Hey Mr.! Is Your Wardrobe Selling You Short?

For the guy who habitually skips over the fashion advice articles, this one’s for you – have you ever bumped into a business acquaintance, potential client, or even, possibly, the future Mrs. You, while you were out and about on a day that you didn’t anticipate meeting with anyone.  Did you feel a tad awkward, or did you not give it another thought?

Like it or not, everyone you meet is sizing you up; pigeon-holing you.   Your appearance, your carriage, your posture (or the lack thereof) helps people define who you are.   Many a woman will check out your footwear, wristwatch or cuff links first – not to see how cheap or expensive they are, but how much attention you pay to detail.

Whether you are attending a meeting, a networking event or taking that lovely lady out on a first date, it is crucial that you take the time to choose the appropriate attire.  Knowing how to put yourself together and what wears well on you, are critical non-verbal cues telling the world a lot about how you care for everything else.

So let’s look at some DO’S and DON’T’S for the Men Folk.

If you are going to a business networking event, or meeting a new client:

  1. You don’t have to wear a suit and tie to look professional.  Unless your line of work requires it, that’s okay – we don’t want you to look uncomfortable or pretentious.  However, DO ditch the overalls, ripped jeans or other work attire that you normally wear on the job and clean up a little – a clean, crisp dress shirt and pants or dark jeans are perfectly fine
  2. If you normally wear a business suit, DO ensure that it’s the right fit
  3. Either way, DON’T go looking like you are out for a drink with ‘the boys’.
  4. DO ensure your hair is nicely trimmed and of the appropriate length
  5. DON’T wear shoes that are scuffed and unpolished (this one applies ALL the time)

If you are going Business Casual, you can still look dapper, yet professional:

  1. DON’T fall back on the standard khakis, baggy pants, oversized polo shirts and sneakers
  2. DO try a tailored jacket or blazer over an open-collar button-down shirt and slim cut pants
  3. DO a V-neck sweater over an open-collar button-down shirt, or a dress shirt and tie under a button-down cardigan or sweater vest
  4. DO a pair of dark-wash jeans with a slim fit or a straight cut leg and dress shoes.

And how about that date to seal the deal with the lady you’re shooting to impress?

  1. DON’T go for a full suit. Unless you are pulling out all the stops and taking her to a really formal event, you’ll look like you are trying too hard.
  2. DO opt for a sports jacket or blazer, with a pair of dark denim pants and an open-collar button-down shirt.
  3. DON’T do a shirt and tie – you’ll look too uptight
  4. DO a sweater and shirt look
  5. And for your shoes, DO a pair of lace-ups or loafers

Also, be aware that your individual body shape and type will dictate subtleties like the fit, cut and style of your clothing. Nevertheless, ask yourself this, “Am I making a great first impression with my choice of attire?”

If your answer is “No”, then you are most definitely selling yourself short.  In which case, you’ve got some updating to do!

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