• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
  • Editorial Calendar 19-20
BW Businessworld

Lifestyle: Dressing Up The CEO

Studies shows that a man who dresses as if he already has the higher position he wants, is much more likely to get it. People believe what they see, and if you look successful they believe you are.

Photo Credit :

Clothes make the man! This statement is truer in today’s fiercely competitive business world than when Shakespeare wrote it. In fact, studies show that a man who dresses as if he already has the higher position he wants, is much more likely to get it. People believe what they see, and if you look successful they believe you are.

The global CEO is no longer a mythical being seen only in magazines, but a reality of the Indian workplace. So, unless like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, wearing one outfit to work everyday is your style, a razor sharp dress code is needed for anyone with that corner office.

While business formals are an acceptable way of dressing, there is much more to style than just a good suit. Here are some golden rules to spruce up your CEO wardrobe:

Choose what you wear depending on your stature and position: Your image is your most valuable marketing tool and your wardrobe is one of your most important investments. You should have an appropriate attire for all occasions, from power suits for business and board meetings to sophisticated business causal ensembles for more relaxed meetings or social engagements. Clothes should fit your body well and not dangle. A grey two-piece matched with two shirts: purple and white, and a navy two-piece (an international business staple) matched with two shirts: sky blue Royal Oxford and a sharp white Royal Oxford comes as a basic power dresser guide to formal meetings. Have your clothes well maintained and they will age gracefully and last longer.

Hide your imperfections through a bespoke-tailored shirt: A well-fitted shirt is a must in a CEO’s wardrobe. A bespoke shirt can make men visually appear having a good V-shape upper body. For instance, leaving up a little fabric to accommodate a belly while keeping the waist and back snugly fit goes into our ‘tailoring book of smart hacks.’ Some men even have a difference in shoulder slope, so our fit comments for our clients have included right and left shoulder droop, round back, high shoulders, normal shoulders, sloping and very sloping shoulders.

Choose the right collar spreads that suit your face shape: Collar spreads and collar points are chosen based on the face shape and the proportion of the shoulder and the body. Semi-spread collars work best for most face shapes. However, small spreads are better for a round face. Those with longer and thinner face shapes might want a collar that will visually widen their face. The collar point length is the size of the collar from the collar tip at the neck to the end of the collar in the front. Generally, larger men look best in collars with longer points as it proportionally compliments their stature. Shorter men might want to consider going with a shirt that has shorter points, so that it leaves them looking slightly taller.

Your clothing and appearance speak volumes about you. While most would think a dark coloured suit or pin stripes work, there is a lot more to power dressing than just some tweaks to your wardrobe. In most cases, power dressing and even style, is not just about how you look, but also about how you feel. For instance, in Asian countries a smart businessman is better off in a good looking, well-crafted shirt, as opposed to a stuffy suit. This can also be attributed to our weather conditions, where heat and humidity can play havoc with a well-crafted suit. Appropriate business casual attire is important. Even on the most casual of days, a President / CEO needs to exude an air of success, control and authority.

While we have a vibrant ready-to-wear and designer industry in the country, a well-dressed man will do well to add some bespoke items in his wardrobe. While personal style and lifestyle choices as well as personality types dictate the way bespoke tailoring works, there are some golden rules to adhere to when it comes to making:

Use complementary cuts, colours and styles: Have you ever wondered why certain personalities look better in their photographs or public appearances? There is a science behind it. Many of us look much better when our looks are enhanced by a certain colour family. Gentle tweaks to your regular style in terms of colour, enhancements and cuts can help to add to your personality and body shape. Style personalities, skin tone, body proportions and contrast features are a few classifications and parameters based on which the clothes can be chosen to best compliment you. Identifying these parameters helps you to understand what fits and cuts, designs, lines, prints, textures and colours suit your body shape and skin tone based on your style personality.

Higher the fabric count, lighter the fabric emotes luxury: The drive to make millions may not have diminished much in the last 20 years, but the weight of a suit’s fabric certainly has. Lighter wool —made from a finer, smaller yarn — is increasingly being used in men’s winter and summer suits.

With this type of fabric there is a certain elegance and drape to it. The texture and appearance is also different.

Invest in a sharper look: Attention needs to be on the face and not on your clothes so it is important to wear clothes that complement your body shape and skin tone. Clothes should be well fitted with no excess fabric for the neater, dapper and a more confident look.

Wear a colour so that the focus is on your face and not the accessory, be it a tie, shirt, suit or pocket square. Identify your cut and experiment. Slim figures should wear slim fit Italian cuts. Rectangular figures should wear comfort fit British cuts. Round figures should wear regular American cuts.

Choose an expert image/wardrobe consultant to polish your appearance. Style consultants communicate your visual power to the world. The cost of clothing must be looked upon as an investment. For these reasons, it’s best to seek the advice of certified experts of the trade! A good wardrobe consultant, by carefully crafting your image, will make you look and feel great, exude power, and communicate effectively, thus making you more successful.

Accessorise: A smart belt can spruce up an otherwise sober or dull outfit. Always match your belt to your shoes in terms of colour and shade. Also a belt is vital, if your pants are a comfort fit, simply to give form to the garment. Remember, your belt size is about 2 inches more than your regular waist size, so do try it on before you buy it.

The author is Co-founder of Pezalli

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Anupama Sachdeva

The author is Co-founder of Pezalli

More From The Author >>