Custom has become a prevalent word in the fashion industry. Look around and you’ll see that it’s not too difficult to find a custom suit rep—they’re everywhere. Off the rack has become passé, especially when referring to the ‘suit’. If you haven’t gotten on board with custom tailoring your look yet, it’s time to consider this option. You can still purchase a suit off the rack, but bring it to a skilled tailor. The run of the mill suit, fitted properly, can be made into a deal delivering, date scoring item that you won’t want to live without again.
Attending regular meetings and events in the DC area has made it glaringly obvious to me that the standard ‘uniform’ in this market is the grey suit and blue shirt. In many cases, this boring combination is made worse by the fact that the suits are too large for the gentleman sporting them. I like to refer to this problem as the ‘I’m wearing my father’s suit’ phenomenon. If your job consists of sales of any kind, you should consider the fact that your clothing can make or break your deal. If you offer the same product, at the same price, and you look like your competition, what is setting you apart? Another point to consider, if you are selling to a cutting-edge, young organization, is your style appealing to this audience? Is your look current, polished, and totally put together? Or are you wearing the ‘uniform’?
Custom does not only refer to suits. When shopping, I try to look at items knowing that they will most likely not fit my body properly without some sort of alteration. Your tailor is your best friend because they can totally change your clothing with a few cuts and stitches. Take a look at pieces in your closet that you have never worn because something about them just doesn’t feel or look right. Ask your tailor how they can alter items to make them wearable options. Even your ‘father’s jackets’ can be pared down to a smaller, modern fit.
There are a slew of new companies cropping up providing non-traditional alterations, custom shirts, etc. A new innovation that once experienced, you will utilize regularly and will immediately become a hit at parties when revealing this discovery, is a company called Denim Therapy. They use a ‘mystery’ technology to repair holes and tears in your favorite jeans. Simply mail them in and get them back looking like new (denimtherapy.com).
Another amazing advance…custom shirt fitting through Skype! This company offers more casual custom shirts and can virtually fit you. (secondbutton.com). With all of these options, there should be no excuses for walking around town in those ill-fitting threads.
Take a second look at your outfit before you hit the streets and make sure you are wearing clothing that fits, flatters, and gives you the confidence you need to close the deal. Differentiate yourself and find your image.
Gingham is no longer reserved for farm girls. Pick your color—it’s everywhere you look this season. Add a fitted casual jacket and tie, but roll up your sleeves and get back to work.
Khaki Green Pants, H&M— $19.95
Red Gingham, H&M—$24.95
Cotton Jacket, H&M—$34.95
Orange pants, we are serious! You can still wear your button up shirt and conservative sweater, just pair it with something more exciting and totally rock it!
Plaid Shirt— $19.95
Pointer Crago II Shoes—$150
All items from www.myhabit.com
If you ever wore a Member’s Only jacket, this look should bring back memories. Layer it underneath your sport jacket for a funky but preppy combination of separates. Choose a bright color to keep it modern.
Canvas Jacket, H&M—$59.95
Blue Sport Jacket, H&M—$39.95
White Henley, H&M—$14.95
Cotton Striped Shirt, Express— $59.90
Adidas Lifestyle Shoes—$100
You can dress up your jeans and still keep your professional edge. Bright pocket squares with a pattern, striped shirt and narrow tie, combining different textures will give you distinctive style. If you really want to skate on the edge, add some bright colored shoes and enjoy your newfound attention on the street.
Brazilians often wonder why American businesspeople, who are some of the wealthiest individuals, feel a need to look so poor. Obviously, there are some differing perspectives on the role that fashion can play in the business world in both countries. Brazilians are fashion forward people; style is almost as important as soccer, which by all accounts can be viewed as the premier national obsession. While fashion can’t claim to be an obsession just yet, it is extremely important that you, dear readers, at least try and make the right impression while away on business in Brazil. Heather Shaw Menis of Saks Fifth Ave. has shared with us some great looks for a night on the town, a day in the office and on the streets of Sao Paulo. Get out there and make some deals, turn some heads, make Uncle Sam proud.