There are many facets to being a professional in the modern business world. One must have good business sense and good people skills, for starters. However, looking the part is also of the utmost importance, because how one looks says a lot about them. Conveying to your business partners, employees, and clientele that you know how to take care of yourself is a crucial part of being likable and worthy of respect. Here are some tips to help you put your best face forward in order to make lasting business connections.
Hygiene and Grooming Are Critical
How one looks and how one presents themself starts with cleanliness. Your journey to looking like a professional starts improving your hygiene routine. While one knows to bathe regularly in order to stay clean and free of unpleasant odors, for example, there is also the added step of projecting a pleasant aroma via perfume or cologne. A distinct and pleasant perfume or cologne offers up an antithesis to the unpleasant and can often be a factor that sticks in the minds of people you work with, and this forms a crucial part of your professional character. Grooming is also something one tends to have a basic grasp of, but it’s worth going over additional details. For instance, longer hair or beards on men has traditionally been frowned upon, but these style choices are coming back into fashion. However, they remain a bold choice and must be kept up more intensively than their traditional counterparts.
Accessories Are Wild Cards
Professional looking fashion can be fairly flat, but it doesn’t have to be. A good place to start is adding or reconsidering accessories. For instance, one doesn’t typically think of the impact wallets can have on a professional look because men tend to stick with bland, black or brown leather wallets. However, wallets offer you a chance to experiment with more flashy elements in your wardrobe. Likewise, watches are often part of a professional outfit, but they often get flattened to match the surrounding look. Instead, you can use a more playful style for your wallet and a more extravagant watch, but these are just a couple of examples. A long standing tradition of business attire is to get more silly with socks and ties by incorporating brighter colors and loud patterns, for example. While ties, especially, are played for laughs in many cases, more tasteful options are also available to spice things up in a more earnest, fashion forward way. Floral patterns make for a classy addition to business attire, and it can be applied to both of these items.
Suits are integral to professional fashion, and one facet of that is that suits are really only expected and accepted in a narrow range of colors. Namely, suits are commonly kept to neutral colors like black, grey, brown, and some subtler shades of blue. This doesn’t provide a lot of flexibility, but there is some freedom to experiment. For instance, the colors may be more or less set in stone, but patterns are not. Plaid, paisley, and pinstripe patterns are popular alternatives to an unpatterned suit, for starters, and the material a suit is made of also tends to vary. In addition to suit itself, as well as the aforementioned socks and tie, there is also some flexibility offered by the shirt. While the style of shirt is fairly standardized, there are no strict expectations for colors and patterns here. A good way to give a business look an exotic flair is then to pair a more vibrant color with the neutral color of the neutral color of the suit. Be careful, though, not to do too much with an outfit, as the pairing of vibrant and neutral colors can create chaos if you also sport a more extravagant tie.
The Bottom Line
It can be fairly easy and accessible to dress the part in a professional setting, no matter if you’re involved in the small business or large business world. While many business men and women dress very similarly to one another, there is room for freedom of expression in your work space. Using light touches of fashion sense within the otherwise tight framework of the business dress code can vastly improve your look, and that can make you a more appealing character to coworkers, business partners, and customers alike. With these tips in mind, you can not only look the part of a professional, but also put yourself a cut above the rest.