Different Looks At Different Times.
June 22nd, 2007
Professional. By now, you should know the basic tenets of looking more professional, but just to be clear, looking more professional means meeting the sartorial standards of your office or industry. No matter the standard, looking more professional most likely means going one step above where you are now: From business casual to appropriate, and from appropriate to corporate.
Authoritative. If you want to look like one of the “suits” you have to wear one. Take a look at your superiors: What do they wear? Pinstripes? Double-breasted suits? French cuff shirts? Remember, management always looks a little stiff, a little too proper, so don’t overdo it.
Creative. In creative fields such as publishing, media dress codes are notoriously relaxed . So how do you look creative when you are supposed to be creative? Well, black usually does the trick. A black suit, a black sweater with a white T-shirt underneath, black shoes. It shows everyone that you can look professional and still maintain your personality.
Independent. Every man wants to be his own man, and looking independent is a part of that. The key is finding a way to do it without looking unprofessional. Wearing jeans to the office would not be a good approach. But always wearing a cowboy belt might be. Yes, it’s a become your trademark. Here’s a range of similar ways to express independence in many ways by being dandyish or rugged, bohemian or preppy just as long as you look professional first.
Friendly. If your image is a bit aloof, you need to warm it up. No one wants to work with someone who seems distant or superior to them especially if you’re not. So what will make you look more friendly? You have to know your audience. If you’re a white then a button-down oxford shirt and tie, with the jacket off and the appear too threatening to women, a bow tie actually declaws most men possibly because there’s almost nothing that’s as asexual as a bow tie. Can you loosen up in your office? Try dressing business appropriate. Wear a sport jacket with a shirt and no tie. You will look approachable. Bring color also work wonders. A bright tie will seem cheerful, whereas something dark can often seem funereal. Oh, and would it kill you to smile every once in a white?
Organized. If your appearance is neat and tidy and that includes your desk and/or office people will assume that you are organized. Even if it means sweeping all that junk into your desk, do it. No one has to know what you look like on the inside. As for clothing, your shoes polished, and your shirts pressed. Your ties should always be knotted to the top. And make sure your watch is set five minutes ahead.
Affluent. Sad, but true, some people do judge a look by its cover. If you want to invest in two areas that can make you seem like you’re packing a big portfolio, splurge on a good pair of shoes and a nice watch. The shoes you can’t really skimp on you don’t need to spend $1,000 but $200 is about right but a watch doesn’t need to cost more than $100 to look expensive. These days, Timex, Swatch, Fossil, and other manufacturers put enough bells and whistles on their timepieces that you can fool almost anyone.