What’s in your professional wardrobe?
What do I mean by that? I mean what are the pieces that are currently in your wardrobe that would allow you to slip seamlessly into a business meeting where millions of dollars were on the line?
Do you have pieces that would accomplish the task?
Do you know what pieces you should have?
When I was working in men’s clothing full time, this was a question I would often ask of my customers. New graduates seldom had anything, and sadly, some gentlemen well along in their careers were not much better off.
But the question, and the answer, are critical. What’s in your professional wardrobe?
Some gentlemen that I talk to protest, and tell me that they don’t need such things in their wardrobes. “I’m just an average guy, I wear polo shirts and khaki’s to work, and that’s on the good days. Why do I need to think about a professional wardrobe?” The answer I give invariably is, “Because when you need to think about one, it’s too late. It controls you, and you will spend more and get less. Thinking about it when you don’t need it is how you maximize quality for every dollar spent.”
So what’s in your wardrobe?
Over the next few posts, we will talk about different pieces, and the combinations that make or break the wardrobe. But in this post, I want to stress that we won’t be talking about spending a lot of money, and we won’t be talking about doing it all at once. We will be taking the approach of finding a piece at a time, prioritizing based on the pieces that you currently own, and adding carefully to that group.
For my readers who are familiar with the business world, this makes sense. For my readers who don’t, think of it this way: you wouldn’t dream of tackling an activity without the right gear, right? Think of your wardrobe in exactly the same way. You are putting together the gear that you will need to be successful in very focused and particular projects.
And if it we do it right, it will be fun.
So, here is some homework. Look at your wardrobe. Break it down in terms of suits, blazers, sportcoats, slacks, dress shirts in solids and patterns and colors, ties in colors and varieties and, believe it or not, even socks. See what you would have available if you were called to the ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, or to sit with investment bankers to discuss a multi-million dollar deal, or invited to the White House to present an idea to the president’s cabinet.
I know, a little far fetched, right?
But you never know.
Next week, we start talking about what you found, and what you need to find.