Dressing To Impress


So you and another person are up for a promotion. You’re wearing an American Eagle polo and pair of baggy khakis. Your rival is dressed in a brilliant Canali suit. The boss must make the choice between hiring the man who dresses like he belongs in the upper echelons of the company or the guy with the same taste in fashion as a freshman high school student. Not really a choice at all. BOOM– promotion gone. 

It’s always important to look your absolute best. The suit is the uniform of the office and while diverging from the path is acceptable, it has to be done in a classy way.

Dressing casual or dressing down doesn’t mean dressing bad. Invest the time, effort, and money to look amazing at every opportunity.

And don’t worry; looking good doesn’t mean a closet filled with two-thousand dollar suits. An enormous budget does not make you fashionable. Instead, you should be developing a unique and compelling style that will give you the ability to build a wardrobe to fit your budget.

So what’s your next step? The simple answer is to reinvent your wardrobe. Depending on how many pairs of hobo sweatpants you’ve got in your dresser, this process may take a while, but start with the essentials and work from there.

If all you can afford is one reasonably priced suit and the cost to have it tailored—awesome. Getting suits tailored is a great way to get a feel for proper clothing. According to the must-read GQ Guide to Suits, “The right tailor can make a $100 suit look like $1,000, and he can make that $1,000 suit worth every penny.”  The GQ Guide to Suits is a phenomenal piece about suits and is a mandatory read.

But even if you skip a tailor, you’re ready to go to the mall to buy a new suit. Do you err on the side of caution and go for a more conservative look that could be boring? Or spring-board to something attention-grabbing and potentially absurd? Or do you scratch your head and do what the mannequins tell you? No. Don’t do that. First things first– know your style. Knowing what looks good on you is essential to each fashion decision you make. You can’t look at clothes on a mannequin and assume it will look just as good on you. It won’t. There’s nothing worse than dropping ninety dollars on a tie before realizing it makes your butt look big.

There are a lot of valuable resources online– you can read about skin tone & colour theory here.  But if you’re anything like me, skipping the colour charts and holding up two pieces of fabric is a much more logical.

Talk with the people working at the suit-shop and get them to help you. An experienced salesperson can lend legitimately good advice.

For me a great experience was when a salesperson told me that I shouldn’t wear red. He was able to show me, with real clothes, that red brought out the worst in my skin. I was able to see exactly what he was talking about it and it made perfect sense (unlike the colour charts).

That said, there are a lot of terrible sales people who are trying to sell you anything they can. Do not take all the advice you are given. Use common sense. If you think something absolutely does not look good on you, do not buy it. Don’t let anyone dictate bad style for you.

I remember going dress shopping…sorry, let me rephrase that. A (now ex) girlfriend was shopping for a dress and I was going along. The store owner kept trying to interject and give unwanted opinions on what was in style or what was “really hot right now”. My girlfriend browsed through the shop, ignoring the bad advice, and tried on few dresses that suited her style and budget. She decide on a dress that looked great, she felt sexy in, and almost met her budget. PERFECT.

Not so fast–the store-owner came running over, bubbling with excitement. “You’ve got to try this one on,” she cackled. Rifling through a rack she pulled out some awful abomination that I suppose could be called a dress. It had sparkly things, feathers & lace and anyone who would seriously consider wearing the “dress” was out of their mind.

“You must try it on” she demanded, scurrying my girlfriend back into the change room, not taking no for an answer. After an uncomfortable few minutes, my girlfriend emerged, looking very defeated.

“OH MY GOD DOESN’T SHE LOOK BEAUTIFUL” the store owner gushed. My girlfriend and I broke into a fit of laughter, which increased more so when she checked the price tag and it was several hundred dollars more than the dress she liked.

Don’t let a sales person force you into a bad fashion choice. This is the part that is really hard for most men. We want to look good, but really, really don’t want to go to another store. It boils down to the simple fact that if you want to look good, you’ve got to suck it up and try on a lot of clothes and discover your style.

Nobody becomes the best without working at it. Put in the effort and take care of business. Always look the best you can because you never know when that will be the deciding factor. The man wearing the fabulous two-thousand dollar suit did not put that on by accident. He knew the impact it would have and was willing to make the financial investment. The saying goes dress for the job you want not the job you have. If you want to be the Boss, dress like a boss. 


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