Why be concerned with your appearance? Is it really that important to your career, romance, or influence over others?
Absolutely! It’s a scientific fact that people who don’t know you make up their minds about you on a subliminal/prehistoric basis in 30 seconds or less. This evaluation of you by others takes place so quickly, and is so entrenched in the human brain, that it is not usually conscious thought.
Behavioral scientists tell us that we notice the following about another human being and in this order: Skin color, Sex, Age, Bearing (height, body language, etc.), Appearance, Direct Eye Contact, and Speech.
The first three we can do nothing about, but we can take advantage of this knowledge to enhance and control how to present the best image of ourselves. Since 80% of what others see is our clothes lets look at some basic faux pas:
1. Never wear a short sleeve shirt with a tie. Fine as part of a uniform, not if you want to project a professional image.
2. Shoes are one of the most evaluated elements of men’s wardrobes. Your shoes should be clean, shined, in good repair and appropriate for the occasion.
3. Trousers should be long enough to cover your socks, and socks should cover your shins even when you cross your legs. Pants are long enough if they have a slight break in the front.
4. Never wear both a belt and braces (suspenders). You’ll appear insecure.
5. Socks should match your trousers.
6. Belts should match your shoes.
7. Ties should reach your belt line. This is neither arbitrary nor negotiable. Too short of a tie makes you look unsophisticated.
8. Properly knotted ties have a “dimple” under the knot.
9. Suit and Sports jackets are symbols of authority. However, the bottom buttons of men’s jackets are not designed to be buttoned. This has been true ever since King Edward VII gained weight and started a fashion trend. Single Breasted suits can have one, two, three or more buttons. Two and three button jackets are classic, more than three get you into the fashion forward arena, which is more suitable for social events than business. With two button jackets only the top button is fastened. With three button jackets, you can close the middle, or middle and top button. Some suits are made so that the lapels roll to the middle button. On those suits you leave the top button unfastened. Double Breasted suits are more formal, and can have four to six buttons with one or two “to button”. They are often identified by a two-number designation such as 4/2, 4/1 or 6/2 (also “four to two”).
10. Suit and Sports jackets should fit properly. This includes showing 1/4″ to 1/2″ of “linen” or shirtsleeve at the jacket sleeve.
We live in a complex, crowded society where considerate people dress appropriately for various places and occasions. Dressing appropriately is about respect for your fellow humans and our institutions, AND GIVES YOU CONFIDENCE AND POWER.
Please Contact me if I can be of assistance with your wardrobe.