How important is proper dress for a banker? Will it make a difference in his career? The market is more competitive than ever… See how dressing smart can deliver a fine return on your investment!
Further your career with this valuable information:
• What is the Best Moneymaker Image for a Banker?
• How Subliminal Messages Affect People’s Opinion of You
• What Styles of Suits and Shirts are the Best for Your Profession?
• How to “Power-up” Your Business Casual
“Clothes make the man.” ~ Mark Twain
What Image Should a Banker Portray?
Bankers need to project a strong impression of stability. Your clients and colleagues expect you to be the rock in a stormy sea. Your clients look to you for financial guidance and direction in uncertain times. Your image and decision-making capabilities set the tone for the bank’s personality, financial health, and, ultimately, your success. To reinforce that image, proper dress conveying the right image is crucial to your success and to the advancement of your career.
“Before you utter a word, your clothing has already spoken.” ~ Janine Giorgenti
Banking is a Conservative Industry
Your image should be conservative, reassuring, and credible. Different combinations of fabric, color, and style communicate significantly different messages. Choosing the right mix can make the difference between gaining and losing the confidence of your clients, colleagues, and superiors.
The New Look for Bankers
On the left is a banker wearing a classic dark navy suit. On the right is a banker wearing a solid banker’s gray suit with the new narrow lapels. Both suits are combined with well-fitting white pointed collar shirts, which complement their face shapes. The dark ties complete their look, portraying, credibility and sophistication.
“Clothes are never a frivolity; they always mean something.” ~ James Laver
How Subliminal Messages Affect People’s Opinion of You
Color conveys many subliminal messages. The darker the color, the more authority the attire conveys. A gray or navy pinstripe suit communicates the highest authority, by creating an overwhelming impression of strength. Wear these suits for client meetings, presentations, board meetings, and social networking engagements. The next best choice is a solid navy or charcoal suit. Brown, olive, and tan are earth tones that portray a friendly, approachable image. Sometimes, being perceived as “down to earth” can be an advantage in building client relations.
A Dark Suit Commands Authority
Neutral Colored Suits Portray an Approachable Image
“Your business clothes are naturally attracted to staining liquids. This attraction is strongest just before an important meeting.” ~ Scott Adams
There is no place in business for wrinkled, stained, un-pressed, or ill-fitting clothing! The care you take in shining your shoes, proper grooming, and wearing high-quality, well-fitted suits, sport coat ensembles, or business casual attire says a lot about your character, habits, and attention to detail. Do not make the lethal mistake of underestimating the power of visually-based assumptions that your superiors, clients, subordinates, and colleagues make about you.
“Like every good man, I strive for perfection, and, like every ordinary man, I have found that perfection is out of reach – but not the perfect suit.” ~ Edward Tivnan
What Style Suits are In, Today?
Bankers tied to investment products should dress conservatively, yet you must stay contemporary. Wear today’s suit styles, and be perceived as up-to-date and current with the times. Today’s look is a slimmer cut single-breasted 2-button coat with flat front trousers. If slim cuts do not flatter your physique, than a medium cut single-breasted suit with pleated pants is okay. Investment bankers and bankers who have the personality and confidence to pull it off and who are constantly networking to bring in business, can inject an element of flair into their wardrobe by wearing the new A-shaped double-breasted suits, with the slimmer peak lapels or the narrow lapel single-breasted suits.
Your Dress Shirt Gets “Star Billing”
The shirt is the “stage”, while the suit is the backdrop. It must not only be well-pressed, but fit impeccably, especially in the collar, cuffs, and waistline. For business attire where a tie is required, there is no excuse for not buttoning the collar because of tightness, or wearing ill-fitting shirts; ditch them!
Your Dress Shirt must be Well-Pressed and Well-Fitting
“Carelessness in dressing is moral suicide.” ~ Honoré de Balzac
A banker only should wear a high quality dress shirt. If you cannot find one that fits properly in stores, then try custom-made dress shirts, to get a perfectly tailored shirt. The collar style you choose is important. Your face shape may be oblong, square, round, diamond, etc., and since many men will experience hair loss, the collar is the most important element in giving balance to your face. Based on your face shape, the most appropriate collars to choose from, for a professional appearance, are standard point, medium spread, and button-down for an Ivy League look. Spread collars look elegant for formal occasions.
Your Dress Shirt Should be Crisp-Looking and Comfortable
“It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
How to Make Business Casual Work
Business casual is tricky. When the outfits are well coordinated, accessorized properly, and worn on appropriate occasions, it fosters a comfortable atmosphere in which professionals like to work. The problem comes with the abuse of crossing the line and wearing weekend clothing.
A banker must retain his integrity! Business casual outfits that portray a “power casual” image take thought, planning, and an investment in quality clothing and accessories. Proper business casual attire for bankers consists of an array of sport coats and blazers, casual tailored dress shirts, dress slacks, and appropriate accessories, such as quality leather belts, casual yet fine-looking leather shoes, and fine men’s hosiery.
Tie the Knot
Your tie is the finishing touch, and what you will most probably be remembered for. Invest in good quality ties, ones that convey excellent taste and hold their shape. Always make sure the tie is the proper width in proportion to your chest and that the tie length reaches the center of your belt buckle.
Geometrics, paisleys, and rep ties are the most popular for bankers. Young bankers will find that skinnier ties, worn with the latest new shorter collar point shirts, are young, stylish, and a sure bet in dressing for success.
It’s Hip to Be Square
To add a touch of elegance to your suit ensemble, the adorning hint of a pocket square in the breast pocket adds an element of grace and sophistication.
Author – Janine Giorgenti, Designer for www.bestcustomshirt.com
A fourth generation Italian-American fashion designer who studied at the world-famous New York Fashion Institute of Technology. Giorgenti uses innovative technology, allowing shoppers to create Custom Dress Shirts at www.BestCustomShirt.com. Janine has made special appearances on all major networks, including CNN, CBS, and Fox. Giorgenti’s designs have been featured in The New York Times as well as Vogue Magazine.
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