Sunday, April 29, 2012

Image Projection : Suiting Up for the Job

(This posting by Wayne Roy - C.Q.C. and I.P. Consultant)

Let me start with a simple but effective tactic in 'value adding' to the service you provide: Always present yourself in a way that looks like you're worth more than the client is paying.

With that in mind, your goal in choosing a suit should be to create a positive psychological impression... a strong one.  And you achieve that by harmonising with your client's values. 

In other words, don't wear combat boots with a cheap black suit and sports sunglasses.  Your client/employer will want you to look like a capable professional who has high operational standards.  So think 'executive-styling' not 'para-military styling.'

The Fit :  Make sure that your suit is fitted to compliment your physique.  And regardless of fashion trends, don't wear a suit that's too tight or too baggy... or a coat that's too short. 

If you're not a standard 'off-the-rack' size, then go to the trouble of having the coat altered to fit properly.  This will be especially important if you're usually armed. 

In regard to trousers, they shouldn't be overly long, or up around your ankles either.  The classic length is down to the top of the heel at the back of your shoe.

Colours :  Solid coloured suits are very versatile, and can be dressed down for more casual events.  Your client/employer might stipulate a particular colour, but otherwise you should choose from : black ; charcoal ; gray ; or dark blue.


Shirts :  With a solid coloured suit the most versatile shirt is a solid colour as well.  Plain white and blues are your best bet... and they can be dressed down for more casual events.

Striped shirts are also an option, but it's important that you don't wear a pale washed-out colour.  Why not?  Because if you have to take your coat and tie off for any reason, the strong sense of presence that your suit created is replaced with a pale washed-out look. 

So it's best to go with colours that have some presence... but don't under-estimate the striking effect of a good quality white shirt.

Ties :  Neck-ties are a very personal thing.  You can choose plains, spotted, striped, or patterned.  But in the field of Executive Protection, it is recommended that you always wear a strong tie - something that features at least one dark colour.

Most importantly, avoid the current trend of wearing bland narrow ties.  That concept is a throw-back to the 60's and 70's, and it wasn't impressive back then either... I was there!

So stick with the classic width - it crosses all generations and cultures.

Regardless of whether you personally prefer stripes or patterns, the basic rule is this : 
  • choose a tie that has the colour of your suit
  • and the colour of your shirt
  • and if possible, a contrasting feature colour. 

Belts :  Your belt shouldn't be too thin, nor too wide.  A belt of about 3.5cm in width is a classic size that looks strong but still professional.  A metal belt-loop will add extra strength to your look (example above). 


Shoes :  Choose a shoe that's comfortable, durable, and has good grip.  Avoid trendy or casual looking shoes, and stick with the respected classics.

A chisel or square toe looks strong because of the angular shape... and an extended stitched sole gives the shoe a foundation that looks solid and strong (example above). 

If you prefer a rounded toe, strive to find a shoe that has either an extended sole, or a solid looking toe, or both. 

And finally, ensure that your shoes look clean and polished every day.


Accessories :  If you require a notebook or a bag of any description, strive to invest in a leather version.  But even if you go for something in a good quality nylon material, choose a style that's simple, strong and functional... with no unnecessary buckles or straps.

Remember, it's a tactical advantage to look like you're worth more than the client is paying!
Click on the link below for an overview of watches that can enhance your image :

1 comment:

  1. This is so true, i've worked with others wearing pin stripe suits with load colors,looking like pimps than professional operators......