Why You Should Dress 25% Better Than Everyone In The Office


The actor Matt Damon appeared on The Tonight Show a few weeks ago to promote a new movie. He wore a nicely tailored dark suit, vest, and tie. For another interview earlier the same day, Damon dressed more casually in a V-neck sweater. Damon dresses appropriately for the “culture” of the show. If he’s seated next to Jimmy Fallon, who always wears custom-tailored suits, Damon is going to dress as good—if not slightly better—than the host.

Matt Damon’s wardrobe choice provides a valuable lesson in dressing for the workplace.

Sitting backstage at a business conference a few years ago, I asked a military hero the secret to leading a team into battle. “That’s a long answer, Carmine,” he said. “But I can tell you it all starts with how you’re dressed the first time you meet them. If your pants are whiter, your shoes are shinier and your clothes are better pressed, you’ll communicate confidence, a commanding presence. You’re telegraphing that you’re in charge.”

The military hero was on to something. Over the summer I read 1776, the revolutionary war tome by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough. In describing George Washington McCullough wrote, “There was never any mistaking the impeccably uniformed, commanding figure of George Washington…Appearances were of great importance: a leader must look the part.” Washington was fighting the British, but had his clothes made to order in London. George Washington had his clothes custom fit well before Nordstrom was around.

I think we all agree that leaders should “look the part.” But what, exactly, does that mean? In my experience interviewing some of the most admired leaders on the business stage, my conclusion is that leaders who stand out dress a little better than everyone else, but appropriate for the culture. For his portrait on the August 23 cover of Forbes magazine, Instagram founderKevin Systrom is wearing a dress shirt, sport jacket and pocket square for a dash of personality. The photo inside the magazine shows an even more formal Systrom in a suit and tie for his meeting with Pope Francis when he got the Pontiff on Instagram. The photos tell me that when Systrom meets world leaders or has his photo taken for a prestigious business magazine, he dresses the part.

Top CEO recruiter James Citrin advises job candidates—especially new college graduates—to dress a little better than everyone else in the office, specifically 25% better. On The Today Show, Citrin was asked how a graduate should dress for a job interview. “A grad should do her homework and then be 25% more formal than the prevailing dress culture,” he said.

Dressing 25% better suggests that you’re going to take a bit more time to press your clothes, update your wardrobe once or twice a year, wear clothes that fit your body type, choose colors that compliment your skin or hair color, and avoid worn or scuffed shoes.

Real estate mogul and ABC’s Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran once told me that early in her career she always spent a little extra money on brightly colored dresses to help her stand out. She spent the extra money when money was tight because her wardrobe left the impression of success and, as you know, first impressions are hard to erase.

In fact, each of Corcoran’s five co-hosts on Shark Tank are all impeccably dressed. I once shared a stage with investor Daymond John. I’ve seen him wear gorgeous suits on the television show, so I chose to wear a newer suit and tie as well. And it’s a good thing I did. The FUBU founder showed up looking like he was worth every penny of his estimated $300 million fortune.

Dress 25% better than everyone else. It’s an easily attainable rule of thumb that will help you stand out in the workplace.

Original posting on forbes.com

Men’s Guide to Dressing for Date Night at a Concert


What to wear on a date is always a big question. You want to convey your sense of style, your personality and yet you also need to be appropriate for whatever sort of venue your date occurs. Whether it is a dinner and movie thing, a day out on the town or anywhere else, wearing the right garments on a date lets you feel confident, comfortable and authentic. So, what if you are a many dressing for a date at a concert? What sort of concert outfits are most appropriate?

As you might guess, that is really going to depend on the venue. So, let’s start right at the top, and look at what to wear on a date to a formal concert such as a symphony or opera.

A Black Tie Date

 

As we all know, concert outfits for such settings are going to be at the most formal end of the spectrum. It is up to you to know, and alert your date to the fact, if a concert is a black tie affair. If it is, keep in mind that a very smart, black suit can work wonders for a date of this kind. Be sure you keep things clean and simple, with a thin lapel and fitted look being the most contemporary and stylish. Put some thought into the shoes chosen, as these can let you express personal style, along with accessories like a pocket square, watch, cuff links and even your tie.

An Outdoor Concert

Though you will find a long list of casual outdoor venues, you also find some more formal options. Think of places like the famous Tanglewood in Massachusetts. Here, there are world renown classical musicians playing to crowds of well-heeled audiences throughout the summer months.

What to wear on a date to an upscale outdoor concert? Fortunately, such events are the ideal time for those casual suits. Think linen trousers, seersucker or linen sports coats, paler or even pastel hues in shirts and accessories, and trendier foot ware. If the outdoor concert is more of the music festival variety, you need to consider the realities of getting dirty.

In that event, the concert outfits most appropriate would include deep blue denim, sturdy khakis, a trendy button up or printed shirt and a casual jacket. Your shoes will need to be able to stand up to the rigors of the setting, and that could mean loafers or even premium sneakers in a solid color.

Arena Shows

One of the most common concert venues you might find yourself with a date is the arena. Whether it is a pop, country, techno or other sort of performance, the oversized stadiums are not an excuse to go too casual. What to wear on a date in an arena? Well, instead of thinking concert outfits for this one, think “club” outfits. What would you usually wear to a club? This is the direction to head when choosing what to wear on a date to an arena.

Many call these kinds of concert outfits “elevated casual” because they learn towards fitted, dark jeans or less casual trousers with a stylish top like a fitted t-shirt (without any logos or graphics) or a button up in a nice cut. Boat shoes, loafers or casual shoes work well here, and a sports coat or fashion jacket is a good call.

And what to wear on a date to a smaller venue? There are many smaller spots that offer up a variety of musical styles and many have table seating close to the performance space. This is an ideal spot for a date, and the concert outfits appropriate here are the same as those for arena shows and even outdoor venues.

Whether it is a first date or not, you want to dress to impress when attending a concert. With these tips you can be comfortable, original and appropriate, and focus on enjoying the music and the company.

 

Men’s Guide: How Your Suit Should Fit


How your suit should fit

Whether you’re buying an off-the-rack suit or taking your current suit to a tailor to get it adjusted, there’s a few things you need to know to get it done exactly as it should be.

Firstly, tailor’s vary in skill and communication for the type of fit they’re creating. So to get a good return on investment, you need to know what a good fit actually looks like.

Luckily, there are some simple, standard rules you can follow outlined below to make sure you get the best-fitting suit possible.

What A Well-Fitting Suit Looks Like

To do the following checks, you will want to stand in your natural stance with your arms by your side. This may not feel very natural at first, but it the basis from which all of our movement flows, so If your suit doesn’t fit well here, it’s not going to look very good when you’re moving around either.

Collar

Turn from side to side to check out your collar as a poor fit can only be seen from the back.

Check that your jacket collar is resting against your shirt collar, which is in turn resting against the back of your neck.

If there are any significant gaps in between, then the shirt or jacket are too large. Conversely, a tight collar will create bunching and folds just beneath it,so make sure everything looks nice and smooth.

Sleeves

 

suit sleeves

The sleeves of the suit should sit comfortably. Aim to have a good ½ inch of your shirt cuff exposed outside the jacket sleeve and ensure there is no slight twisting of the sleeve while your arms are hanging by your sides.

Shoulders

suit-shoulder

The seam on top of the shoulder should be the same length as the bone under it, and should meet the sleeve of the suit right where your arm meets your shoulder.

Suit Jackets

Suit jacket length should just skim the groin. There should be no no button strain and similarly no sagging material where the jacket buttons up

Close a single-breasted jacket with only one button when you’re testing the fit, even if it’s a three-button jacket. You’re looking to see if the two sides meet neatly without the lapels hanging forward off your body (too loose) or the lower edges of the jacket flaring out like a skirt (too tight).

The button should close without strain, and there should be no wrinkles radiating out from the closure. A little bit of an opening at the bottom of the suit is fine, but the two halves beneath the button shouldn’t pull apart so far that you can see a large triangle of shirt above your trousers. (Ideally, you shouldn’t see any, though a bit is socially acceptable, especially when you mov

Jacket Buttoning

Starting with the top button and working your way down: it’s sometimes appropriate to have the top button buttoned along with the middle one (a stylistic decision — if the lapel is flat, it can look good to button it; if the lapel rolls over and hides the top button, only button the middle one).

It’s always appropriate to have the middle button buttoned as the middle button pulls the jacket together at your natural waist and lets the bottom naturally flare out around your hips.

You should never button the last button as this messes up the intended tailoring and flare offered by the middle button.

Seat

You can spot a bad fit in the seat when there are horizontal wrinkles just under the buttocks (caused by too tight of a fit), or by loose, U-shaped sags on the backs of the thighs (caused by too loose of a fit).

Trousers

Trouser legs should crease slightly where the bottom meets your shoe

You want to be able to pinch around an inch of excess material all the way up the leg for the perfect slim fit .

One horizontal dimple or crease is usually ideal. The cuff should indeed rest on the top of your shoe — there needs to be contact — but it shouldn’t do much more than that. The trouser can fall a touch longer in the back than in front, so long as it’s still above the heel of the shoe.

 

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