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Dress to Impress Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

May 9th, 2011

man dressed to impress

Knowing what to wear for any occasion can be tough. Having the right clothes for each occasion is even tougher. If you’re the type of person who DOES care about his personal image and wants to stand out in a social gathering… good news:

I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to dress to impress. I don’t know you and I don’t know your lifestyle but I’ll do my best to cover everything.

Table of contents

How to dress for an interview
Dress to impress at a wedding
What to wear in a club
Dress to impress at work
What to wear on a first date
What to wear during weekdays
The Proper attire for a formal dinner

How to dress for an interview

Interviews are a crucial time to make a lasting first impression. You absolutely must give off the impression that you’re a serious,dependable person.

Wear either a suit or a pair of chinos paired with a blazer. The dress shirt is a must. The only accessories you can wear during an interview (to give off that professional vibe are watches and ties).

I actually wrote an entire article about dressing to get the job, which you can access here.

A word of caution about dressing for an interview: don’t overdo it. You need to impress your potential employee through your knowledge first and foremost. You don’t want to take the focus off that by wearing colors that are too bright or the wrong accessories.

Accessories (except the watch) almost always steer you away from *expert-land*.

Dress to impress at a wedding

There’s one rule people say you shouldn’t break when you’re going to a wedding (not your own): to avoid looking better than the groom. My thoughts on the matter: BS!

If you’re a good style student of mine and know how to put together an outstanding formal outfit, then I don’t see why you should limit yourself. The groom will be fine even if you’re dressed better than him.

since a wedding is a very formal event, the suit is the only way to go. Sure, there are people who wear khakis and a sports jacket or blazer but wearing a suit shows you’re aware of the importance of the event and that you respect the bride and the groom.

Don’t worry: even in a suit you still have lots of ways to stand out. Choose a less common color (such as brown or blue), choose a brown pair of shoes (because brown is, again, less worn).

If you want to stand out through your shirt, go for a striped or a checked one.

And let’s not forget the piesse de resistance, the tie. Ideally you want to go for a tie that REPEATS one of the colors on the shirt. The tie should also make a lot of contrast with the shirt – a tie which you can barely distinguish is better kept at home.

If you’re serious about dressing to impress at a wedding, be sure to check out some pocket squares. Most guys never wear them and they are absolutely fantastic. Again, make sure you make some sort of contrast with the suit jacket.

One rule about pocket squares, though: if you’re wearing a white shirt, the pocket square HAS to be white.

What to wear in a club

Clubs are a great way to go a little over the edge with your style. Everyone there is having fun and so should you. The thing about clubs is that most guys already dress well so you’re *forced* to be one notch above them.

Accessories are a great way to do that and you have lots of options available.

For an in-depth analysis of what to wear in clubs to stand out, check out this extensive guide that I wrote.

men style ebook


Dress to impress at work

Your work environment can quickly become dull, especially since people tend to be very focused on work and less focused on socializing.

The key to business casual (or smart casual, as the two terms are used interchangeably) is to be unique but not to overdo it. Like I said, people are focused on their work and you shouldn’t distract them with any bold colored or over-accessorized outfits.

Think khakis, ties, cardigans, dress shirts and leather shoes. Here’s an article where I discuss smart casual in-depth: The smart casual dress code for men.

What to wear on a first date

Ahh.. the first date. Some guys have no clue how important it is to be dressed properly at a first date. If you got that far, it’s obvious the girl is interested in you and she’s trying to gather as much data as she can about you.

Naturally, what you’re wearing will tell her a lot about you. You know women, they interpret everything. So why not give her some good reasons to want to go on a second date with you?

There are two ways you can play this. I don’t know which one is right for you or for the girl you’re dating so you have to do your homework.

If you’re only trying to have sex with the girl and she’s a party girl or dresses extravagantly, then you should probably do the same. Wear cocky colors, be cocky and let the chips fall where they may.

On the other hand, if you’re dating a girl who is relationship material, you want to earn her trust. Even if you’re only going for sex but she’s shy, you shouldn’t wear too bold colors.

Go for warm, earthy colors, such as purple, blue and brown to make her feel comfortable. Stay away from combinations such as all white, black and yellow or pink (keep them for when you’re out partying).

What to wear during weekdays

Even if you’re just going to to do your shopping, you shouldn’t disregard the way you look. If you respect yourself then you should dress stylishly every time you go out. The reason is that, first and foremost, you’re doing it for yourself, to feel good in your own skin, not for others.

There are plenty of clothing items you can choose for day-to-day wear. Sneakers, loafers, jeans, t-shirt/vest combinations, t-shirt/scarf combinations, polo shirts, rugby shirts etc. etc.

The combinations are unlimited and all you have to do is learn to mix and match them. Check out the Be Stylish ™ package – you’ll find everything you need.

The proper attire for a formal dinner

As the name suggests, a formal dinner requires a suit. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways to stand out. A suit isn’t necessarily boring.

The suit colors is up to you.I assume you already purchased this so I’m going to tell you the next steps.

Let’s take care of the shoes first. There is one rule you should stick to when it comes to shoes, and this is in formal situations only: the shoes should be darker than the suit. Notice how I didn’t say they need to be of the same color… all I said was *darker*.

Say what?

OK, let me give you some specific examples.

If you have a navy suit, go for black shoes or dark brown shoes. The brown of the shoes should be darker than the navy blue of the suit.

If you’re wearing a brown suit, make sure the shoes are of a brown darker than the suit. No black shoes in this case, they won’t match well.

Next step: the shirt.

The shirt should make a contrast with your suit. If possible, it should contrast with your skin tone as well. If you’re wearing a brown suit,for instance, go for a baby blue shirt. Don’t overdo it, though. A formal dinner implies that you’ll be discussing serious matters and you want to look serious.

If, however, your suit, shoes and tie are “boring”(e.g. black suit and white shirt), go ahead and play around with the tie,the bow tie and the pocket square. In such cases it’s perfectly OK to wear some bold colors such as pink, red or light green.

That’s it but it’s not over. If you have any other social situations that I have missed, let me know and I’ll update the article. Just leave a comment below.

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  1. JimL
    July 30th, 2011 at 13:46 | #1

    It’s “pièce de résistance”, not “piesse de resistance”.

  2. July 31st, 2011 at 19:02 | #2

    Thanks, Jim.

  3. John
    November 8th, 2011 at 01:36 | #3

    when are hoodies suitable? esp. what would you recommend for someone who’s tall and healthily lanky but doesn’t want to wear the typical Justin Bieber black zipper hoodie?

  4. beaver
    November 21st, 2011 at 04:12 | #4

    @John
    You are not healthy if you want to dress as Justin Beaver.

  5. November 21st, 2011 at 21:48 | #5

    John :

    when are hoodies suitable? esp. what would you recommend for someone who’s tall and healthily lanky but doesn’t want to wear the typical Justin Bieber black zipper hoodie?

    Hoodies bring a very sporty touch to any outfit. You can try to dress them up with chinos and loafers but, generally, I wouldn’t wear them.

  6. John
    December 7th, 2011 at 01:04 | #6

    Speaking as a reformed sloppy dresser, would you agree with me that T-shirts should only be worn for physical work like gardening or at the gym ? A checked shirt is a far better alternative to dress down a bit, in my honest opinion. Also, the use of coloured waistcoats with a black or grey suit can look exceptional.

  7. John
    December 7th, 2011 at 01:15 | #7

    I am not the same “John” from the one of 8th Nov. I guess it’s a very common name :o)

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