MEN’S DRESSING – Of poise and elan

Being a smart dressed man doesn't mean that you have to go into debt to get the perfect wardrobe. It means knowing yourself, your style and how to put it all together

Wearing jeans and t-shirtDressing smart is not a talent that you are born with, but it is something that you can learn. Whether you want to move ahead in business or attract the “perfect” mate, learning how to dress well is very important.

Great looking clothing is not a frivolous luxury, as some people may think, but an essential ingredient in creating a good impression. Your clothes are always saying something about you. Since you have control of the message you are sending – make that message the one that you want. Smartly.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Take inventory

What do you want to attract in your life – a promotion? A new job? When you decide what you want, you must dress to suit the part. If you are looking for a job you will need interview attire that will let your potential employer know you are competent. If you want to move up in your company, you will need a wardrobe that sends the message of your worth and capability. To succeed in your job you will need a wardrobe that is appropriate for all situations such as leading a meeting, meeting a client for lunch, or giving a presentation.

Your build

The style of clothing you choose will either have a positive or negative effect on how you look. Men are not built equally; therefore, your body needs to be clothed to make it look larger, slimmer, or look broader in your shoulders or look thin around the middle. To make the most of your assets choose styles that create the most appealing look for you.

Buy quality

When you begin shopping for a wardrobe, it is wise to shop with quality in mind. Do not be swayed by the cost of the garment. A high price does not necessarily denote good quality. Quality is found in the fit, craftsmanship and fabric. Quality fabrics hold their shape and drape well. How the garment is made adds to the quality of a garment and can be found in the stitching, buttons and lining. Well-made clothing feels and fits better. When you feel confident in choosing quality-clothing, start adding to your wardrobe. Quantity will ensure that you have more options.


Wearing the right colours is an extremely important aspect of looking great. The right colours will make your skin look clearer and your eyes will shine. The wrong colours will make your skin look drab and lines appear more apparent. Cool colours have blue undertones and warm colours have yellow undertones. Choose warm colours if your skin has yellow undertones and cool colours if your skin has blue undertones. Add interest to your suits by choosing shirts [that match your skin colour] in pink, yellow and purple.

Details maketh the man

You need to bond well with the details. Details are the finishing touches for a polished look. Your appearance and your overall look depends on how much attention you pay to details. For example, accessories such as watches, belts and glasses should match the theme of the outfit and never be flashy. Shoes should be kept in good condition and suits wrinkle-free. Lastly, don’t let your scent be overpowering – less is more.

Smart dressed men do not stand out on the basis of what they are wearing; they are remembered for how well they are put together and how well they carry themselves. To take charge of your look and your career start now by taking inventory and planning your wardrobe.

Building your wardrobe will take time and is a lifetime commitment. However, when you get used to it, you will dress well with confidence and ease.

Spice it Up

Although wearing colours can be a tricky thing for men, a few splashes here and there will update all the clothes you already own and ensure that you stand stylishly apart from the crowd. So be sure to follow the six rules below and solidify your status.

Use colour to accessorise

Colour need not be restricted to core wardrobe items. Coloured accessories are a perfect way to show your playful side. A brightly coloured belt is a fast, inexpensive, and easy way to enhance all your existing outfits. Bright blue, green and red belts are all great additions for those individuals who are a little wary of wearing colour. Pair these bright beauties with jeans and a white-collared shirt for a casual-yet-hip look during the day. To spice up your evening wear, add the belt to a slim-cut black suit or team it with jeans, and a dark blazer for a funky clubbing look.

Wear one bold piece at a time

One bold piece of colour can be incredibly eye-catching, but more than one will simply leave you looking like a clown. The important thing to remember when wearing dominant pieces of colour is that the rest of your outfit should be confined to neutrals and basic cuts – so, no frilly tuxedo shirts.

Complement your colour

The darker your skin tone, the brighter the colour you can get away with. Those with very pale skin should choose lighter to more medium shades, while those with very dark skin should go for brighter colours to avoid seeming washed out.

Spend more for colour

Did your father ever sit you down and tell you never to wear fuchsia? Well he’s wrong, because if it happens to be in the form of an extravagantly expensive cashmere sweater, you most certainly can. Essentially, the more outrageous the colour, the better the quality of the fabric, and the more expensive your garment should be.

Layer your colours

If you’re afraid of making a bold statement with a coloured shirt or sweater, don’t be afraid of testing the “coloured water” by layering your look a bit. In the colder months, wear a dark blazer over a coloured shirt or sweater for a sporty, European look. For spring and summer, be casually cool by layering a white polo shirt over a brightly coloured, long-sleeve cotton crewneck.

Keep it all in the family

Don’t be afraid to wear two coloured pieces at once; just remember to keep them in the same colour family. For example, wearing a printed shirt with a solid-coloured tie that picks up your shirt’s colour goes a long way in showing girls you can pick an outfit.

Team CW

Sheila Dicks
Sheila Dicks is an image and wardrobe consultant. Her motto help people reach their full potential and perk up their self-confidence with improved dress sense. She lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.


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