Champions are made through their actions, nothing more, and nothing less. So if your first act for the day is putting on a suit that represents your inner self, anything less than the perfect match is unacceptable. There are plenty of variations in style, with enough qualities in each piece to really make a difference. Ever wonder why coaches wear a suit and tie in basketball? It is called leading by example. And here is exactly how you do it.
Know Your Events
Do you have suit etiquette? As in an awareness of when to (and not!) wear a suit? This will determine what you put on when it comes to events. It will also determine where you decide to put on a suit, period. Not all places are reserved for a suit and tie atmosphere. Yet there are places that have a strong requirement for dressing up and would be inaccessible without it. Having a plan in action that allows you to coordinate according to the occasion will help with confidence. Using that same logic, boosting other areas of your mentality are a single step behind once confidence becomes second nature.
So when deciding where to wear a suit, there are common sense places like any job related function, such as an interview, wedding and business presentations. With an interview, it is rare that a job will consider a candidate that is dressed down compared to one that is dressed up. This is due to the confidence that is exuded from wearing a suit. With a high grasp of what it takes to be a winner, walking into your interview looking like a champion will place anyone on the short list of candidates to be hired.
A networking event is a bit different since moving around from one area to another is essential for getting hired. In this case wearing a suit that isn’t restricting and pairing it with shoes is important. Dress shoes are not the uncomfortable boats that people make them out to be. Even without additional support come out of the box as wearable as sports shoes. Sticking to top brands like Cole Haan or Ted Baker will guarantee comfort without compromising style. There are plenty of comparison tables to look at (the best ones are onsite) that show how one brand stacks up against the other. Just remember, for networking specifically, you want the most comfortable dress shoe available.
Then there are places where wearing a suit will only draw negative attention and make you stand out like a sore thumb. These places include dive bars, kids’ birthday parties and of course any non-professional event where you’re expected to move a lot. No one is showing up to the gym with a tight fitting suit and not getting a sideways look. That statement isn’t meant to sound smart, but you’d be surprised how many men show up to party in a suit. Now in the circumstance where you’re just getting off work and decided to drink for a bit, no one is going to give you flack. The important thing when it comes to avoiding a suit is to always keep in mind the people and the atmosphere you’ll be around. So while a champion in a suit can present a corporation saving presentation, that same guy in a suit is not the best person to spot 300 lbs. of weight at the gym.
Knowing your events will grant the appropriate mentality for preparing and wearing a suit. It is all about what the event represents and what status you want to be aligned to with all the people involved. With everyone else using the suit as their representative, take it a step further and climb into the role as the leader. Your example of being organized will raise personal status, and in such a way that no one can question your ambition. There are many perks to having this mentality, yet it can only start with managing your suit, tie, shoes and all accessories to match the event.
Does the Suit Fit You?
Many will walk into a story and try out a suit on the rack without a problem. This isn’t a movie, so things will be a lot different! In real life it will fit well off of the rack, but it won’t fit great. Anyone can find a suit that fits well, but men that want to dress like champions never settle for anything less than great. The common misconception is that a suit needs to be tight in order to fit well. This is where measurements come in, and are the best way to debunk that myth. A suit made to order will not only fit well, but will contain much needed breathing room in areas where you need movement. A suit made for your exact measurements is completely useless on another person’s body. Which is why more consideration goes into balanced universal measurements when getting suits off of the rack. These are no good for anyone until they are made to fit.
Tailors are not the end all be all, but they’re close! Take the time to learn your actual measurements from head to toe. Neck measurements are as important as shoulders and hip, and some men need wide width dress shoes in order to make it through a day. Tailors are used a lot for a reason, as their alterations are so precise that it’s as close to perfection as you can get. Consider a tailor when you have more than one suit to be altered, and there is a good chance you can get a deal. There are plenty of people that keep a rotating week of suits at the tailor, only to pick them up and swap them out with the old. You don’t have to be THAT excessive, but just be mindful of any discounts from tailors for bulk.
Personal alterations are a consideration for anyone that has a family member in the business. No, major alterations should not be blindly done by family members that have shown skills in knitting. Altering a suit to fit your body is more about touching the rough areas up, meaning it won’t be nearly as involved as professional tailoring. It is still a good alternative for anyone that doesn’t have the money for a professional, yet it should never be considered a full replacement. This option becomes a lot less likely to use when the suit is of considerable value. When using off the rack suits an alteration is perfect, as there is little gain for sending a sub $100 suit to a tailor. The price to fit it to your measurements could very well be more than the suits worth, and in some areas the tailor won’t even consider it doing your suit as it would go against their own moral code. But if you bring in the suit of a champion by spending good money on it, the only option is a professional tailor. Anything less would be a waste of money and could very well ruin a perfectly good suit.
Match Your Shoes
Dress shoes are probably the easiest part to complete with a suit if done right. Try not to get too involved in all the extra work some people say are necessary for finding the correct fitting dress shoe. Keep in mind this is focusing on the actual fit, and not the color or type. Exact measurements of a foot may be the recommendation that is thrown out by many professionals, so should you consider it in relation to a suit? Take a look at anyone you admire the most that wears a suit, and then ask them about their shoes. More often than not, the basics of choosing a shoe will come down to size, width and comfort. These three things are the main concerns when choosing a dress shoe to go with any suit- and once again, that is based on how it fits, and nothing more. A shoe that looks good but is murder on your feet will only lead to severe pains in the future. There is also the problem of movement and friction causing long term damage to your foot if the shoe doesn’t fit right.
Matching shoes with a suit is a lot more complex, and requires a lot more care when making a decision. Even if the default go to is black, it’s not true when people say black goes with everything. It is however true that black is the least offensive color to pair with a suit. There are dedicated articles associated to matching shoes to suits, and it goes beyond colors to eventually mention styles. Found the right color shoe to go with your suit, one that compliments both your belt and tie? Take a close look, as the style may end up being a big problem if it clashes with the rest of the outfit. Dressing like a champion has a lot of layers, and the complexity of shoes are a big part of that. Taking the guessing work out of dress shoes will help to make the correct pairings. All of your suits will have a natural look, an alternate combination and an experimental one. All of these looks represent you to the fullest, but you can’t get to that point without putting in the legwork to figure out the little stuff.
Own What You Wear
As long as you’re confident in the suit you step into, then it’s a perfect match. Suits are meant to boost confidence and be comfortable. Find the layer in your suit that is giving you the most trouble, and attack it. If it is something small like a belt, then congratulations! You’re a step ahead of millions of men. If it is something more external like matching colors or styles, then take the time to find out what you don’t know. The information is readily available onsite, with charts and tips that are made to push you in the right direction. Practice makes perfect, and this is going to be the beginning of a very fruitful affair. So remember that dressing like a champion is all about image, and you’re the lead artist in charge.