I can dress. I know this. You know this. It’s a thing.
The beautiful part of it is that my style is versatile. Business professional dress, while I am always looking to learn more, is something that I do well. Business casual is something that I do well and have fun with. Casual is cool too but it’s always risky (which is actually fun to see what I can and cannot get away with).
Some people only know how to dress one way and, while that one way works in some settings, it’s certainly not preferable in all settings. Actually, if I walked into a family fun day event on a Saturday in a slacks and a shirt, I’d be counter-cultural here.
Depending on who I’m meeting with or the type of event I’m attending, over dressing could actually kill my chances of developing relationships. Adaptation is key not only to one’s success but key to their ability to move in and out settings while making everyone around them comfortable.
Having worked in every field from financial advising to roadside produce sales (a.k.a. a food stand) to sports marketing to higher education to my current role in an independent school, I’ve had the opportunity to further develop my professional style, both of dress and personality. I cannot always solicit funds at my current school in the same manner that I did while working at a top tier school of law. For me, it’s not just about adjusting my style of dress but also the fundraising techniques I employ. It is critical that you know the culture of the organization you’re in.
The more adaptable your style and personality, the more opportunities will come your way. It’s basic logic.
Come back tomorrow for part two.
Make professional development a priority.
So, I love wearing a nice sport coat and you can find a good one anywhere from a thrift store to Nordstrom. Over the years, I’ve shopped the gamut and found some good deals on them. I used to be a firm believer in wearing them only with slacks, khakis, or something else dressy but that is adding such limitation to a jacket that is intended to be versatile. Check out the infographic below and allow it to inspire you. You never know when you’ll try something new and be named the best dressed in the room.
Suspenders are pretty neat, aren’t they? They’re becoming more and more popular but there are those of us who will wear them long after the trend passes. And, if you’re one of those people (or if not), I have some advice for you: Wear them right.
Clip on suspenders are all well and good… when you’re 10. But, gentlemen, at the age of 20, you should really be looking for a more classic look. My suggestion is that you have all of your suits fitted with suspender buttons and purchase those old fashioned suspenders. You know, the one that your granddad had your grandma sew buttons into all his slacks for?
What’s the difference you may ask? Well, though clip on suspenders serve the same purpose as buttoned ones, ones that are buttoned into your pants are sturdier, provide added support to your pants, and they look much more professional.
If you’re wearing jeans, you can go either way. Personally, I dig the snap-style suspenders with the leather straps. Not professional in the least but certainly far from lackadaisical.
Welcome to October! Though autumn officially started a few weeks ago, no one really takes that seriously until October. September is that weird in-between month that is kind of summer and kind of not. But there’s no questioning October. It and November are the quintessential autumnal months. And one thing that makes October so great is it is the time of most homecomings across the United States. For all of my upperclassmen and recent graduates, homecoming isn’t just a great time to knock back a few beers and watch your school pummel a slightly less than formidable opponent. It is also a great time to catch up with old friends and network with older alum to see if you can secure that job or internship that can place you on the fast-track to success.
All of that being said, you don’t want to only pack a ratty tee shirt with the school’s logo or a frat shirt that could use a dry cleaning (or two). There definitely is a time and place to wear that, like at the big game to show your school spirit. But make sure your weekend wardrobe also has a pair of loafers and a nice jack, sweater, or blazer in it. I don’t know how everyone’s homecomings are set up but at UNCG’s, we have a parade and then a big festival in front of the Elliott University Center (our student union) with a beer garden. This is the perfect time to throw on your khakis (or even a nice pair of jeans), a collared shirt, blazer, and a pair of shoes. And nice necktie or bowtie never hurt anyone either. That way, if you run into a professor, campus official, or an alumnus who has some pull, you don’t look like you’re on your 18th semester of undergrad. And, if you are, please stop reading this blog right now. You need to be reading a book. With a tutor. Preferably a tutor who is also your professor and who can be bribed.
Of course, I didn’t post a photograph of what I’m wearing because that would let people know how they can (try) to out do me. But I did give you some pretty solid examples of outfits that would be a great look for the homecoming season.
And this isn’t just restricted to your college homecoming . I’d make the same recommendation for those of you heading to your high school homecoming game. You never know who you might run into and there is no such thing as overdressed unless you decide to wear a tuxedo. Then you might look like a pompous buffoon. So I guess there is such a thing as overdressed. Don’t be that guy.
By the way, I recommend a blazer and pair of loafers on any and every trip you take where there is any chance of you going anywhere outside of a house, hospital (God forbid it is a bad trip), or fast food restaurant. Just my 3 cents.
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I believe that every young professional man should have a navy blue suit. But is it just for the office or can you make it work in your favor in multiple settings? In this YouTube video, Mr. Porter gives us five looks at what we, as men, can do with the suits. Though all styles won’t fit your personality, tweak his suggestions, have fun with them, and, before you know it, you will have added more dimensions to your wardrobe. Enjoy!
I’m back, live from the G train. I’m going to see Motown on Broadway. As many times as I have been up to NYC, I had never been to a show. This time though, I was blessed with a pair of free tickets so how could I not go? But then I wondered “What should I wear? I want to be fashionable but not formal.” Finally, I settled on the cool casual outfit you see above. I’m well-dressed enough to go to a nicer restaurant but casual enough to hit bar this evening when I head back to Brooklyn. I hope you’re enjoying my vacation as much as I am. Cheers.
FYI – I will be taking the rest of this week off from posting. I apologize for the inconvenience but I look forward to having you all back with me on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.
Hear ye, hear ye! 2013 has passed and we are now in 2014 and, in 2014, there is no excuse for you all to not be able to dress. But everyone needs a bit of help sometimes. Even I’m still learning all the time and I write weekly. If you’re new to #TheReader, I’m not about keeping up with trends. Being fashionable is great but trying to keep up will have you very broke in no time. Instead, focus on making fashionable moves with the staples you have in your closet, maybe picking up a few trendy accessories here and there.
But all of that is beside the point. This year I’m going to start off with what people will see before they get to the details of your clothes, that being the colors you’re wearing. Colors are so important when it comes to giving off an intentional perception of yourself. What you don’t want to do is send mixed signals in an important setting so below, you will find a color chart for gentlemen’s clothes. Of course rules are made to be broken in some instances but take this set of guidelines with a grain of salt and make it work for you. I appreciate you starting your year off with #TheReader. With your support and sharing, we’re going to make 2014 even more successful than last year. Have a great rest of your day.