Take pride in your appearance! what more do you need ?

Before I go on, I must apologise in advance to any female readers

As I am a male, the content is going to revolve around a males appearance (the non drag type). If you’d like to add to this from a females perspective, I’d be happy to include it in the post (with credit)!
Lets face it, when you know you look good, you feel good! By “good” I don’t mean something out of a catalogue (or worse, a typical salesman!) … just make sure everything actually fits, there are no ridiculous contrasts (and you’ve got your fly done up).

Shirts

love a good fit on a shirt, so much so that it made me change my lifestyle when I started to get serious about my career.

Sadly, the “average man” these days is a bit overweight … so companies have adjusted to this to accommodate it.  I realised how ridiculous I looked because I was the average as and I could not fit into what is now classed as a “slim fit” (what used to be normal) because of the belly I had to hide. I changed my lifestyle to make sure I never had to hide my figure again (I’ll go into this some other time). I also used to always wear a jacket to help hide “the average belly”, these days I only wear it for formalities or if its cold. If you’re wondering, a typical shirt off the shelves tends to look like this if you’re under the “average”.

Hey, I’m not saying I’ve got a six pack … but I’d say I’m average … and I have to buy “slim fit” shirts!

Also, I’m not saying we should all be in the “slim fit”, if you’re not, make sure you have a shirt that fits.

Charles Tyrwhitt has been my favourite for quite a while, go check them out for some good fit (non tent like) shirts.

Trousers

Hey, guess what !? Bell bottoms are out! (Ok, so I was late to this party). Again, a good fit is the way to go. Times have changed and trousers are a little bit slimmer these days (although trends seem to have gone a bit too far in some cases and some look like they’ve been painted on).

If you’re not so tall, like me (apparently I’m the average at 5’10” … what a load of bo**ocks as I seem to look up at everyone I know !), non hammertime trousers make you look a bit taller.

Shoes

This is very subjective as everyone I meet seems to have different taste. Actually, I think I need to gauge whether you know what I mean by this … If you know what the difference between a quarter brogue and a round toe derby is, then you’re good to pick for yourself. If not and you think there’s “smart shoes” and “trainers” … then leave this site ! (okay, or just go to mr porter and have an education).

Ties

Although a lot of people would disagree with this, I would never stick on a suit and tie to turn up to a manufacturing facility when I knew I would be on the factory floor. In fact, the only time I wear ties these days is for weddings, funerals, interviews and high level board meetings (even then I struggle, I hate them!). That said, most of the clients I meet are engineers that work line side and ties can be a bit of a health hazard in those environments. Yes, tie clips (and jackets) stop them being loose, and in the boardroom, you’re not near machinery anyway … so I guess you need to judge it for yourself. Especially if you’re in an industry where its the norm (for instance, banking!).




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Obviously you cant wear all of the eventualities to all of your meetings. So, where/how should you gauge it all ?

 

I find a cut away collar shirt, smart chinos and quarter or chisel toe brogues work well for most occasions for me (with steel toe cap boots wherever necessary), but as I said, I work in an engineering environment, and that works well there.

It’s a gauging game, use common sense and dress appropriately ! Lets face it, you’re a sales guy and they’re expecting you to look like this and sound like this . Figure out what the customers/prospects you’re going to visit wear and make sure you look slightly better than them. I stress slightly better because you want them to think “wow, he looks smart, I could do with taking a page out of his book” … and not “wow, what a flash pr*ck, he thinks the sun shines out of his ar*e!”.

They’re expecting you to look presentable, but you need to fit in (so don’t wear a suit to a coal mine!). Obviously its impossible to get this spot on with new prospects as you have no idea to know exactly what the dress code is / or what the envir.onment you’ll be visiting is like. For instance, I’ve been to see new people over at the Ford manufacturing facility quite a few times … sometimes I’m line side, discussing operations on an engine build and sometimes I’m in the board room, suited and booted.

I’ve f*cked  up a few times with this and I now keep a “just in case” pack in the boot of my car (as well as my PPE) this includes (with the lessons learned):

  • A shirt – Lesson learned: I was given a dribbly cup with my coffee during a morning meeting (ok, I dribbled). Stained my shirt and had two more meetings that day, not good!
  • Polo top – I was at a factory for 4 hours, in the middle of summer (35 degrees), there was no air-conditioning on site … and I was wearing a suit! Paedophile in a playground got mentioned a few times.
  • Jeans – My “smart” trousers didn’t enjoy navigating through a mile of thorns bushes
  • Tie – I hate them, I haven’t had a situation where I felt the need to have one on … but you never know!
  • Jacket – the hoodie doesn’t quite cut it sometimes :p
  • Trousers – yes … I’ve split a pair before!

 

Bottom line, gauge it well (while taking pride in your appearance) and you’ll pull it off in a blue chip boardroom or waste disposal shop floor !

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