assisted so far.

Working Wardrobe operates from premises on Bradshawgate in the town centre and was begun by social landlord Bolton at Home. It’s part of a range of its services for local people and it also offers ongoing support after people have been successful in gaining employment.

It was set up after a Bolton at Home customer was heard saying that they would wear their “best tracksuit” to an interview. This highlighted the sad reality that actually acquiring some decent clothes for an interview was one of the major elements holding people back from getting a job.

Just think about it: if you’ve been long-term unemployed, you just won’t have a wardrobe of smart suits, shirts or tops and suitable shoes. It’s a major mountain to climb.

The organisation recognised that the right clothes are an important part of both self-confidence and that fitting into society so necessary in being successful in a job interview. It’s also important subsequently if you’re successful in getting the job in an office or other place of work.

Wearing the right clothes for the right job is crucial. Yes, I know many areas of employment these days are very casual. The IT world and other creative industries, for example, tend to be quite laidback, especially when employees are not going out and about among the public.

I suppose this is the key. If you have to represent your company in a public arena, you have to toe the line on its workwear policy, whether that’s a uniform or just smart attire.

Not everyone is good at this, though, and think clothes really don’t matter. A survey around 18 months ago on workwear involving 2,000 Brits found that just under 25 per cent had been called into their manager’s office for “a chat” about their outfits.

Men were the worst offenders, usually about wearing shorts and sandals in summer for work (don’t bother, just never wear them unless you’re a postman).

Women were told off for wearing inappropriate outfits like low-cut tops or tight leggings.

There will be many people who think that what you wear for work doesn’t matter but presenting a smart image that’s uniform to the company is important in many businesses.

Youngsters need to learn that particular lesson when going for job interviews. Clothes maketh everybody, it turns out.