When we say every occasion, we are speaking specifically about those times when you need to make an impression. What you wear says a lot about you as a person, be that a social soiree, your first date, or that dreaded job interview. While there is room for personal preference here and there, we have some tried and tested tips to help you dress to impress for when it matters the most.
Dress To Impress #1: A Social Gathering
It may be a dinner party at your employer’s home, or you may have been invited to the ‘party of the year’ as an exclusive guest (or, at the very least, a plus one). You don’t want to turn up in fancy dress by mistake or make a social faux pas by wearing shorts and a t-shirt, so here’s how to make a good impression.
- Find out beforehand if the event is formal, semi-formal, or informal. If it’s the latter, you have some leeway in what you wear. Should you find out the event is semi-formal, you probably don’t need to wear a tie, though a suit of some description may still be the way to go. Should it be a formal event, then dressing like an erstwhile James Bond is your best bet, so go for that tuxedo.
- Is there a dress code at the place you are going to? Evening drinks at a local bar or diner may require you to wear a tie or black shoes, for example, so find out in advance. After all, it would be embarrassing to be turned away at the door.
- Consider the type of event. A wedding is pretty standard unless the bride and groom have dictated otherwise. By standard, we mean a black tuxedo or evening jacket, with trousers to match. For a summer wedding, you can mix things up a little with your colouring, so a white or lightly coloured shirt is fine, but don’t wear anything too dazzling as you will avert attention from the bride and groom. Should the event be a cocktail party, or similar, you should still opt for a dark suit, though you have more room for creativity underneath, with a brightly coloured shirt and tie to impress the ladies while chatting at the bar.
- Footwear matters, so don’t mix up your suit with a pair of trainers. Any type of dress shoes are fine, provided they are dark in colour, well-polished and complementary to the suit being worn.
- Don’t forget the accessories. There are some things no man should leave home without, such as a good watch, a pair of cufflinks, and a tie-pin to complement the rest of your outfit. A little creativity with your add-ons makes for a good talking point when socialising with others.
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Dress To Impress #2: A First Date
This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship, but on the other hand, if you make a fashion blunder, the relationship will be over before it’s had time to properly flourish. You want to impress the girl, and not put her off, especially if she’s spent a lot of time getting ready for the date during the day. While there are no hard and fast rules for what to wear (it depends on where you are meeting her), the following tips will help you make that excellent first impression.
- Find out where you are going on your date. If you are heading to a fancy restaurant, you will need to adhere to the dress code anyway. To play it safe, a black suit, white shirt, and a tie will look good in a formal situation. For a more casual date, such as a picnic or a night at the movies, a button-down cardigan or a sweater will look good, along with a tidy pair of jeans. By tidy, we mean no holes in the knees, even if you have been convinced they look fashionable.
- Remember to wear something you feel comfortable in. As this is your first date, you are understandably going to have a few nerves, so wearing something tight-fitting or heavily layered is not going to help your composure. While you shouldn’t take comfortable to mean your favourite t-shirt and baggy pants, at least wear something that looks smart, and that has previously been worn. A brand new outfit or pair of shoes is fine, but they can make you look and feel uncomfortable if you have only just put them on.
- Wear something that brings out your best features. Physical attraction is part of that first impression, so let your date see the features that flatter you. If you are keen to show off your muscular tone, don’t wear something padded. A smart sleeveless or thin shirt will show off your pecs. Colour also matters, so, draw attention to your eyes, for example, by wearing something of a similar shade.
- While looking good, you also want to smell good. However, don’t overwhelm the girl’s senses with an overload of body spray and deodorant. Use your cologne sparingly, and perhaps choose one of these scents as that perfect finishing touch to your dress-to-impress outfit.
Dress To Impress #3: The Job Interview
The one thing more nerve-wracking than your first date. If you really want the job, you are going to have to work hard at the interview, and this includes your preparation time beforehand. What you wear counts, to give you added confidence, and to show the interviewer that you have bothered to make an effort with your outfit choice.
- No matter what the job role is, wear something formal, unless told otherwise by the prospective employer. It may be an informal job, for example, but you should forego your Hawaiian shirt until you have signed the employment contract. Go for something that fits you well, as you don’t want to wear anything that makes you appear foolish. These are some of the best made to measure suits that should adhere to the look you are going for, and be sure to add a dress shirt and necktie to match the formality of your outfit.
- Preparation is key, so spend time at home the night before trying out your new shoes and outfit, and adapt your feet and body to them. You will feel more comfortable and look less ill-at-ease (despite your nerves) if you fit into what you are wearing, and you are also less likely to make a fashion blunder if you have already had time to check yourself out in the mirror.
- Your shoes need to match the outfit, and they also need to be properly shined. Again, this shows you have made an effort, as not only will you look the part, but the attention to detail you have shown may also be an indication to the employer of your employability. Wear something comfortable, as we mentioned, and focus on dress shoes or a pair of loafers as your footwear of choice.
We have given you a general overview of what to wear, but if you have any specific style choices in what to wear (or what to avoid) from your experiences, be sure to let us know. Thanks for reading!
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