Monday, March 22, 2010

The Rules of Appearance for Men

In the working world, understanding the subtle art of a properly put together appearance can help you get hired, fit in, and move ahead. Everyone knows that one fashion faux pas is all it takes to take you out of the running for that job or promotion.

That’s why there are rules. Understanding and implementing the rules of grooming, clothing, and accessories will increase your chances of making a great first impression and will make you known for your high standard of personal excellence.            

Your professional appearance is your most powerful business tool. It signals to the world your character, success level, income, and level of sophistication.

Here is a list of what every well-dressed professional should know:

- There is no such thing as a short-sleeve dress shirt. Never, ever wear one with a tie. Unless you are Dwight Schrute.

- On a single-breasted suit or sport coat, always leave the bottom button unbuttoned, though it’s becoming more common to button only the middle button on a 3-button coat.

- The tip of your tie should reach the middle of your belt buckle.

- Collar stays are those little pieces of plastic (or they can be gold or brass-plated) that keep your shirt collar pointy. They get lost easily, so keep a stash of them around.

- Don’t wear a button-down collar shirt with a suit. They clash with the formality of a suit – save them for sport coats or days where you don’t wear a coat.

- Most men choose to steer clear of pocket squares - they’re those little pieces of linen or satin peeking out of the chest pocket of a suit or sport coat. They may be seen as a little pretentious, but if you’re comfortable with them, by all means go for it!

- Always match your shoes and belt.

- Your sock color should tie your pant leg and shoe together. For dark pants, typically match the pant leg. For lighter pants, match your shoe color.

- Your work clothes should only be for work, your evening and weekend clothes should only be used outside the office. 

- Your whole appearance will fail without impeccable grooming. Fingernails. Hair. No scruff on your face. Watch the cologne usage.


amyjr said...

I love the rules for men however I have a BIG man in my life. He is 6 foot 10 and +400 pounds. Since his goto place for shopping stopped carrying his sizes we have been at a loss of where to buy.
He used to shop Eddie Bauer but the company discontinued 4xl tall and 48x37 lengths pants so shopping is very hard.
Any ideas??

Anonymous said...

what exactly is a button down collar shirt? as in: "Don’t wear a button-down collar shirt with a suit."

aren't all dress shirts button down shirts with collars?

Kristen Kaleal said...

This is a button-down collar:

It's much more casual.

Amy, I think JC Penney does some 4x's, but shopping online may be the best way to shop for him.

Kat(i)e said...

Thanks so much for this! If you don't mind, I have a few questions that I am having difficulty finding the answers to.

What are the rules for matching a blazer, trousers, and shirt when no tie is worn? The salesman at our local 'fine mens' clothing' store was pulling out all kinds of crazy combos that went against my gut feeling for what flows. My husband has several pair of grey trousers, a navy pair, a greenish pair, and a brown pair. Blazers are black, navy, a dark earth tones patterned one, and a light earth tones with a turquoise stripe patterned one (both I guess are like large plaid). I think sticking with neutral shirts is a good idea for the patterns, or is that not 'in' anymore?

Also, pleats! I agree that flat front looks better, but my husband is an avid cyclist with a very muscular heiny and thick thighs. Flat front pants have never fit him well, even when getting a larger waist and attempting to tailor it down. Are pleats really that bad? Is he a walking calamity with his pleats?

Thank you for any help you can give!

Image Consultant Singapore said...

Great tips for guys to update their looks!