Anna Soo Wildermuth

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Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Men’s wardrobe

Do shoes make the man?

nike-esquire-sneakers-whiteA recent Tribune article asked if a man can wear gym shoes with a suit. In celebrity magazines, we see actor’s wearing funky shoes with suits and tuxedos. If you are in the fashion or marketing industry or a billionaire why not? For everyone else, if you want to be taken seriously and not be the focus of conversations about your shoes, stick with traditional footwear. For pizazz, mix it up with a different color leather (not red!).

Updating the rules of dress for men and women

1206574733930851359Ryan_Taylor_Green_Tick_svg_medIn is white which can be worn all year round based on fabric; linen for summer and wool for winter

Out is matching colors for shoes and belts unless it is for formal wear for men

In is wearing belt loops beltless on pants and skirts

In is bright pattern hose and socks for men even with sandals

In are single pleated pants for men

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The untucked shirt

_7467151The untucked shirt is a shirt hanging over men’s pants. Now, there is a shirt for men made especially to be worn outside. The overhang of the shirt is short and sports a finished even hem. My opinion of the untucked shirt is that the jury is still out.

I was just at a major store and younger-than-25-year-old sales person was assisting me in a purchase. The man possessed a stocky build and wore a plaid red shirt untucked. This person also had a fashion sense, wearing black glasses with a touch of red on the side with well pressed slacks and clean athletic shoes. I was impressed the shirt hit his body at the right place. It looked smart and casual and not in a manufactured way.

The tie speaks

tiesuntitledI am fascinated by ties worn by politicians, especially the color and widths while watching news channels and late night talk show hosts. It seems like every color of the rainbow and tie width is making an appearance! Folks who are in style, wear more narrow widths and venture into the lavender, purple and burgundy colors, rather than traditional tie colors that come in wider widths and in blues, reds and grays. The right tie with a complementary suit and jacket sets the tone needed to deliver their message. Smart, elegant or casual earthy tones should be consistent with a desired long term outcome.

Workout clothes

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Many companies have gyms in their buildings for employees to conveniently work out during lunch or before / after work. While this is your private time, it does not mean that you should wear clothes that look like you are ready to clean your garage. You never know who you will bump into!

In fact, you can use working out as an informal way to network. You don’t have to wear the latest matching workout clothes and shoes (which I find a bit contrived but I do like the fun shoes men are wearing!).  Just look clean and smart. Also, make sure the clothing is not too small. I recently saw women wearing leggings that left nothing to the imagination – not an appealing sight.

Do suits fit the man?

brown-shoes-blue-suitRecent articles in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune discussed how the suits for Sean Spicer and Stephen Colbert work or do not work. In the real world, suits for men seem to be evolving daily. That is because the fashion industry has been trying change the look of suit styles mainly to drive sales.

The current style for the slim and younger man is closer fitting jackets and stovepipe look pants. No pleat pants on the fuller body type or older men and lapels are back in vogue on the jackets for everyone.

Sean Spicer suits have a dated look because the jacket fit is too wide. He cannot wear the slimmer, youthful one. However, he can trim down the sides and bring in the jacket shoulder to sport a more fitted, smarter look.

Stephen Colbert finally got the message to wear flattering suits and say good riddance to the awful ones where the jacket and pants made him look like a stuffed sausage. Colbert now looks and moves with ease when performing his monologues.

Unfortunately, Spicer has not transitioned to the custom tailored suits that make him look more elegant and balance his rough speaking style.

Look the part

24Looking the part is the first step and a very important one. It is a combination of what and how something is worn. When an outfit does not fit properly or the color does not flatter you then the choice of the clothing is not appropriate for the occasion.

Look at the leaders in the organization to see what makes their look resonate. This will help you discover what creates the right look for the role.

Mix and match

3d human with a red question markClassic styling has dictated that shoes, belts and handbags match. Today’s trends are more in the mix and match category like wearing colors and patterns.
However, a man wearing a dark leather high gloss brown shoe would choose a dark brown leather belt in an high gloss finish like a lizard print. He would keep the same color scheme with different leather blend.

Women have gone in the opposite direction. A black shoe might be matched with a patterned purse in a totally different color. What makes it work is the clothing pieces worn to complement the black shoe. I still believe if you are more comfortable with matching then add a mixed pattern in the same color.
Whatever you choose to accessorize, make sure it is the best quality leather or fabric.

Tie or no tie

nmm04y0-holiday-tie_mxI went out with friends to a high-end Chicago restaurant for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Most of the men were wearing either a suit or a blazer with an oxford dress shirt and no tie. One out of 15 men might have worn a tie. Also, the men chose a shirt varying from light to dark colors. Ties can appear too worn when seen at official events and observed on television anchors and doctors.

Holiday Parties- Part Two

holidayWhat you wear to holiday parties depends on the event itself. For holiday weeknight evening parties it is generally acceptable to go directly from work in business dress. You change an item of clothing to give it a fresh look and feeling.

Weekend evening holiday parties tend to be more formal depending on the location of the event. Women wear cocktail length dresses and men a suit or jacket combination with or without a tie.

Open houses at the home or office of a business associate or a senior leader depends on the hosts. Take direction from their typical clothing styles. If they tend to be more formal, use that as an indicator on clothing choice, do the same if they seem to prefer the casual look. Use these guidelines to help make it easier to decide what to wear for those holiday work-related events!