By: Art Lewin
Successful professionals and executives have learned that “Clothing is Marketing” now, more than ever. With competition becoming keener all the time, standing out in the crowd by fitting the image of an achiever is well worth the effort. Are you sending the right message in your business attire?(Better forget jeans, bandannas, chains, and leather.)
A few simple guidelines will help…
First, observe how leaders in your industry dress. The top performers how casual are they? Do they wear only suits, or do they wear jacket, slacks or skirts? Next, think about your clients – particularly you’re A-list, those you would like to attract more of. What do they wear? More importantly, how do you think they want you to appear? Finally, think about what style of clothing you enjoy. Is it preppie button-down shirts, or trendy Armani? What colors and outfits have you received the most compliments?
Now, you are ready to blend these ideas into a wardrobe plan. The idea is simple. Put together a three-outfit wardrobe that imitates top performers in your industry, but draws upon colors and styles you wear best (never plan to dress more casually than your clients even if they do not wear a necktie or scarf – that doesn’t mean that they don’t expect you to). When in doubt, go in a darker color and conversation in style. Plan to invest the bulk of your budget into darker suits or jackets. You can dress these up with less expensive accessories that do double or triple – duty with your basics.
All things considered, your first suit probably should be solid navy. A navy suit enhances virtually any skin type. For men, the navy suit has the added advantage of being acceptable at dressy social occasions at well. Teamed with a white shirt or blouse and power neck-wear, a navy suit is perfect for closing that “BIG DEAL”. It can easily be softened when worn with Oxford button downs, jovial tie and cordovan penny loafers. Next suit or outfit: charcoal gray – either solid, or a very fine pattern (one that looks solid at a distance) by going with a great basic, you get a garment that is perfectly correct and can be worn with a multitude of shirts and ties. Work hard to find a cut that really flatters you, because this can be a practical and wonderful wardrobe.Third suit or outfit: Navy or gray striped suit for men; subtle for women.
All thought these are bare guidelines; I find this plan works well for almost everyone. Invest more money in basics; accessories with more stylish blouses shirts and neck-wear; and do not buy on impulse.
Art Lewin is a second-generation clothier and owner of Art Lewin Bespoke.He is well known in the professional business community as a personal clothier providing executives with true value in their clothing. His mission is to bring satisfaction in the look, feel, dollars spent, and fun of building an effective wardrobe. Art’s training by International Tailoring Masters brings a unique service to his clients.
Art Lewin is the Owner & Creative Director of Executive Clothiers, one of the nation's premier Custom Clothiers.