Dress for success [10th Anniv. Special Edition]

“Dress for success” is an often used phrase that has been repeated over and over by professional for years. To help carry-out Imagine Marketing’s 10th anniversary blog series and 10 years of success, I’d like to offer my own personal 10 style-tips to help other male professionals “dress for success,” in this case, from toe-to-head.

  1. Gym shoes belong in one place, the gym. If you’ve been around long enough to remember when Converse were gym shoes, note that this doesn’t apply to Converse.
  2. Socks should be an extension of the pants. Black socks work with black pants, brown socks with brown pants, grey with grey and so forth. White gym socks… you guessed it, go with gym shoes.
  3. A fair number of our blog readers are likely wearing pleated pants at this very moment. I encourage you to break out of your comfort zone and suggest flat front pants. If you don’t agree that they make you look slimmer than wear your pleated pants proudly.
  4. Belts should match your shoes in color and when possible in texture. This is true whether you’re wearing black patent leather or purple crocodile.
  5. One needn’t limit themselves to white and blue dress shirts. If venturing out for the first time consider light shades of purple and gray since they are closer in color to your familiar palate.
  6. The “trendy” tie width ebbs and flows almost as frequently as the tide itself. Try to follow along, but never toss out a quality tie. It might be the cat’s pajamas tomorrow.
  7. Your tie’s knot should be proper for your shirt’s collar type. To get around this rule I never buy spread collar shirts, because I can’t tie a Windsor knot if my life depended on it.
  8. Yes, there’s even a style tip for undershirts. First, I always recommend wearing one. (Your other shirts will thank you.) Second, I propose the grey (heather, oatmeal) undershirt for wearing with light shirts. Middle school science taught us that white reflects light while grey absorbs it. So that white undershirt is visible, even under that white dress shirt, where the grey one will not be, thereby making your “look” appear more polished.
  9. Even if you are fortunate enough to work in an office where every day is casual Friday you will at some point need at least one suit. If it is just one, make it a quality and conservative one. If it’s more than one, you likely know more about suits than I do.
  10. Style is about confidence, not vanity. Breaking style rules and tips is how you create a style uniquely yours. So be confident in how you dress and success will surely follow.

Wes Thurman is the art director at Imagine Marketing.
Contact Wes at wthurman@imnv.com

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