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Your Best Look For 2018

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A few pointers on how to be smart casual in your dress

The New Year brings with it the opportunity to make new your appearance. You should make 2018 the year that you break out with your best look ever—in fashion, grooming, and style.

The tide is turning against the suit-and-tie. It has dominated and defined men’s fashion for over a century. But as you look about the malls and clothing stores the spaces reserved for making, tailoring, and retailing suits are shrinking. In the corporate world and on television, cracks are beginning to show in the once solid and invincible wall of grey and blue suits that contained male news anchors, presenters, and hosts. The more conservative worlds of law and finance are the last hold-outs of this garment, while the realm of business has become more amenable to the smart casual look.

And this is not limited exclusively to the IT industry.

Advertising, consulting, hospitality, transport, logistics, marketing, and business services of various kinds are industries that, at the firm level, increasingly operate as small companies. The digital revolution has increased by magnitudes the power of individuals to communicate and coordinate. This has led to a more informal, flexible, and looser way of doing business, which has in turn led to a reduction in overall formality.

But a reduction in formality need not mean a reduction in standards. We need not be as stuffy as our fathers when it comes to our clothes and grooming. However, we don’t have to embrace sloppiness as an alternative. There are ways to at once look good and be comfortable and casual.

Here are a few tips.

Grooming

Beards and long hair have made a comeback. I see nothing objectionable in this. There is something a bit Ward Cleaver about having to shave every day, and there is simply no reason why any modern man should feel compelled to get their hair cut every two or three weeks. These are leftovers from the time of a more militarized and bureaucratized America.

So by all means let your face bush grow. But trim it once and a while. Do what is necessary to make it neat and tidy. Appear as though you have put some thought and effort in the way you look.

It is what you wear

The old cliché that says it’s not what you wear but how you wear it is nonsense. Of course the specific clothes that you wear matter. The reason why the suit-and-tie remains in vogue even now, in a country that has changed immeasurably since the end of the Second World War, is that it is a symbol and mark of professionalism. A suit signifies to colleagues and clients of the person wearing it that they are someone to be taken seriously.

You can send the same message without the suit. A crisp, clean, non-faded pair of blue jeans and a colorful, even decorative, collared shirt in the same condition conveys to the people around you that you have some pride in the way you look. If you show that you have pride in one thing that you do, people will usually take it to mean that you have pride in everything that you do.

Dress to impress—always

The flattening of organizations and the informal manners now common in the realm of business means you just might meet your next date at a work meeting or function. It is a fact that most people meet dates and significant others at work or someplace associated with their jobs. This makes sense as most people spend the majority of their day doing something related to the latter.

Women like well-dressed men; they do not go for scruffs. When speaking to an attractive colleague, you will have an easier time of trying to maneuver the conversation away from work-related subjects and getting her phone number if you look clean, neat, presentable, and stylish.

About Christopher Reid

Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.

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