Proctor : July 2017
49 PROCTOR | July 2017 When you meet someone for the first time, what do you notice about them? Their confidence, their handshake and their attire. Make yourself be remembered for the right reasons. The clothes you wear and the way you groom yourself change the way other people hear what you have to say. Whether it be for a case, a client or a job, someone who wears clean, well-tailored and elegantly styled clothing will instantly appear to be the winner over someone whose clothes are unkempt and ill-fitting. It doesn’t matter which area of law you practise in, dress each day as if you are about to face your worst enemy. In Suits, the first must-do advice Harvey Specter gave the freshly hired Mike Ross was to buy a properly tailored suit. So keep these important tips in mind: 1. Buy well Quality clothes in a fine fabric will last longer and be more comfortable to wear. Choose one or two mid to high-end brands that suit your shape and look, and invest in building a professional wardrobe to last the test of time. 2. Get it tailored It doesn’t matter how much the clothes cost, if they’re not tailored to your body, they will look out of date and unkempt. Invest a bit of time and money when you first purchase an outfit in clothing alterations. A well-experienced tailor will help you elevate your look by making sure every line is tailored to complement your shape, while providing comfort. 3. Maintenance Clothes that are worn directly on the body should be washed or dry-cleaned after you’ve worn them two or three times, and jackets every three months. This prevents discolouration and makes the clothes last longer. Any ripped seams and holes should be mended immediately by a professional alterations service, to avoid looking careless and unobservant. 4. Don’t follow trends Trends should not apply to a professional wardrobe, because high fashion usually means cheap, disposable clothing that breaks easily. Don’t waste time buying something you can only wear for six to 12 months, as you’ll just need to go and purchase another one when it breaks or goes out of style. 5. Stick to the same colour scheme Having too many different colour palettes in your wardrobe means that you will end up spending more time each morning trying to match outfits. Instead, choose two or three of your favourite staple suit colours – for example, navy, light grey and black – and build a collection of complementary coloured shirts and ties to match. 6. Accessorise This is when you should buy well, and the colour scheme comes into play again. Choose timeless pieces to complement your staple looks – for example, a good-quality leather handbag, three to four professional belts and leather shoes in brown and black. Simple jewellery, watches and lapel pins can elevate the look, but keep the total number to no more than two. Silk neck ties are also a good investment, in classic colours such as maroon, navy and grey. A pocket square finishes the look, but should never be in the same colour as the tie. 7. Build a signature look Nothing saves more time than building a signature look, because everything in your wardrobe will already match. Family lawyers may like to wear more colours and softer lines, whereas corporate lawyers could wear sharply tailored suits in lighter shades. Style Dress to impress for success How to build a winning professional wardrobe We all want to make the best impression in our professional lives, and there’s no better way to start than by making the right choice in the clothes we wear, as Clare Sheng explains. Clare Sheng is the director of the Fitting Room on Edward. See thefittingroomonedward.com.