Beauty standards and aren’t just for women. In fact, men care more about their style and professional image than they let on. To care about the image you are giving off is an asset, particularly when considering professionalism. Whether you are prepping for an interview, leveling up for a big promotion, or purely picking out your outfit for work, you’ll want to stand out from the rest.
You don’t need a wardrobe overhaul or a complete makeover to do so either. Others will be vastly impressed by the high caliber of style you exude by tweaking your style with some minor tips.
A common fashion myth among men is that dressing up equals dressing better. Any man can buy a suit but not every man knows how to pull off a suit. Ill-fitting suits can make you appear sloppy, lazy and even tasteless – the same goes for any kind of attire. Following these basic fit guidelines for men’s clothing can effortlessly make your professional image look top-notch:
Collars: You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers inside of your buttoned collar without it tightening against your skin.
Cuffs & Sleeves: Cuffs should fit a bit looser than a watch and fall two centimeters from your wrist bone. When you bend your arm, your cuff should not move more than an inch up your wrist.
Trousers: Dress pants and belts should not be tight to the leg nor should they billow. Pants should lie comfortably close to the leg without resistance and drape naturally.
Tips to Improve your Professional Image
Facial hair has become more commonly accepted in the workplace, thus it’s safe to assume that most men with facial hair know to keep it well-groomed and well-conditioned. But merely trimming your beard or shaving off stubble isn’t going to “cut it” when you want to hold yourself to a certain full beard standard.
To prevent unprofessional and embarrassing nicks and cuts, as well as skin irritations, it’s important to follow proper grooming techniques, and remember that the key to looking sharp is a sharp razor itself. So to keep that face looking smooth and avoid any pull or tug while shaving, go with the grain first and then make a second pass against the grain. Don’t forget to moisturize!
Accents (and we’re not talking about how you speak)
Stereotypically, accents with regard to language are thought to make you appear more attractive and intelligent. So what’s to say that accents in terms of fashion accessories can’t do the same? A bold accent piece for your outfit is an eye-catching way to make you and your appearance distinct and memorable.
For those who aren’t as daring with accessories, start with modification to something you already wear, like ties. Switch out an old, plain tie for one with a bright pop of color or one with a pattern that adds depth. Kick it up a notch further by using a tie clip that gives the illusion that you are well put together.
If you want to be more daring, try accessorizing with something brand new to you, like a dress scarf. Scarves are great for adding versatility to any type of professional attire, be it a blazer, a suit or an overcoat jacket. Fine-tuning a few personal details to your look will say more about your professional image than words ever could!
Here is simple shortlist of Professional Image Guidelines
Shirts — The centerpiece of formal male attire
- The shirt sleeve cuff should be loose and extend to the end of your wrist.
- If your shirt has a button on the sleeve above the cuff, button it.
- Having shirts laundered is a goodinvestment.
Collars — Most formal to least formal
- Contrast collars
- Tab collars — should be worn with a tie.
- Straight collars — ideal for interviews
- Spread collars — ideal for interviews
- Button-down collars
Ties — Add signature style
- The smaller the pattern and the darker the tie, the more authoritative the look.
- The point of your tie should lay over your belt buckle.
Suits — dark neutrals are the most traditional and versatile
- When buttoning the jacket of a three button suit, fasten the top two buttons.
- A double breasted suit should always be buttoned when standing.
Trousers — must fit
- Fit is everything. Too big or too tight throws off the balance of your overall image.
- Pant hems should clear the shoe heel, but rest on the front of the shoe, creating a slight break.
Socks — never go sockless in a business setting
- Dark socks such as navy, black or brown are best.
- Over-the-calf socks are much better than shorter styles.
Shoes — putting your best foot forward makes sense
- Best shoes for business are wing-tips, oxfords and dress loafers. Wear wing-tips with traditional suits — oxfords and dress loafers with more casual looks.
- For many men, shoes are an afterthought, but cheap or uncared for shoes can ruin an otherwise polished appearance.
Coats or Jackets and apparel
- An all-weather (i.e.trench) coat and a well-maintained briefcase/tote are essential finishing pieces for most business outfits. Select a good quality trench coat with a zip-out liner so you can wear it year ‘round. You are often wearing a coat when you meet someone for the first time. Make sure this is one of the best items in your wardrobe.
Started with cutting his brother’s hair when he was 7 years old, Joseph always wanted to become a famous hairstylist. After graduating college that’s exactly what he did, traveling the world while working in salons in the most diverse cities, learning from the best hairdressers of our time. Now he shares his knowledge with us by inspiring articles, photographs, and hairstyle advice.