What does it mean to “dress for success?” For John T. Molloy, a corporate dressing consultant in the 80’s, it meant that an individual was using clothing and accessories within a corporate setting to advance themselves within their given career. John T. Molloy recognized that clothing was simply a tool that could be used to help create favorable first impressions of the self, especially within the workplace.
The impact that clothing and dressing can have, both on the wearer and the observer, is quite astounding! One need only look to the field of colour psychology to see some of these implications. The use of clothing and accessories can certainly help to propel a person in the right direction – if done properly. However, dressing professionally and in a manner that’s in line with who you are, as well as reflective of your company’s culture, can be a tricky task. Men typically have it a bit easier, as they are often required to wear a “uniform:” the suit. Despite this fact, there are still some major style mistakes that can happen with even the most straightforward of looks. Guys, here is a list of style blunders to avoid:
- A tattered briefcase
There is certainly something to be said for a distinguished-looking briefcase; it shows you’ve been around and have experience. However, some men take this too far and sport of briefcase that is on its last legs, which shows that you either don’t care or can’t afford to buy a new one.
- Unkempt facial hair
Depending on your company’s corporate culture, sometimes facial hair is ok, acceptable, and possibly the norm. Even if this is the case, having messy, overgrown or un-styled facial hair can be very distracting!
- Suits that don’t fit
Ask any expert image consultant for men and they’ll agree that there is almost nothing worse than a man wearing a suit that doesn’t fit him! You could be wearing a $3000 Armani suit, but if it is not tailored to your unique proportions, it’s certainly not going to look like an Armani suit. Remember, buying right off the rack and expecting a suit to fit you perfectly is a fallacy: we all have unique bodies, and the suits that we wear should be fitted to those proportions.
- Dirty/tattered shoes
You may not think people notice, but they do. Just because shoes are on the ground, often hidden under desks or chairs, partly covered by the hems of pants, does not mean they are invisible! Your shoes should reflect the rest of your attire. Remember, the more casual the pant, the more casual the shoe, and vice versa. Whether or not your shoes are casual or dressy, they should be clean and polished!
Sometimes it’s hard to avoid, we know. However, there are simple steps you can take to minimize this effect, such as using certain types of shampoo. Or, take a look at these 11 natural treatments for dandruff.
- Un-manicured/dirty nails
No, gentlemen, this isn’t just for the ladies! Men have the same responsibility to have clean and manicured fingernails. You are likely doing a lot of hand-shaking, and it’s simply a sign of respect to the people around you who are shaking your hands every day! It is a small detail, to be sure, but one with a great impact.
- Don’t be the fashion victim
Participating in trends can not only be fun, but can help to show how current we are within the style world. We are all for participating in trends, however there is a danger of going too far. If you want to participate in a trend, such as a new pattern that is becoming popular, try to do so in subtle ways. For instance, instead of buying a suit in the new popular pattern, opt for a pocket square instead.
- Leave the joke ties at home!
Unless at a Christmas party (and even then….be careful), avoid wearing your funky ties to work. Yes, they show your sense of humour, but they are most likely not appropriate for the office. It might come off as if you don’t take your job very seriously!
Dressing for work can be somewhat of a stressful endeavor; there are always so many options available to us, every company’s corporate culture is different, and we want to dress in a way that reflects who we are. If you stay true to yourself and know what your company’s expectations are (if you don’t know, ask!), then remembering these style mistakes and avoiding them will certainly set you on the path to style greatness!