The Mish-Mash of Corporate Attire - Part 2: Standing out from Corporate Crowd
Boutique Jacques caters to a diverse professional clientele. Today we’ll focus on those who still rely on the traditional uniform - lawyers, bankers, accountants, those in the investment business and similar types of industries. The professional class, the people us ordinary folks rely on for high-impact, high-value advice. They still adhere to the old rule book for the most part, particularly when meeting clients. These professionals are generally expected to be precise, attentive to detail, honest, and to have integrity, so that’s what their style needs to project. Think about it - would you invest your life savings with a guy in a dirty t-shirt and sweat pants? When meeting a client on a professional basis, our advice to them is to wear the clothing that reflects these attributes: a medium to dark suit in grey or blue coordinated with a lighter colored shirt, to compliment his complexion.
The dark-suited professional is such a powerful archetype of our culture, it can seem impossible to break out of it. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to personalize your look. Just use a little creativity - match a pocket square to the suit, wear an interesting watch, or an open-collared shirt with a contrasting collar band, or a tasteful pattern. “Tasteful” is key. Think Pierre Trudeau and his trademark red rose in the lapel. On the other hand, Don Cherry certainly created a lot of buzz with his clothing, but it probably isn’t a look you wish to emulate.
Ties are becoming less common, although they are still often worn by professionals. The primary contribution of the tie was to add a splash of color (and it’s still pretty convenient for when you need to clean your glasses). But these days, men are pairing their suits with shirts in bolder colors and patterns. So instead of a relying on a tie for that splash of color, you might consider a pocket square (which will still keep your glasses clean).
The suit itself has gone through its own transformation in recent years. Gone are the days of the broad-shouldered, voluminous suit where we could store everything in our pockets without obvious bulges. Suits are now slim, cut closer to the body for a sleeker silhouette, and a little shorter to better flatter one’s physique (more on that in a later post). The color palette has been updated too – the blues on the street today are brighter shades than their older cousin, the navy blue “anywear” suit. And let’s not forget patterns. The trend has moved away from stripes in favor of checks both large and small, many of which can be quite bold.
Consider some of these combinations, available in our store:
Far from being a restrictive uniform, the modern businessman has a huge variety of options at his disposable under the umbrella of “business wear”. But be careful – with so many options, it’s easy to get carried away. Remember, you are the star of your business persona. Your clothing should complement and enhance your image without overpowering it.
Be sure to check back in two weeks, where we’ll discuss how to use accessories to help you stand out. Make sure you subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss anything!
- Leo Green