Creating a Successful Professional Style: A Male Perspective (Part 1 of 3)

I am really excited to present to you a 3-part series by a special guest who definitely has style and isn’t afraid to share it here with you!  He’s 100% “L2 Style-approved” – we don’t just let anyone onto this blog you know….

Without further ado, I’d like to present to you, a thoroughly well put-together, stylish individual – Art Magnaye.

There comes a time in every man’s life when he realizes there are more to clothes than protection from the elements.  For most (and I include myself in this group) this epiphany usually occurs several times in a lifetime.  For the most part these periods of enlightenment coincide with landmark occasions in a young man’s life…first date, prom, first job interview, popping the question, promotion, you get my drift.  And, much like history, these periods of enlightenment are followed by “the Dark Ages”…the mullet, bell bottoms, acid washed jeans, the ‘80s.

It is the combination of the “A-HA” moments and the “What was I thinking?” moments that ultimately determine a man’s unique style.  Individuality is commendable, and being able to stand out in a crowd is (again, for the most part) a good thing.  But I think we can all agree that, especially in a professional environment, there are good ways to stand out and not so good ways.

A professional image is what we all strive for… we want to be taken seriously in whatever we do.  You’re thinking this “fashion thing” is all superficial, that I am good at what I do and that should be good enough.  And guess what – YOU’RE RIGHT.  But why would you want to sabotage yourself when with just a little bit of thought you could enhance your talents and get noticed?

Lazina has done a great job of defining style and differentiating it from fashion. And I heartily agree with her.  A personal style is one of many tools that a man has to project the best possible image.  I think most of us seek a style that projects a professional and confident image.  What I’d like to do is offer some tips on the basics of developing a professional style.  Notice I said basics.  If you’re already rockin’ the bow (tie), or going out with the spectators (shoes) you’re in the advanced class – congratulations and have fun.

I have committed to helping you develop a professional style.  What I am not going to do is tell you to run out and buy every new trend that blows in from New York, Paris or Milan.  You probably already have everything you need to get started… it might just need a little tweaking.  Let’s start with the first (and arguably the most important) thing – FIT.

Walk around the streets of downtown Calgary during the week and you will see suits.  Lots and lots of suits.  Unfortunately, most of these suits don’t fit properly.  A man in a properly fitting suit looks great – ask any woman!

So what is a proper fitting suit?  A suit should provide you with a pleasing silhouette.  Classic suits tend to be cut fairly lean – that is a slim body shape.  When buttoned (you do button the jacket don’t you?) the jacket should fit the body with no pulling of the fabric.  A well tailored suit should fit across your shoulders again, with no pulling or bulging.  Single-breasted, double-breasted, 1, 2, or 3 buttons – it’s up to you.  The shape, hang and fit of a suit will influence the style of pants.  With pants (like in jackets) fit is of paramount importance.  Stand straight and look in a mirror.  Your pants should hang in a straight line from the waistband to your shoes.  Hanging fabric on the sides or clinging to your thighs then calf – these pants don’t fit.  Go see your tailor.  Have the cuffs “puddling” around your shoes?  Go see your tailor.  A small break in the crease just above your shoes is all you need.  With the slimmer flat front pants – no break.
When buying a suit (or altering your current wardrobe) a good tailor is a must in getting a suit to fit properly.  A good tailor can hide things that you may not want to bring attention to and can enhance your best features.  A good tailor is magic!

Thanks for joining me on L2 Style’s blog.  Join me next week, where I’ll be talking about suits.