In a recent blog series I’ve posted titled, A Blueprint for Looking The Part, I laid out an easy to follow formula for looking as if you belong the rooms of influence. Today’s post take a different view; how to stand and out be noticed for our executive image.
Before I get into the specifics, I want to note that I’m talking about standing out, not sticking out. There’s a world of difference between the two. When we stand out, we’re noticed for the positive and taken seriously, when we stick out, we’re noticed for our negative and dismissed before we begin. That’s why standing out is so important.
Standing Out Means Nailing The Details.
The foundation for standing out begins with conservative wardrobe staples. It’s a tailored suit in either gray or navy. This works for both men and women, though gray is more flattering to females.
In order to make the foundation work, the tailoring has to be right. This means the jacket sleeves don’t fall to the thumb but instead leave at minimum a 1/2 inch of shirt cuff to show. Pants break slightly at the ankle and the hem falls just at the shoe. These details seem small but they’re noticed.
Beneath the suit, the next item is a crisp white shirt. I have written about its virtues before and I’m certain I will again. It’s classic and clean makes everyone more attractive. Details are important here too. Don’t let it balloon at the waist, keep it fitted and make sure your sleeves are long enough. It may seem conservative, but that’s exactly what will make it work.
With a foundation of a conservative, well-tailored suit and crisp white shirt, the next detail is what will make us stand out. Pick one accessory in an unexpected, bright color.
For ladies, it might be a great pair of red heels or a brightly colored handbag. For men, it could be a brightly colored necktie (solid colors work best), or an unexpected color of shoes like a chocolate or caramel colored brown. Just one accessory, in an unexpected color against the conservative backdrop of the suit and the shirt, will stand out, seem fun and personal. There are simply two rules to make it work.
1. Pick Just One Detail
More than one item will take away from the statement accessory. Let it stand on its own by being great. A great pair of shoes, a scarf, and a standout handbag seems as if we’re trying too hard. The same can be said for a bright tie, matching pocket square, and tan shoes. One detail stands out, too many begin to stick out.
2. Where It With Confidence
Whichever accessory you choose should appear as if you chose it after careful consideration and never gave it a second thought. The purple tie, the orange pumps, the periwinkle scarf, all of them should be worn as a badge of honor to highlight individuality. When we stand out, we need the confidence to back up the statement we’re making. Own it.
We all have the interview, the sales call, the presentation when we need to separate ourselves. Our style will never be more important than our substance, but make subtle and slight changes and we’ll be remembered and that’s always the goal.