[This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of NOBLEMAN Magazine]
In a world where you can be anything, why be ordinary? As far back as I can remember, I was always particular about my wardrobe. I was taught that being polished in your physical presentation was a sign of respect to those around you. To this day, even though the status quo for work week apparel and beyond has drastically changed, I still choose to have a pulled together look, day in and day out. Especially in competitive industries, presentation is not only key, but it can be the ultimate deal breaker when working to close a deal.
Your presence is the culmination of your presentation, from your chosen look to the individually tailored materials you are presenting to a client. It is often said that the better you look, the better you feel, and therefore an elevated sense of confidence you bring to the table. Over that last 20 years, I have chosen to develop my wardrobe around signature, custom tailored pieces that compliment my look and frame. As a taller gentleman, off the rack apparel rarely fits well- and fit is half the battle sometimes. From date night to board meetings and dinner with clients, I always choose to honor those I am investing time with by showing respect through carefully curated looks.
5 Essential Wardrobe Investments:
- 4 Basic Suits: Navy, Black, Medium Gray, Charcoal. With these four colors you cover the gamut. No need to get all at once….pace yourself….take a year if you have to. The black suit, when paired with the right accessories (shirt, tie, shoes, belt) can be worn to a formal black tie event, a night on the town, or at an important business meeting. Three piece suits are a personal favorite. By going this route, you can get more looks out of the same suit. By building your wardrobe on solid basics you can develop the essential foundation to a power wardrobe. The solid suits can effortlessly be paired with a crisp white shirt, any colored shirt or patterned shirts.
- Sport Coats: Two or Three nice sport coats really allow you to get mileage your wardrobe. Navy and Black essentials, and a fun/patterned coat are great choices. These coats can be worn with nice slacks, pants from a suit, or with dark denim and five pocket pants. Sport coats help create a polished look for more casual days in the office, dinner dates, or informal client meetings.
- Jeans: Great denim and five pocket pants have become a big part of my personal wardrobe. I find myself wearing a jeans/sport coat combo more and more often. Look for a nice fitting, straight leg, dark finished jean. I have incorporated many different colors of 5 pocket pants (basically a jean design) made with brushed cotton into my wardrobe from brands like AG Jeans, the Matchbox Model style.
- Shoes: Often overlooked but essential. High quality shoes in a style that reflects your personality are a great choice.I tend to choose modern cap toe shoes, although I do have a few pair of monk straps. Choosing basic colors like black, dark brown and medium brown are the perfect foundation. Recently. I added a pair of dark grey shoes into my collection and I LOVE them. With jeans, I prefer to wear Chelsea boots in black or brown.
- Watch: To finish the look, invest in a great time piece. Find a style that works for you.
For everything above….less is more. I would rather have fewer, high quality, great fitting pieces vs a larger quantity of ill-fitting choices.