Before we dive in, let’s talk about impressions. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we’re judged by how we appear before we even get a chance to prove ourselves. Most people in the business sphere work with people they can trust, and frankly, a bad appearance can be a wrecker. Because, you’re either leaving the impression ‘This guy knows what he’s doing’, or the impression ‘Are you sure we can trust this guy?’
Whatever the case, your corporate appearance speaks louder than words in a business setting. So, from your haircut to your shoes, I’m going to share some corporate grooming tips to help you get the business ready.
1. Don’t dress in a Hurry
You have a lot to do in the morning before leaving for any business engagement, and that’s particularly why getting up early enough is important. When you dress up in a hurry, you’ll look scruffy no matter how hard you try. If you must maintain a clean and fresh look at all times, you must invest time and care.
First, shave every morning, and make sure your beards and moustaches are neatly trimmed. Second, your hair should be short and should sit above your collar. Maintain a rich brown or black hair colour, properly combed and dressed. Spraying or colouring your hair or some parts of it is not business-friendly. Third, trim your nails daily, get rid of the hair in your nose and ears, and use superior aftershave so that you can rid your face of those bumps.
Lastly, let’s talk about your personal hygiene. Take a bath, and brush your teeth every morning, and also when you get back. Attend to your pubic hairs so that smell doesn’t seep through when you sweat. Always use skin moisturizers, deodorants, and fragrances. You can also keep a mouthwash or mint handy for use during business hours, especially after lunch, or right before that presentation.
2. Don’t blend in, stand out
Most people in the business space dress alike. It’s easier to dress in the same pattern (pair of pants, shirt, tie, and the occasional suit), but it takes some extra effort to exude uniqueness. Why buy shoes that are similar to, and/or the same colour with what you already have? How about switching it up? In a competitive business environment, where your skills match those of your colleagues, your dress sense can get you the offer or promotion faster, since you’ve chosen to stand out. Pants and chinos are made from various fabrics, and colours that are subtle enough for the formal environment. Shoes also come in different types, materials, styles, and when paired right, they can suit your corporate purpose. Lastly, there’s a whole world of less-flamboyant jackets, including real leather jackets that fit business affairs.
3. Don’t overdo it
While it’s okay to stand out, beware of overdoing it so that you don’t make the wrong style statement. Certain colours are not appropriate for the workspace. As a matter of fact, suits that are dark-coloured are more authoritative than suits that are light coloured. Try different shades of grey, black, and navy blue. It sounds like it’s not a lot of choices, but depending on the fabric, style, and shade, you can have a whole wardrobe full of these colours, and none will look similar to the other.
Your shirts should be solid colours, and even bright colours like pink or yellow are appreciated if it’s very light or faint. If you must wear stripes, go for pinstripes that very thin and faint, so that the effect is there, but it’s not overpowering. More so, if you must wear a t-shirt, be mindful on what’s drawn or written on it – keep it professional.
Additionally, ties are not always a must, but if you must, you can play around with ties. However, make sure that the tie pattern is appropriate for a particular look. Lastly, don’t abuse stockings. Depending on what you’re wearing and the type of shoe, stockings may or may not be warranted. Coloured or patterned stockings may be appropriate also. But remember, subtle dark coloured light-fabric stockings still wins over coloured or patterned ones.
Although some tech billionaires may have gotten away with it, the rules still apply. If, for instance, you show up for a meeting with a bad shave, bad haircut, and bad outfit, you’ve just created a major distraction. And this could, in essence, negatively affect the outcome of the meeting. I know it sounds ironic and unfair since a good outfit and a clean shave doesn’t mean you’re trustworthy. However, it will create a good impression, a welcoming environment, and could open doors to a thriving business relationship.
Your grooming, poise, and look should be a consistent habit, as this would show that you’re ready to face the day and deal with business challenges.