Looking the Part

How do you prepare for big days?

I remember, as a boy, my dad taught me to take special care of my shoes. As a young man in the professional world, when I wore shoes to work every day, I polished them at least once a week. Now that I am able to wear sneakers and loafers on some days, I polish my hard bottoms less frequently but I still pay attention to their shine.

This post isn’t about shoes. It’s about being intentional in every aspect of your presentation. Press your shirts and trousers. Be able to select the appropriate socks. Have pen and paper that say, “I believe that what I am writing ought to be written with class.” Go into a meeting knowing you can not only meet with kings but also connect with them.

Life is too short not to be able to present yourself in a manner that commands respect. I’m not saying you always have to be in a full suit and tie but at least know how to do it and look comfortable and confident when you do.

 

Make looking the part a priority.

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10 Steps to a Perfectly Organised Wardobe

Came across this article yesterday and thought it would help quite a few of my readers. Though it is targeted toward men, it can certainly be adapted and made to work for ladies as well. If you like the gist of it, feel free to finish it up by clicking the link at the end. (By the way, I love reading the idiosyncrasies that come with British English, when compared to American English. Makes me wonder how we mis-learned so many apparently correct ways of spelling words.)

Words by Mr Dan Rookwood, US Editor, MR PORTER

Minimalism might be the smug Instagram ideal, but the reality for most people – those of us who like buying clothes anyway – is a wardrobe and cupboards that are over-stuffed at best and a precariously balanced landslide-in-waiting at worst.

If it’s a struggle to prise a hanger from the rail or a sweater from the shelf and doing so brings with it the garments either side, then you’re suffering from stuffocation and everything will end up looking creased. And all those items hidden away in the dark recesses? You never wear them. You’ve probably forgotten you even own them.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Clear away the clutter and you’ll be able to access all areas. Not only will that remove some low-level stress from your life, but you will open up exponentially more outfit possibilities, rediscover some old favourites and breathe new life into your everyday look.

And yes, OK, we will admit to having an ulterior motive. Because oh look, you can suddenly fit in more clothes. Turns out we can help with that, too.

 

Make remaining organized a priority.

Your Shirt Don’t Mean ****

Blue collar? White collar? If you’re really good at what you do, your outfit shouldn’t affect your performance (unless said outfit is functional like an astronauts is).

For centuries, we’ve ascribed one’s societal standing with his/her dress. But that doesn’t really matter, does it? Certainly, looking clean and intentional matter but I couldn’t care less if a doctor wears a tie or a crew neck Rolling Stones tee shirt, so long as he doesn’t mess up my surgery.

Clothes are not symbols of success; success is the symbol of success and, what’s so cool about that is that you define what that is to you.

And that doesn’t mean I don’t like a nice tie every now and then. But I make the tie. It doesn’t make me.

Make integrity over appearance a priority.

New Tie Alert! 👔

A few weeks ago, I posted about Neck ‘n Neck Vintage Co., a startup out of Brooklyn, New York. Yesterday, I received my first necktie from Neck ‘n Neck and I am impressed. While neckwear curator Vince Jamael specializes in providing customers with quality vintage ties from notable brands, I purchased mine after letting him know some of the styles I was interested in and then he provided me with samples that ranged in style but met my criteria. I finally settled on the Bert Pulitzer paisley that is pictured above. Having sold menswear for years with Nordstrom, Inc., I can recognize quality neckwear pieces when I see and/or touch them and this one passed the test. An impeccable silk tie with a vintage look and a width that, though may not always be on the cutting edge of fashion, will never go out of style.

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While a quality new suit will cost you hundreds of dollars and a well-made shirt is even going to be around $50 (closer to the $30 range if you know where and when to shop), a few ties from Neck ‘n Neck Vintage Co. can add some versatility to your wardrobe in no time for little cost. The more I mature, the more my tastes in whiskey and neckwear align. At this point in my life, I like my ties like I like my whiskey: classic and neat.

So, go ahead, follow @vtg_ties on Instagram, and let them know which pieces you’re interested in. You can thank me later.

 

Make being well-dressed a priority.

LinkedIn Made Me Do It!

I just so happened to write today’s post via LinkedIn by mistake. Being that I’m a LinkedIn Advisor, in addition to assisting with the online platform, I often provide insight on professionalism within the workplace. Below, you’ll find a few screenshots of what the process looks like on my end, as well as get to see my take on business dress in from one day to another.

Tailored & Tapered 1031Tailored & Tapered 1031 BTailored & Tapered 1031 C

 

Make professional development a priority.

Selecting the Correct Undershirt

I don’t want to seem like a know it all but there are a few things that, once you learn them, just make sense. Today, I’m going to share one of those things with you, as well as provide reasoning behind why it makes sense.

First of all, let’s go over the practical purposes for wearing an undershirt. Undershirts:

  • provide a layer of cloth to soak up our sweat.
  • keep parts of our anatomy from being seen through thin shirts.
  • provide a level of protection for shirts against natural oils that our bodies secrete.
  • streamline our bodies, providing a slender and more toned look.

When wearing a collared shirt that is buttoned to the top button, you should have on a crew neck tee shirt underneath. A crew neck is better than a v-neck because, if the undershirt is white, its v-shape can be seen against your skin through a light colored dress shirt.

However, if you unbutton the top button of the shirt, a v-neck undershirt should be worn. I, personally, prefer a black v-neck with my white shirts because it provides a more seamless look but, white or black, as long as it’s cut low enough that it’s not seen (but not so low that it looks extra v-like), you’re good to go.

A-shirts are great undershirts for graphic tees or, if you must, v-neck sweaters. That’s about it. They provide little coverage and don’t prevent underarm sweat from staining shirts. Additionally, when worn under white/light dress shirts, they are unsightly, providing a U shape that can be seen through the shirt. All in all, they are the least functional undershirt.

Now, if you’ve been doing this wrong for years, it’s alright. For about two thirds of my life, I had it wrong too (like in the throwback cover photo for this post). The beautiful thing about tomorrow is that it’s a new day and, going forward, you can do better.

 

Make professional development a priority.

#TrendingThursday 2.0 – Num. 12

Here are the ages you peak at everything throughout life by Chris Weller and Skye Gould
Now, as with everything, take this with a grain of salt. Some of the best people in certain fields have been late bloomers. But, at the same time, it adds a bit of perspective when you’re thinking about where you want to be in your life, personally and professionally.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Being a Good Bar Regular by Tracy Moore
I like a good drink, every now and then. And I, while I like having them at home because it’s cheaper, there are times when I just want to hang out at a bar. While I knew many of these basic rules, like leave a $1 tip for a beer and $2 for a cocktail, it’s always nice to hear a bartender’s perspective on how to be a good (and respectful) regular at your neighborhood bar. Oh, and though written for gentlemen, ladies you may want to read this, either for your own knowledge and to share with the men in your life.

3 Suit Rules That Seem Stupid But Matter
I don’t wear suits all the time anymore. Very few of my friends do. But it’s still important to know how to wear one when the time comes. Check out this article and figure out how you (or someone you know) can benefit from it.

To Be a Great Leader, You Have to Learn How to Delegate Well by Jesse Sostrin
I’ll be the first to say that I’m not the best at delegating (but I’m getting better, now that I’m in my second position with a dedicated person playing a support role). I like to do everything I can myself. That’s why this article was so important to me. I hope it can help you along the process of becoming stronger at delegating tasks.

Make professional development a priority.