Are You Dressing for Fashion or Business?
The term fashion usually applies to personal expression.
Whereas being fashionable describes whether someone fits in with current popular trends.
Fashion is more of a cultural form of communication. It can be used to denote glamour and style or it could describe fads and trends.
It is interesting to note that when comparing current fashion on the East coast to the West coast, you can easily see the difference in culture, with the west coast being more laid back and casual and the east coast more formal and fashion conscious.
Business attire tends to be more dressy than casual. The clothes we wear in business make a statement about who we are professionally.
But does everyone have to dress the same, or can there be a sense of fashion in business?
Can professionals incorporate style into a polished business look?
In my opinion, there are two things to keep in mind regarding this question.
- What industry or profession are you in?
- What message or image do you want to project to your customers and prospects?
There are categories like “Business Casual”, “Evening Social”, and “Dressy Casual” that lend themselves to being less formal. Yet, they maintain a sophisticated and elegant look. These are areas that you can present your fashion sense.
What are the benefits of having clothes tailor-made versus buying them off the rack?
- When buying tailored, you may buy in smaller quantities, but they will be higher quality.
- They will look better on you and last longer.
- A custom fit makes you look better.
- There are more fabric choices.
- There is more control over style.
What are the biggest mistakes professionals make when choosing business attire?
- They have too many similar looks... because it’s their favorite color.
- They put up too many barriers………"oh, that wouldn’t look good on me". Be willing to stretch yourself and explore new options.
- They don’t seek out a knowledgeable wardrobe consultant.
How can people use fashion to enhance their business image?
- Wear a variety of accent colors. Helio, or Lavender, has been a hot color in men’s shirts and ties for the past 3 years.
- Accessorize with cuff links and pocket squares.
- Create an image that you are comfortable with, after you have stretched yourself.
How can fashion be used to minimize physical imperfections?
- If you are over-weight, the best things for you are solids or narrow stripes.
- You want more of a drape in the coat to create more flow to the silhouette.
- Keep it simple.
- Tall, relatively thin men usually look better in double breasted coats.
Let me open up the world of business attire and fashion to you.
**originally published 5/5/11