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HOT TOPIC Dressing For Success... Stop looking like a fool.

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Paleo

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A friend told me a story that happened a few years ago in the town where he lived. There was a wealthy older guy in town who was a car aficionado. Another hobby of his was doing his own yard work, even though he could easily afford a landscaper.
One day, after working in his yard for several hours, he decided it was time for a new Porsche. He jumped in his truck and drove to the nearest Porsche dealership, still dressed in his dirty, sweaty shorts, t shirt and sneakers. He walked into the showroom and began looking at the cars, with his checkbook and ready to pay in full on the spot. The salesmen completely ignored him. After twenty minutes, he angrily left and drove to the next nearest Porsche dealership whose salesmen presumably didn't ignore him and bought a car. He then told this story to all of his wealthy friends which probably didn't help the first dealership's sales.
An opposite example is my girlfriend, who likes those expensive handbags. She has a nice collection, including a few models which she says are not made anymore and are highly sought after by collectors. I have been with her when she walked into designers stores (Chanel, Gucci, Dior) and seen salespeople descend on her like a swarm of hungry mosquitos offering her glasses of champagne. They spotted her bag and knew she had the money and willingness to buy.
 

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Vigilante

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A friend told me a story that happened a few years ago in the town where he lived. There was a wealthy older guy in town who was a car aficionado. Another hobby of his was doing his own yard work, even though he could easily afford a landscaper.
One day, after working in his yard for several hours, he decided it was time for a new Porsche. He jumped in his truck and drove to the nearest Porsche dealership, still dressed in his dirty, sweaty shorts, t shirt and sneakers. He walked into the showroom and began looking at the cars, with his checkbook and ready to pay in full on the spot. The salesmen completely ignored him. After twenty minutes, he angrily left and drove to the next nearest Porsche dealership whose salesmen presumably didn't ignore him and bought a car. He then told this story to all of his wealthy friends which probably didn't help the first dealership's sales.
An opposite example is my girlfriend, who likes those expensive handbags. She has a nice collection, including a few models which she says are not made anymore and are highly sought after by collectors. I have been with her when she walked into designers stores (Chanel, Gucci, Dior) and seen salespeople descend on her like a swarm of hungry mosquitos offering her glasses of champagne. They spotted her bag and knew she had the money and willingness to buy.
My dad's old business partner went on to build a huge successful company. One day, he was out working on his dock at his estate in southern Florida. He lived on a peninsula, where on one side was the Atlantic and the other side was the inter coastal. He noticed his dock needed some staining (or something) so he was out working on the dock, when a tourist boat went by. The particular "key" he was on was an area where the boat operators sold famous home tours by water to star gazers. As the tourist boat floated by, he heard the tour guide say on the loudspeaker to it's passengers "and on the right you will see a worker. These estates have high maintenance and usually have a staff on hand like this guy to take care of the wears and tears of owning a beachfront mansion like this."

So many Fast Lane angles you could take on that short little story. Don't judge a book by it's cover.
 

Paleo

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I'm sure your Dad's friend got a good laugh out of that!

Here's another example I just remembered that demonstrates how social signaling with clothing is highly contextual and one rule doesn't fit all situations.
A woman I knew had lived in the West Palm/ Palm Beach area for several years and was active in the social scene. She met a girl who was a Russian immigrant and they started hanging out together. The Russian explained that she had moved to the area to hunt for a wealthy husband. My friend noticed that the Russian would lavish attention on men who were wearing suits. The Russian told her that, in Russia, men who wore suits were usually wealthy businessmen. My friend told her that in Palm Beach most guys wearing suits in restaurant lounges or nightclubs were middle management types or posers/strivers, and that the really wealthy guys who had already made it were the ones who showed up to fancy restaurants wearing flip flops and shorts and were known by the staff.
In my beach town, well-off guys dress "resort casual" -high quality casual clothes, occasionally wearing a sport coat or blazer without a tie. Suits are really only worn to more formal events. Anyone other than a lawyer or undertaker who wore a suit and tie every day would be considered odd. For comparison, when I lived in New Orleans, businessmen of all types commonly wore jackets and ties although the climate is just as swelteringly hot and humid as Florida. They were just more old-school there. Location, culture and class all come into play in deciding what is "well dressed".
However, for most situations and locations, following Molloy's "Dress for Success" is a great strategy. I read it as a teenager and it got me off to a good start. It's shocking how many men don't even understand the basics. Flusser's "Dressing the Man" is good if you want to develop more "style" and take it to the next level.
And never forget-the most important rule of clothing is FIT.
 

WJK

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When I went to court as an expert witness, I dressed the part. When I was a trophy wife, I dressed the part. ( And I noted that the higher-up corporate guys even dressed the same during their weekends in their casual corporate garb.) Now I'm retired professional real estate investor, and I wear my old favorite overalls. I no longer have to worry about looking or dressing the part. I have earned this role. Who do I have to impress at this point in my life????
 

Vigilante

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When I went to court as an expert witness, I dressed the part. When I was a trophy wife, I dressed the part. ( And I noted that the higher-up corporate guys even dressed the same during their weekends in their casual corporate garb.) Now I'm retired professional real estate investor, and I wear my old favorite overalls. I no longer have to worry about looking or dressing the part. I have earned this role. Who do I have to impress at this point in my life????
Amen sister.
 
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Kak

Kak

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Every time I put on a suit for an interview I felt like a complete tool. I call it my bullshit suit. Especially when it's not winter and I'm sweating because of it.
My everyday attire is synthetic collared golf shirts and mesh shorts. My wife makes me put on real shorts when we go out. I can't stand pants if it's above 75 degrees. I am in central TX.

But I suppose if you spend most of your time in buildings where the AC is blasting it to 70 degrees, then a suit might not be so bad.

Honestly, this whole traditional appearance stuff, 'just because' doesn't sit well with me. Just because some old men decided this was the way you should look, doesn't mean I need to look that way. I ask 'what's the goal here?' Am I here to sell men's suits? No. Then why does society say I have to wear a suit? I understand the point of "playing the game". But I tend to question everything. Who's to say it can't be changed?
I rather do business with a party that meets my needs and isn't concerned about wearing cufflinks or a tie.

It's one thing to look decent and not shabby. But formal wear really needs an overhaul, particularly in hot climates.
It's not even about the suits... If you had read through the thread... Professionalism, once again, is key. There was plenty of non-suit advice given. A suit is just the top of a man's options (business wise), not the only option.

Dressing super formal in an informal setting is honestly unprofessional, just like wearing a hoodie to a board meeting.

Don't be this guy either:
View: https://vimeo.com/33991795
 
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Kak

Kak

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I get noticeably different reactions when I'm shopping in a nice jacket and tie vs wearing my sweaty workout clothes. Wearing a simple dress shirt in a restaurant will make most waiters treat you differently than if you're wearing a loose t-shirt.
I have noticed this as well. BIG TIME.

On airplanes. In restaurants. In hotels. In nice stores. The list goes on and on.

I even shopped around my wife's engagement ring in nice clothes. Those high end places think you're full of shit wanting to spend a Mercedes C class on a ring if you are wearing a T-shirt. The bastard is almost like a C class to insure... but that's another story.
 

Vigilante

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I have noticed this as well. BIG TIME.

On airplanes. In restaurants. In hotels. In nice stores. The list goes on and on.

I even shopped around my wife's engagement ring in nice clothes. Those high end places think you're full of sh*t wanting to spend a Mercedes C class on a ring if you are wearing a T-shirt. The bastard is almost like a C class to insure... but that's another story.
And the retail clerk that judges you would likely not be driving the C class home.
 

GPM

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Is this suitable attire?
Pretty sure some DB tourists just got arrested for wearing this somewhere...

I would give both posting that and wearing that a big fat 2-thumbs down.
 

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Vigilante

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NanoDrake

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I really can't understand all this pain around wearing a suit and tie.
Maybe I'm Italian and this concept of being dressed in gym clothing everyday is a bit foreign to me, but seriously, dressing sharp isn't such a torture, plus, if done correctly, isn't that expensive either...

Can someone explain why it's so hard to wear a tie to a meeting? it's business, not the bar down the beach
 
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Kak

Kak

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I really can't understand all this pain around wearing a suit and tie.
Maybe I'm Italian and this concept of being dressed in gym clothing everyday is a bit foreign to me, but seriously, dressing sharp isn't such a torture, plus, if done correctly, isn't that expensive either...

Can someone explain why it's so hard to wear a tie to a meeting? it's business, not the bar down the beach
Good point. Seriously. How hard is it to put a tie on for an hour?
 

wade1mil

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I really can't understand all this pain around wearing a suit and tie.
For me, it's the most uncomfortable attire, hands down.
Painful? No.
Aggravating, distracting and borderline claustrophobic? Yes.
I feel the same about just a buttoned up collared shirt.
 

jon.a

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For me, it's the most uncomfortable attire, hands down.
Painful? No.
Aggravating, distracting and borderline claustrophobic? Yes.
I feel the same about just a buttoned up collared shirt.
Wow and I thought that this was uncomfortable...
 
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Kak

Kak

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Italian Luxury Men's Suits | Shop online on Canali.com

Check out this site guys. They have amazing looking suits. Notice that they all have pictures of the fabric up close and almost none of them are a solid color. They all have a little something going on in the fabric.

In my opinion this separates the dress code 40k per year analyst in the cheap looking suit from a leader position in a nicer suit.

I think one of the main reasons people can be so turned off to wearing a suit is because it reminds them of a desk job. Please know, there is a difference.

One of the main differences I have noticed between the wage guy in a suit is a shitty button color on the shirt. Also the tie is usually shitty and not tied right. If you are going to wear a tie, wear a nice one, and google how to tie it nicely.... otherwise don’t. Suits look better without ties, in my opinion, than with a shitty tie.
 
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ChrisR

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i just did 2 sales direct to client in downtown business district, wearing jeans and a tshirt. wearing a suit makes you a massive douche bag imo. or you need to beg investors for $.

poor people usually dress up to look professional, but to me they just look like slaves, its hilarious to see these people jam packed side to side on a train (or better yet a bus!) riding public transit looking all fancy.

being from vancouver ive been surrounded by wealth all the time and its always the lower class that dress up and the insanely rich that look average. just my thoughts

no thanks. i prefer looking like a fool.

I remember walking into a store one time ready to drop $10,000 in cash on what I was looking for. I was wearing ripped up jeans and a t-shirt. The salespeople literally looked right past me and pretended like I wasn't there. I can almost guarantee you had I walked in with a shirt and tie on they would have been hovering around me and getting me bottles of water while I browsed. If my memory serves this was in a consumer electronics Big Box store but you will see it most notably in car dealers and jewelry stores.

This is brilliantly captured in the movie Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts is shopping for dresses.

This made me think of a story I was once told by the best salesman at I company I once worked for. It's incredibly good advice for people that are in sales.

He said to treat everyone and I mean EVERYONE like they are potentially millionaires. He said that the dude that would come in to the store on the weekend wearing flip flops, a t-shirt and shorts probably spent his entire week dressed up doing business deals and what not. He said many very successful people want to get out of those clothes as soon as humanly possible.

He went on to tell me that some of the best sales he ever made were with people that looked like they just woke up and threw clothes on. He said that while everyone else was ignoring those people he was making easy money closing deals with them.

I guess the moral of the story is... Don't judge a book by it's cover.


EDITED to add Vigilante's post once I saw it.
 
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Robert Paulson

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Jeans and a sport coat work great in Texas and probably most of The South for anything from blue collar/meetings with the working class, up to lunch meetings at all, but formal venues.
What colors for the sport coats? Do you change the color of the coat depending on the color of the pant (jeans vs. khaki canvas)? Does it need to have the shiny buttons you referenced in another post? I've never been a big fan of the shiny buttons on some sport coats.

I've been looking at getting the Tecovas for a while, just haven't gotten around to getting a new pair of "dandy" boots. Would you be willing to wear them with a suit (flat front/no cuff trousers), or only pair them with the jeans & sports coat?

...and many thanks. I've picked up quite a bit from this.
 

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Kak

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My go to with sport coats are almost 100% of the time a white french cuff dress shirt. 50/50 Jeans vs dress slacks. 50/50 light gray slacks, or dark gray slacks.

I don't really wear khaki, they remind me of my 2nd of 2 jobs I ever held. I was required to wear ugly khaki pants every day.

View: https://vimeo.com/277193592
 
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Fox

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My go to with sport coats are almost 100% of the time a white french cuff dress shirt. 50/50 Jeans vs dress slacks. 50/50 light gray slacks, or dark gray slacks.

I don't really wear khaki, they remind me of my 2nd of 2 jobs I ever held. I was required to wear ugly khaki pants every day.

View: https://vimeo.com/277193592
Ha I guess that will stop those “pics please” posts. Nice video.

Are you are a pretty consistent weight @Kak? That’s my main issue with suits, I fluctuate about 5kg between different months.
 
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Kak

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Ha I guess that will stop those “pics please” posts. Nice video.

Are you are a pretty consistent weight @Kak? That’s my main issue with suits, I fluctuate about 5kg between different months.
I have actually lost a good amount of weight... I will probably have to buy some new stuff when I drop another 20. I'm normally a 44r jacket and I tried on a Canali suit the other day and the 42 isn't far off.

I missed the question about suits and boots. I wear them with sport coats all the time. The only other times I wear them are when I might have to walk around a plant, or be outdoors, despite being dressed in a suit, I also wore them to the governor's inauguration ball.
 
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Longinus

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Few months ago, I wanted to buy a new suit but - like many folks here - I lift, the regular sizes never fit for me: pants too small on the upper legs, jacket too small on shoulders and arms etc... Getting a suit tailor made is easily €1000, so I looked for other options.

Last month I traveled to Shenzhen and searched beforehand if there was a tailor that could make me a suit. I found this video:


So I went to this tailor and ordered 2 three-piece suits on Saturday morning. The next day in the evening I could pick them up already. Total price: about €300 and they are well made.

The funny part is: I have probably the cheapest suit there is, even cheaper than most people's regular clothes, but everyone really treats my like a baws when I wear those :rofl:
 

ZF Lee

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Few months ago, I wanted to buy a new suit but - like many folks here - I lift, the regular sizes never fit for me: pants too small on the upper legs, jacket too small on shoulders and arms etc... Getting a suit tailor made is easily €1000, so I looked for other options.

Last month I traveled to Shenzhen and searched beforehand if there was a tailor that could make me a suit. I found this video:


So I went to this tailor and ordered 2 three-piece suits on Saturday morning. The next day in the evening I could pick them up already. Total price: about €300 and they are well made.

The funny part is: I have probably the cheapest suit there is, even cheaper than most people's regular clothes, but everyone really treats my like a baws when I wear those :rofl:
I also got one suit made. Pretty good.

Felt a bit afraid of spending quite a lot on a custom suit, but there is the risk that shop-bought wear can go south.

Another thing, @Kak, I think no one discussed PIMPLES, FACIAL LOOKS and BLACKHEADS so far on this forum. I guess this should be relevant, given that we are discussing looks.

I have done projects with school friends with faces that looked like the aftermath of Mount Vesuvius, and needless to say, I didn't want to touch them!

How do girls kiss the cheeks of boys with lots of zits? (I'm not in the romance department, but some questions have to be asked...)

Anyhow, @Kak, how do you take care of your face? Any good brands of facewash or hydrates?
 

Tom.V

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I spent an absurd amount of time on Reddit's MFA sub last year to pull my fashion sense out of the trailer park and into the upper class. Picked up 5 pairs of AE's, some Salvatore Ferragamo's, some blazers from Gieves & Hawke, and a RL Purple Label suit, all on ebay, all like new for dirt cheap. There is really a GOLDMINE of quality high end clothing on ebay if you know what you're looking for and know your sizes. I even went as far as learning to sew and tailor my own clothes so I could purchase slightly outside of my sizing.

I will say, being able to adapt to any scenario is of extreme importance. The real key is knowing what to where, and when to wear it. That part is what took me the longest to grasp, the real difference between casual and formal and all of the blurry lines in between.

Tons of great info here though, all spot on. Thanks for sharing @Kak Rep+
 
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Kak

Kak

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I also got one suit made. Pretty good.

Felt a bit afraid of spending quite a lot on a custom suit, but there is the risk that shop-bought wear can go south.

Another thing, @Kak, I think no one discussed PIMPLES, FACIAL LOOKS and BLACKHEADS so far on this forum. I guess this should be relevant, given that we are discussing looks.

I have done projects with school friends with faces that looked like the aftermath of Mount Vesuvius, and needless to say, I didn't want to touch them!

How do girls kiss the cheeks of boys with lots of zits? (I'm not in the romance department, but some questions have to be asked...)

Anyhow, @Kak, how do you take care of your face? Any good brands of facewash or hydrates?
Honestly I have never had much of a problem with skin, but I have not had a single pimple since I started on the keto diet... Fun fact.
 

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