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.