I needs me some new duds.
August 28, 2008 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm about to start my own company, one that will require some face time with clients and partners. I'd like to spruce up my wardrobe a bit, but in simple ways. Help?

I'm a guy, and I generally wear business casual -- no polo shirts -- mostly Gap-type button downs (not tucked in), Threadless shirts, and/or long-sleeve shirts that I find cool, and always jeans.

I'd like to step it up with some additional pieces -- a pair of kick ass shoes, a printed blazer... I don't know. Something that will kick up my fashion a notch and make a good and memorable impression. I'm not averse to paying good money for something I will wear a lot.

I'm tall, and not skinny (I weep for my twenties), and in NYC if it that matters.

Any thoughts?
posted by crickets to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Get a couple of books (such as Dressing The Man - use the reviews to find suggestions for other highly rated books) that show you how to build a wardrobe founded on you, ie what colours and cuts can be used to best accentuate your features, your build, your complexion, etc, how to use them to best effect, when, why, and so on.
When you have those skills, you won't need to ask for specific clothing suggestions like this - you'll have something much more powerful to draw from.
(Dressing the Man focuses mainly on suits, but if you can derive a personal style to exacting standards, you'll also have acquired the skills to solve casual issues)
posted by -harlequin- at 2:33 PM on August 28, 2008

It's going to depend on the business you're starting and the industry you're in (and you'd know better than us), but I think you've got it pretty much right.

In addition to the kick-ass shoes and standalone blazer, get a slim-ish and flattering suit in a dark color so you've got a suit to wear if the occasion calls for it, nice pants if you need them, and another jacket to throw on with jeans. If you've got one already, great! You're mostly there!

Update the jeans and/or get a new pair or two if you don't have any dark-wash, non-frayed pairs. Please tell me you already own dark trouser socks. Oh, and I'm sure you know this already, but belts are not just to hold up your pants - once in a while just tucking in your shirt really does add a lot of polish.

And lastly - HAIR. I think men tend to underestimate the difference a good cut and a well-styled head of hair make to an overall "look." Groom accordingly.
posted by universal_qlc at 5:11 PM on August 28, 2008

You get what you pay for when it comes to clothing. You can buy 3 cheap shirts at the discount store for $25 dollars each or 1 shirt at Brooks Brothers for $75. The discount shirts will look like crap after a few trips to the dry cleaners and the top line shirt will last forever. Consider this an investment in your business rather than an expense.

Stick to basic, traditional colors. Navy and charcoal are good suit and / or pant colors to start with. Beats me why every mens store has a red, green, and yellow jacket on the rack, but you'll note they only have one in the entire store.

As you are in NYC and winter is right around the corner so don't forget outerware. I love the Yankees just as much as anyone else, but nothing will undermine your efforts to dress nicely like showing up with a Yankees (or similar) jacket over the top. Get a good dress coat or tasteful leather jacket, a nice pair of gloves and a scarf. Maybe beret or dress hat if it suits your head. No ball caps. Also for NYC, consider a pair of slip on rubbers or similar for slushy / rainy days to keep the salt / slush / etc .. off your shoes.

When buying ties, do not get anything which indicates a holiday (Christmas trees, etc ...) or any character you have ever seen on t.v. or in the movies. These are funny for five minutes in the store, but not the impression you want the client to have of you. In general, anything with cartoons (socks, lapel pins, etc ... ) = bad.

Make sure your shoes stay polished.

Make sure your finger nails are trimmed and clean.

Get a small mirror to keep in your glovebox or bag. Check there is no spinich in your teeth, no boogers in your nose, and your hair is not sticking at right angles before going in to see the client.

Jewelery ok, but stay discrete. Thin gold necklace or bracelet ok. Diamond stud earing probably ok. Anything that hangs or dangles not ok. Same with watches.

Also a breath mint, no gum, and consume mint before going in to see the client. Do not click and suck mint while with client.
posted by monkeydluffy at 5:43 PM on August 28, 2008

Please do not get a printed blazer. That stuff screams "rich 16 year old". Getting a well-fitting blazer of any other kind is a good idea, though.

Nice shoes are key. If you don't know what kind of shoes are sexy for a man your age, ask a woman you trust. Expect to pay a lot of money.
posted by shownomercy at 8:39 PM on August 28, 2008

I'm another NYC entrepreneur guy (but it's my 30s for which I weep) and here's the kind of thing I wear for business: black Allan Edmunds cap-toes (formal) or blue Nike Considered Humaras (funky), slim plain-front pants (from any of Prada, Tse, agnes b., costume national) or dark Levis 514s, and a shirt from Seize sur Vingt (one of my favorite stores) under an Icebreaker coat. Another great store is Ina Men, a couture consignment shop on Mott St.
posted by nicwolff at 9:31 PM on August 28, 2008

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