HOW TO DRESS FOR SUCCESS
The Gentleman’s Guide To An Elegant Dress Sense
“You are addressed by the way you are dressed.”
When you meet others for the first time, your appearance offers, in the immediacy, not only the first, but the only platform for assessing you. To be a winner, you must dress like one. To be regarded as a winner, you must dress like one. Learn the subtle art of dressing for maximal success with the minimum of investment.
Who Looks Like A Winner?
The Success Look!
Quite often, the image you project is far more valuable than your skills, or even your track record of past achievements. As United States Senator from Massachusetts, Daniel Webster (1782-1852), aptly put it: “The world is governed more by appearances than by realities.” How true this is! You are addressed by the way you are dressed, I always say. Put quite simply, the look of success is the look of a winner. Provided you have the funds, you can purchase any of a wide selection of expensive status symbols with which you can adorn yourself to prove that you have arrived. But for a certain clean, simple look that need not tarry until your bank account is brimming with millions, there is one symbol you can acquire with the minimum of investment in common sense, money and time: The look of success!
If you want to be a winner in the market place of life, you might as well start by looking like one. Admittedly, your field of endeavor will determine, to some degree, how you would brand yourself for success. If, for instance, you were a rap music artist, a certain eccentricity in apparel and accessories would not be considered inappropriate, and might even be expected by your fans. If, on the other hand, you were an investment banker on Wall Street, and your ambition is to rise to the Penthouse Suite, then you would, not unnaturally, be well advised to invest in some white shirts and a hair cut!
The safe rule of thumb is that you should subscribe to the standards that prevail amongst the senior and, perhaps, obviously successful men in your own industry setting.
Grooming Your Face
Proper Shaving is Indispensable!
Your face is the first and primary focus of attention for anyone meeting you for the first time, and while we can’t all have movie star looks, you can make the best of what you do have.
A rather sore point with most men is the tendency to shave badly. It is common-place to see a well dressed man arrive his desk with isolated patches of stubble that were missed while shaving, and end the day with a heavy growth of new beard. It becomes imperative for you to try as many sets of blade and shaving cream until you isolate the combination that works best for you. If you have a beard that grows both heavily and rapidly, you should keep an electric shaver in your drawer, for use as frequently as your growth demands.
The healthy outdoors look will always be synonymous with success. This is the look of the consistent golfer. While we can’t all, however, be members of an elitist golf club, flaws such as eye pouches, bloodshot eyes and a sallow skin will respond to fresh air, some exercise and a reduction in drinking and smoking. The look of the winner is a look of energy and vitality, not one of dissipation and fatigue.
Next, you will need to carefully assess your hair. Invariably, for most men, a simple and natural appearance is always the best option. Sometimes, an investment in hair styling may not be out of place, but the aim should be to cut the picture of a reliable, dependable and responsible man.
Baldness breeds insecurity in some men. This is understandable. While the use of wigs can be a safe recourse here, the caution must be made that bewigged men can often be the brunt of cruel jokes from many people. Worse still, once you have been ‘caught out’ as a wig wearer, it will basically remain all people remember about you, casting a certain pall of dishonesty over you.
Finally, you will need to turn your attention to your teeth. Discolored teeth turn people off. A consistent appointment with your dentist for scaling and polishing is in perfect order.
A Carefully Fitted Suit
A Suit That Sits Well Proclaims Great Dress Sense
You need to firmly grasp three facts right from the outset.
1. You will need to cultivate a departure from the common trend of people dressing for success only when they become successful. You ought to start dressing for success now! The aim would be to set yourself apart from the crowd as a quiet and dignified individual, distinguishable by the aura of success that clings to you like a second skin. To be regarded as a winner, you must look like one.
2. You need to recognize that how you wear your clothes is as important as what you wear.
3. You don’t need to invest too heavily in the process of acquiring a respectable wardrobe.
The reason why you wouldn’t catch the President of the United States in anything other than a plain dark blue, or a dark gray suit, with or without some muted pattern or stripe, is really very simple: these are the colors that consistently give a suit a winning look. A dark blue suit, or a dark gray one, are appropriate at any business event, during the day or in the evening. At such an event, any color outside this narrow range, stands a fifty percent chance of looking out of place. In a nutshell, therefore, the type of suit you are looking out for is the type that a banker or a clergyman would be comfortable in. Wherever you end up sourcing your suit, whether you picked it ‘off the rack,’ or it was a bespoke creation from one of the distinguished tailors along London’s Savile Row, ensure that it is a simple, single-breasted affair whose cloth is free of any fanciful textured pattern, whose pockets do not have buttons on them, and whose lapels are not so wide that they extend up to your shoulders.
A carefully fitted suit is worth the investment in time, money and effort. Let us be quite clear about an incontrovertible fact: ‘Off the rack’ is not quite the same thing as ‘fit like a sack!’
Your suit need not cost a fortune, but it must fit. If you have a slim build, your jacket waist should be reduced to produce a slightly flared look. If, on the other hand, you have a moderate build, the sides of your jacket should simply hang straight down. Classically, the left lapel of your jacket should have a button hole, and your sleeve cuffs should carry at least three buttons.
It is important that the collar of your jacket is high enough to be close to your neck, rather than hang away from it. This is a common flaw in most jackets, and ought to be avoided at all costs.
Scrupulous attention should be paid to your trousers. You must consider it a complete anathema for your ankles to show in the upright position. Your trousers must be long enough to break gently over your shoes. Trouser cuffs will have to be considered an entirely optional matter. However, it is widely acknowledged that cuffs make the trousers hang better by adding some weight to their bottoms. You must avoid trousers that are too long or baggy at the bottoms, as this can only endow your legs with a certain grotesque gracelessness.
To maintain and sustain the success look means you have to appear cool, unruffled, debonair and confident at all times. You must be so well turned-out that it would surprise no one if, the next minute, you were elected to the board. The rumpled and sweaty look is not consistent with the winning aura. For instance, an unforeseen, sudden downpour could ruin your perfect look in minutes. To forestall such emergencies, you would do well to keep a fresh, spare suit in your office. Generally, it is advisable for you to own enough suits so that you don’t have to wear those that are faded and frayed at the edges.
Avoid heavy fabrics, if you can. It is advisable to insist on wearing only lightweight suits, while keeping an assortment of very heavy overcoats, for those living in very cold regions. This not only maintains your comfort, but saves you money as well.
Every man of success should have at least one blazer in his wardrobe. The classic blazer is dark blue, single breasted and gold buttoned. It is usually worn with dark gray or beige trousers and brogues, which are strong shoes with ornamental patterns woven into the leather.
A Simple White Shirt
The best thing you could possibly wear with a good suit is a simple, white shirt.
The plain white, well sown, one hundred percent cotton shirt, with a button-down collar is the best option for the classic success look. A quick note must be made of the contemporary fad for shirt collars of a size that reminds one of the wings of some pre-historic flying monster. The world will always have its passing fads, and allowance must be made for this fact. However, a look of success demands restraint and a certain subdued enthusiasm in all things. Your shirt collar should look effortlessly natural, and should feel comfortable.
The best colors for a man are white and blue. The occasional, very narrow, understated stripe in a muted color can add some character to a good shirt.
Some rules are sacrosanct. The non-appearance of a good inch of shirt cuff at your wrist, when you are wearing your suit, must be considered a serious breach of sartorial protocol. Put simply: short sleeves are out!
Cuff links are very useful, but should be as simple as possible. They should not be so conspicuous as to draw attention to themselves; their best presentation being in plain gold.
Your Tie Is Not A Neon Sign
A Simple Tie; A Great Dresser
Your tie should not so scream at the world as to become a neon sign of sorts. You can play around with colors, but in a subdued manner. As far as color and pattern are concerned, your tie will attract admiring glances when it is not conspicuous and flashy. Quiet stripes, check patterns and polka dots are tolerable in a good tie, which generally should neither be too thin, nor inordinately wide. Moderation in color, shape and size should be the rule for your ties.
Your Handkerchief Should Be Like An Iceberg
A Tip of The Iceberg!
If your tie comes with a pocket square, that is nice. If the tie does not have this privilege, then you can use a white, cotton or silk handkerchief. Under no circumstances should the handkerchief struggle to match the tie in color, and in wearing it, it should be slightly crushed into the jacket pocket, with only a little of it visible, very much like the tip of the iceberg.
Pencils, pens and glasses should not be carried in your jacket pocket. They end up making you look like a fugitive.
Suspenders or Belt; not Suspenders and Belt!
Larry King:The Classic Suspender Look!
If you opt to wear suspenders, do not wear a belt. If you opt to wear a belt, then suspenders are out. It is considered in the worst possible taste to wear suspenders and belt at the same time.
Heavy tooled belts, with fancy buckles are fine on cowboys, and look great with blue jeans. They, however, are simply incongruous with a business suit.
The Correct Color In Shoes
Black Shoes: Fit For All Seasons
A successful man has more black shoes than brown. You can wear black shoes with black, blue, and practically everything else. The black color, in shoes, is always correct. There is really nothing fatally wrong with brown shoes, as long as they are worn to complement their own rather narrow margin of utility. For the success look, a rule of thumb, when it comes to shoe shape is to avoid the extremes: those with very pointed toes, and those with heavy, square toes. Your shoes should conform, as much as possible, to the shape of your foot.
Your shoes should not be high-heeled, nor should they be thick-soled. Give shoes made of braided leather a wide berth.
A Man’s Socks
The display of several inches of ankle, when trousers hang at half mast, is bad enough. But, short socks, or those that fall down in rolls around your ankle, are truly tragic. A very convenient solution is this: acquire black, stretch and full-length socks. Black socks look good with virtually everything.
A Mirror In The Hallway
Finally, to ensure that you always emerge from your house looking like the winner you truly are, install a full-length mirror in your hallway, just before the front door. This allows you to do a final check on your appearance, just before you step out. When you take that final glance at yourself, you will be amazed at your own reflection. You will wonder whether this perfectly debonair man; this last word in the suave look of success, is truly you!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Yomi Garnett is a physician, author, public speaker, and a world-class Ghostwriter. He is HOST of the popular Internet Radio Talk Show, DREAM THE LIFE, LIVE THE DREAM, on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network, in Phoenix, Arizona. Eminently regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished Ghostwriters, Dr. Garnett is President/CEO at The Global Institute For Human Excellence, Chancellor/CEO at Royal Biographical Institute, ROBIN, and Host of The Garnett Interview- America’s First Celebrity Newsletter Interview, an Online, High Profile and Social Media-propelled Interview series. He is Author : “365 DAYS OF WISDOM: A Daily Companion For The Soul In Search of Enlightenment.”
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