What fashion says about your success


What fashion says about your success

A suit, with the occasional tie, has been the unofficial uniform for professional males probably since the Stone Age.


However, this standard corporate wear – usually in a colour scheme of black, navy and grey - tends to mask individuality – which, according to British fashion designer Ozwald Boateng, the former creative director of Givenchy, is quite a problem.


Mr Boateng's iconic and modern take on traditional tailoring, by opting for close-fitting and colourful suits,  gained him a strong following among celebrities such as Will Smith and Mick Jagger.


Nevertheless, even when on the pursuit of success, corporate clients are still too shy to stand out of the crowd.

"They say 'I don't want to look too good'," chuckles Mr Boateng.


"I feel a lot of them just have not got awareness of it. A lot of CEOs don't get the power image and don't get the power of their own brand that they work for."


He emphasizes the importance of fashion, as what you were reflects the person's behaviour in the job: if you remain unadventurous about your wear you are unlikely to be pushing the company forward. 


"When you're a leader, you need to be heard and anything that helps focus the attention of the people who work for you is key."


Research by Karen Pine, psychology professor at Hertfordshire University, shows that people are judged on their appearance within seconds – with clothing playing a mayor part.

She found that a man in an off-the-shelf suit is judged as less successful and less flexible than his counterpart who wears a tailor-made suit.


Serge Brunschwig, chief operating officer of French fashion house Christian Dior,  is not surprised by this finding, as people ultimately remember how you look, not what you say.

 

"We always say that one image is worth 1,000 words. Leaders are going to use thousands and thousands of words but the way they dress should be used to enhance their speech.

"Nobody's going to listen really, so at the end what's going to stay is the appearance," he adds.


The biggest advice is to  express yourself in some small way – through your choice of tie or shirt or suit colour, whilst sticking to your industry's dress codes.


Most importantly:

"I like to encourage the individual. If you're wearing clothes where you're confident in them and you're enjoying them, then that will reflect in the way you treat everyone around you," says Mr Boateng.




























"That radiates through who you are and your personality."





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