Details are what transform a gentleman’s ordinary style into extraordinary style. Most people would know a lowercase letter “i” without the dot, but it’s the dot that completes it. By paying attention to the little things in your appearance you complete your look and send a message to others that you are really paying attention. That’s an important message, especially if you want to stand out in a competitive business world. Here are five simple, inexpensive details that can help you dot your style “i”.
As Fred Astaire once sang, “…if you really want to feel fine, give your shoes a shine.”* Shined shoes stand out in a dull world. Whether you polish them yourself, or have someone else do it for you, keeping your shoes in tip-top shape is essential for exceptional style. If your shoes aren’t made to be shined, they still need to be kept neat, clean, and stain-free. Laces need to be kept tidy, as well. If your aglet (the plastic or metal tip on the ends of your laces) is showing wear, or the laces are dingy, repair or replace them.
Good grooming is always worth the effort. That includes trimming any errant hairs on your neck, ears, nostrils, and around your eyebrows. Eyebrows should also be kept trim and neat. Even Groucho Marx kept his real ones groomed. Micro-trimmers make quick work of these areas and keep you looking sharp.
A white handkerchief signals refinement. I’m not as picky as Jeeves was when he sulked over Bertie Wooster monogramming his handkerchiefs. Monogramming is your choice. But, I will say this: keep your handkerchief white, clean, and pressed. Save your creativity for your pocket squares.
Regular use of nail clippers, a nail file, and an orange wood stick to push back your cuticles, will keep your hands looking their best. Remember, your hands are tools you use to communicate with others on a daily basis. They should be well groomed to make a good impression.
Fragrance has to be used wisely, if it’s used at all. If you are going to wear fragrance go natural, keep it minimal and limit it to one product. If you are using multiple products (hair product, deodorant, aftershave, cologne) you can end up smelling like an entire perfume counter. Choose one scent to focus on and make your other products unscented to keep your fragrance from being muddled.
If you choose cologne, spray a small amount on your chest prior to dressing. Your body heat will cause it to release softly, subtly. Don’t spray directly on your clothing to avoid staining it. Don’t use fragrance on your hands, because everything you touch will end up smelling like it — including other people who may not want to wear your scent.
Taking care of these five simple details can set your style apart from the crowd. All those little touches combine to create a style that is distinctive, memorable and superior. Your image should be nothing less.
Want to learn more about how to stand out in a visually competitive world? Contact me today for your own personal styling appointment.
“Shine on Your Shoes” written by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., CARLIN AMERICA INC.