How to dress to impress for success

In a past life, I spent more than two years as a headhunter in the technology sector and have nothing but admiration for people who have found success in the world of recruitment. It’s competitive and requires confidence, determination and a positive mindset.

Finding an edge to beat the competition is vital. As the owner of a made-to-measure tailoring business, I believe this is where I can help you keep one step ahead of the pack.

Looking the part
I’m a big believer in the maxim, ‘To be successful, you have to look successful’. It’s all very well if you can work miracles down a phone line but it is face-to-face meetings that ‘separate the men from the boys’. This is where you either win or lose the confidence of a client to run a retained search, or earn the trust of a senior candidate to represent them in the marketplace.

First impressions
You only get one chance to create a great first impression. Some of the best dressed people I have come across are in recruitment. However, the reverse is also true.

My advice is targeted at those operating in a more corporate environment who want to achieve a ‘look’ that is understated and elegant.

Although my suggestions are predominantly aimed at men, women can equally adapt my advice to suit their look and their wardrobe. My philosophy is based on ‘less is more’, while adding a few cheeky details and finishing touches that say to those in the know, you are wearing something very special.

  • If you can’t afford bespoke then be guided by the fit and feel, not the label. Just because it has a designer name does not mean the quality is any better than something from Marks & Spencer or Austin Reed.
  • As far as style goes, stay clear of the ‘frock coat’ or round collar ‘Nehru’ offerings. For a more traditional look, a double-breasted ‘button two, show three’, with two forward pleats on the trousers is perfect, or for a more contemporary look, a fitted two-button, single-breasted can look spot on.
  • Choice of cloth and colour is vital. Stay away from polyester or any other synthetic material — it doesn’t breathe well and looks cheap. Cashmere or camelhair for overcoats is king and worsted wool for jackets or suits is what you should be looking for. Stay away from odd colours (green, beige, brown), loud patterns and excessive detailing. Plains or subtle pin stripes in black, dark blue and grey are more classy.
  • Personally, a tailor-made suit is the perfect canvas that frames your body; the addition of colour and detailing via accessories makes or breaks an outfit. Accessories are vital and, in short, you get what you pay for. Despite the price tag, consider the purchase as an investment, as their products scream class and will stand the test of time.

So, a few sartorial tips that will not only make you feel great and give you more confidence, but enhance your image further as a sophisticated, polished professional.

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career, interview, jobsearch