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Vogue & Style

The Talking Fashion

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Fashion is essentially the most popular mode of expression: It describes the everchanging style of clothes worn by those with cultural status. A fashion trend occurs when others mimic or emulate this clothing style. Fashion is an endless popularity contest.

High fashion is the style of a small group of men and women with a certain taste and authority in the fashion world. People of wealth and position, buyers for major department stores, editors and writers for fashion magazines are all part of Haute Couture (“High Fashion” in French).

Some of these expensive and often artistic fashions may triumph and become the fashion for the larger majority. Most stay on the runway.

“The apparel oft proclaims the man.” -Shakespeare

Fashion is a means of self-expression that allows people to try on many roles in life. Fashion is that invisible image that speaks to your personality. First impressions have become a norm in the business environment that portrays the hidden personality of the individual.

It takes only one-tenth of a second to form an opinion about one; the importance of creating a professional first impression can’t be understated. Whether meeting with a client, presenting to a room or nailing an interview, appearance is a critical filter. Visual cues – from the cut and fit of your attire to the condition of your shoes – become makeor-break details.

When it comes to making sartorial statements that will have a lasting impact, the suit is the sharpest one a man can make.

The moment you put on a perfectly fitting suit – whatever the occasion – there is a noticeable shift in the way you present yourself. Your posture improves, which in turn helps make you appear more confident.

The garment’s rich history and refinement adds a subtle sense of authority. High fashion-minded workers understand the impact that a great suit can have. “There is a fine art to suiting. A precision cut, smart fabrication and sharp finishes show an acute attention to detail and can set you apart in the workplace”. “First impressions count.

Make a strong one with colours, prints and styling that reflect your personality.” With men embracing the nuances of fashion more than ever, they’ve also become spoiled for choice. The sheer variety of modern suiting means there is not only a suit for everyone, but one for every occasion.

A Good Man, advises clients that a good impression is as much about knowing your audience as it is dressing for the occasion. “It is important to take into consideration the setting you will be in and dressing respectfully for the people you will be meeting with,” Rolland says.

(Thomas Rolland, the head image consultant for Melbourne-based stylist) “When you are getting ready or are preparing for a certain occasion, be sure to think about where you will be going to, who you will be meeting, what will the other people in the same location be wearing, and what best describes you as a person.” There are various obvious reasons why we need to dress to be addressed such as:

GETTING THE JOB

A good first impression in an interview could be the vital difference between you and another candidate. It’s also a time when the traditional, as opposed to the adventurous, can make a stronger statement. Sticking with a classic, single-breasted suit such as those from British designer Paul Smith or Japanese label D’URBAN will help you convey the calm confidence required.

WINNING THE PITCH

From the Monday morning boardroom meeting to walking into a sales pitch, one way to let colleagues or your audience know you have it covered is to look as incontrol as you feel. To achieve this, one needs to choose a suit that grabs the room’s attention. “A threepiece suit, such as those from Hugo Boss, will show an appreciation for tradition”.

LEAVE A LASTING IMPRESSION

Creative industries such as advertising, design and PR have led the way in celebrating individual style within the workplace.

These environments call for style that, while less structured, retains suave professionalism. Saba’s “Darren” style in navy check, or Sand’s “Sherman Brandon” in sharkskin, teamed with either a crisp white or similarly coloured blue shirt for a tonal effect, will create the perfect balance between personal expression and office appropriate.

WORK HARD, PLAY HARDER

Sometimes, dedication to the job requires putting in time outside the traditional 9 to 5pm. Entertaining clients after hours or weekend functions lend the chance to break free from corporate rules in favour of a bolder sense of style.

Eye-catching checks such as Prince-of-Wales Check or textured finishes offer a relaxed, yet no less refined, aesthetic guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd. “”A bold check suit, like those by Australian label Calibre, will reveal a confident leader.”

“Alternatively, West End’s textured suit teamed with a gingham shirt will show an affection for 1950s good manners.”

DRESSING FOR SUCCESS

It’s interesting to note that despite the increasing casualization of certain industries and workplaces, the suit remains a powerful mark of class, style and power worn by those at the peak of their professions.

There’s a lot of truth in the saying that you should dress for the job you want and not the job you have. Nothing signifies your seriousness about making a good impression like the perfect suit worn. Dressing fashionably exudes certain characteristics when done right. These include the following:

CONFIDENCE – You know what you’re doing and have control of the situation all the way.

INTELLIGENCE – You appear competent and assumed to be smarter based off a first impressions.

POWER – Discover the secrets to signaling primal strength with ANY body type in ANY situation.

SUCCESS – Discover how to subtly signal wealth, accomplishment, & refined intelligence.

A LEADER – Understand the visual cues human beings look for in those they follow.

SEXUALLY APPEALING – Ability to attract others by leveraging subconscious visual cues & mannerisms.

RESPECT – Strong image commands respect. It evokes the hidden rank structure in society

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Vogue & Style

Attention to your fashion details

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If you’ve ever watched the rehearsal process of a play, then you know just how powerful clothes are. Even in the very early stages of a project, professional actors will come to practice in certain clothing pieces that make them feel more like their character. Perhaps, in an old pair of shoes, a long and heavy skirt, or a bandana that helps them get just the right swagger, grace, or edge.

A few weeks later, when they’re closer to opening, they’ll have an actual dress rehearsal with their real costumes. It’s pretty amazing to see how the right clothes bring the performances up to a whole new level and transform the actor into the character!

As business professionals, we can actually learn a lot from this.

Like it or not, your clothes and presentation communicate volumes about you as a person. The question is not whether you care about fashion, it’s more about what you’re communicating intentionally or unconsciously through your fashion choices. Just as the actor in the right costume moves and speaks differently, so does the everyday person.

Your clothes tell a story about you. If you want to show that your work is clean, sharp, and to the point, you need to dress in clean lines, sharp creases, and (yes) points on your shoes and tie. Even the way you wear your glasses speaks volumes about you and your work!

 

What Do the Details Show?

Research shows that you can tell a lot about someone’s personality, politics, status, age and income just from looking at a photo of their shoes.

Did you ever notice that when President Barack Obama addressed a crowd of working class Americans, he would speak with no jacket and his sleeves rolled up? That silently and instantly communicated to the audience that he too was a hard worker.

You might remember when a 44 page dress code published by Swiss bank UBS went viral. The obsessive stipulations detailed everything from the sensible (“If you wear a watch, it suggests reliability and that punctuality is of great concern to you”) to the downright invasive (employees were instructed on how to shower and apply lotion, how to wear their underwear, and told not to eat garlic during the week).

They may have been control freaks, but UBS got one thing right: every detail about your presentation communicates something.

When you’re dressing or grooming, consider what it says about you and whether it’s in line with the message you want to communicate. There’s no right or wrong. It’s all about context. A tie can make you look reliable and rooted in tradition. This might be important at an investment firm, where clients want to know that you’re serious about stewarding their capital. But it can also come off as stuffy and resistant to change, which may be inappropriate for a tech startup.

 

Your Clothing Impacts Your Thinking

Of course, dressing smart is also important for your confidence and sense of self-empowerment. But your style does more than just send messages, to your mind or to others. New research shows it actually impacts how you think. Professional dress, one study found, increases abstract thinking and gives people a broader perspective. So that tie might actually be switching on your creativity button.

“The formality of clothing might not only influence the way others perceive a person, and how people perceive themselves, but could influence decision making in important ways through its influence on processing style,” the study says.

Professional attire creates social distance. When we are more socially distant, we tend to think in more distant, abstract terms. In socially distant settings we address people by their title, for instance, rather than the more intimate first name.

“Even after controlling for socioeconomic status, students wearing more formal clothing showed stronger inclinations towards abstract processing.”

 

Thin-Slicing

Usually we process visual details instantaneously through a process called thin-slicing. That’s when the brain makes millisecond judgements based on new stimulus. It often happens without us even knowing. We might just get a feeling that we don’t trust someone, or that someone else is steady and reliable. We might not even know why.

That gut feeling, commonly called intuition or a first impression, is really part of the very fast-paced mental process of thin-slicing. It’s how we continually judge books by their covers, all day, every day.

So choose your personal presentation with care. Presentation includes not only your clothes, but your accessories, hairstyle, fragrance, posture, body language, tone of voice, and the level of energy with which you move and speak. Think of the person that you need to be in any particular situation. Then dress, groom, and accessorize in a way that helps you mentally step into that personality.

Are you marching in there to get things done? Put on something red, roll up your sleeves and speak in a commanding voice. Are you making social connections at a gala event? Go for suave, but not workplace formal. Dress to feel attractive. Speak in a smooth tone, and let one shoulder relax.

If you’re loafing around on a long weekend with half a box of pizza, you can probably get away with breaking out the frumpy comfortables.

Taking intentional command of how you dress and present is a good step in empowering yourself, accomplishing your goals, and living a more lucid life at the helm of your decisions. So pay attention! Remember, all the world’s a stage.

 

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