Do you ever wonder where all the dress rules have gone? Depending on when and where you are on any given business day, the words "distant past" might come to mind. It's difficult to decide if people don't know what to wear to work or if they have lost sight of the relevance of appearance to professional success.
The Queen of England is reported to have told Prince Charles, "Dress gives one the outward sign from which people can judge the inward state of mind. One they can see, the other they cannot." Clearly, she was saying what many people are reluctant to accept; that people judge us by the way we dress. In all situations, business and social, our outward appearance send a message.
Try going to a busy restaurant at lunchtime. Look around you at what people are wearing and see if you don't make judgments about who they are, their line of business, their personalities and their competencies. Think about how you feel when you are dressed in your usual business attire as opposed to a casual dress. Your choice of business apparel speaks to your professional behavior and credibility. It is important to understand how to dress for business if you wish to promote yourself and your organization in a positive manner,
How you dress depends on four factors: the industry in which you work, the job you have within that industry, the geographic area in which you live; and most importantly, what your client expects to see.
In men's clothing, fashion does not change significantly from season to season but business attire is about being professional and not about being fashionable. It's about presenting yourself in a way that makes your clients feel comfortable and confident with you. Dressing for success is still the rule. The professional businessman should keep in mind these few points when deciding what to wear to work.
Choose a conservative suit in navy, black or gray either pinstripe or solid. The quality of the material speaks as loudly as the color and can make the difference between sleaze and suave.
A solid white or blue dress shirt with long sleeves offers the most polished look. The more pattern and color you add, the more the focus is on your clothing, rather than your professionalism.
Ties should be made of silk or a silk-like fabric. Avoid the cartoon characters and go for simple and subtle if you want to enhance your credibility.
Socks should be calf-length or above. Make sure they match not only what you are wearing, but also each other. A quick glance in good light before heading out the door can save embarrassment later in the day. Check for holes as well if you'll be going through airport security and removing your shoes.
Shoes should without question be conservative, clean and well polished. Lace-up shoes are the choice over slip-ons or flip flops. Don't think for a minute that people don't notice shoes. Many people will look at your feet before your face.
Belts need to match or closely coordinate with your shoes. Once again, quality counts.
Keep jewelry to a minimum. In a time when men sport gold necklaces, bracelets and earrings, the business professional should limit himself to a conservative watch, a wedding band and maybe his college ring.
Personal hygiene is part of the success equation. Freshly scrubbed wins out over heavily fragranced any day of the week. Save the after-shave for after hours, but never the shave itself.
The finishing touch for the business man is his choice of accessories: briefcase, portfolio, and pen. When it comes to sealing the deal, a top of the line suit, a silk tie and a good pair of leather shoes can lose their effect when you pull out the ball point pen you picked up in the hotel meeting room the day before.
Business attire is different from weekend and evening wear. Investing in a good business wardrobe is an investment in your professional future. For those who think it's not what you wear but who you are that creates success, give that some more thought. Business skills and experience count, but so does the personal appearance and that all-important first impression.
Hope you enjoyed this article. Get your Spring & Summer Men's Fashion lookbook and 10% off discount for your first purchase here.
© 2005, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved.
Disclaimer: All data and information provided on this site are for informational/educational purposes only. I do not own the content, neither the pictures and/or videos in this post.