Being successful in business isn’t always just about being the part, because sometimes you have to look like, too. First impressions can be everything – some say these are formed in under 30 seconds – and it would be a crying shame if a potentially positive meeting were to be derailed before it’d even begun because your appearance had worked against you – and as terrible as that sounds, it happens far more often than its perhaps realised.
Luckily, there are a few ways that you can easily take your business attire to the next level and stand out from the crowd in the best possible way. While you may’ve already thought of the obvious – having your suit tailored rather than bought off the rack and ensuring your shoes are polished and well maintained – there are smaller touches which can add class, confidence and an air of trustworthiness that go a long way when meeting somebody for the first time.
There are golden rules for ties that we all know. If your shirt is plain, a patterned or textured tie is probably the right move, and if your shirt is striped, solid block colour is the only choice. Fat, wide ties are out, and slimmer, more refined options are in. You should always prioritise a full Windsor knot where possible, and the shirt should be buttoned to the very top as standard. What you may be missing though, because it’s only subtle, is a tie pin, which can bring the whole outfit together. Match it to your other visible jewellery for maximum effect.
While these have become steadily more fashionable, it’s still an overlooked dash of flair many haven’t fully embraced. Rather than walking around with the breast pocket of your jacket still stitched up as it was when you bought it, you should have prized that wide open, allowing yourself the room to finally complete your suit. Now, this doesn’t have to be a flashy move – nobody is going to make you wear a bright floral print or have a satin peacock print on show – but giving yourself some complimentary contrast on the jacket will provide that extra ounce of sartorial elegance you were otherwise missing.
You need well-polished shoes that compliment your outfit, with a belt and, perhaps, briefcase that match. In wet weather, your umbrella should have a wooden handle, rather than a cheaper plastic. Your cufflinks should be noticeable without being distracting, and where possible, these should marry with your tie pin – these are all non-negotiable. The most important however, is to wear a good watch (from somewhere reputable like Henry London) and ensure that the strap fits well, the time is correct and the style suits you, rather than picking just any old face.