New Age Power Dressing For Men

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There was a time not so long ago when suits, ties, and sharp looking clothes were the preserve of a select few: those in the highest echelons of management. No more however. With the economy opening up, and an increasing number of foriegn companies coming into the country, and more Indians travelling globally, dressing sharp has spread. No longer are the Armani and Hugo Boss suits the preserve of the super rich or those in the glamour biz. Today even senior executives don a Ferrigno suit or wear a Givenchy perfume along with a Lanvin tie. The idea is to look good at work, to look competent and efficient, to look sharp, to look like an achiever.

Also a lot more care is being taken on ones overall appearance, on the frills and accoutrements, hair, skin, accessories and footwear. As long as it adds to that power Greek God look.

"Power dressing is here to stay," says Chirag Dattani, a fashion designer who runs a studio by his name at Laxmi Plaza in Andheri. "The best part about the whole exercise is that it is not so expensive as there are different ranges available in the market to suit different budgets. One doesn't have to hire a fashion consultant for furnishing one's wardrobe. All one has to do is befriend a salesperson at his/her favourite store to know about changing trends and get valuable suggestions that would enable one to pick up the right stuff. Being a loyal customer would also ensure that you'll be the first to know when new merchandise comes in, or when a big sale takes place," adds the man who has trained from Parsons School of Designs at New York.

More and more men have started building a 'correct corporate wardrobe' as it helps them to give the right signals. Chirag offers some pointers :

GOAL: Are you looking for a raise? Are you looking to impress your boss? Are you looking at giving your colleague an inferiority complex? Are you looking at making a client feel at ease with you? Are you looking at charming the lady client? These are questions you should mull over before making your sartorial choices.

JOB: Cut your cloth, tailor your clothes, depending on your job. Clothes definitely make a man - or a woman. If your job is in administration or finance in the back end of a company, don't dress like you are a yuppy film star. Even if you can afford it. Even if dressing down is in.

That is if you are working in a conservative job, dress conservatively. Mostly, this is to put your clients at ease and to build up their trust. Will an old lady entrust her life's earnings to a man in a bank who dresses up in frayed jeans (even if they are Ralph Lauren) and a crumpled shirt (no matter how snazzy it looks).

There are careers which call for a cool dressing approach. For instance in cinema or television, even CEOs such as Sameer Nair and Peter Mukerjea or Kunal Dasgupta don't go the whole hog in their daily corporate attire. Nair can be seen in a nice white shirt, with a smart jacket (no tie) and smart trousers in the corner office at Star House. On other days, one spots him in extremely casual attire, especially on weekends. Dasgupta and Mukerjea don't overdress themselves.

Says a fashion consultant: "Nair - though he looks like a lawyer - is one of the brightest creative professionals in the country and he deals with creative, business, legal, distribution executives in his company. His dress sense does not put off the creative programming guys nor the serious executive in Star India."

On the other hand, writers, directors, and actors are not taken seriously if they dress too seriously. Jeans, tight T-shrits, floral or striped shirts, with casual floaters or sneakers complete the look. The days of the jola and khadi kurta pyjama look have essentially gone.



BE BOLD WITH TIES

Ties, broad at the base rather than thin and slender ones are in. The colours: don't go for loud ones, dark blues, blacks, greens - as long as they match or contrast your shirt and jacket will make you look sharper. Striped ties too work well though full coloured ones are in these days. If you want to be more aggressive, pick out designer ties or funkier patterns. But be careful not to appear to be pretentious. Like there is this journalist turned entrepreneur in Delhi who claims to live in Los Angeles who normally sports a Marilyn Monroe tie no matter which shirt or jacket he is wearing. This definitely is making a statement but it leads to sniggers. Often time, colleagues and clients have remarked, smiled and guffawed loudly when he is out of ear shot about his strange sartorial sense.

ACCESSORIES

The package may look good but what's in it makes it look even better, more complete. Exercise is essential to make you look fit, stand erect, look like a man oozing power. But what makes you look more complete is the embellishments. Your cufflinks, your tiepin. Nice gold ones or black links can add to your appearance.The tableau of colognes and eau de toilettes and parfums has expanded in shopping malls. You have a variety of fragrances to choose from: be they woody or citrony. Take your pick depending on the occasion and your mood. Remember your cologne should be subtle and not be screaming for attention. Make sure your wallet is made of real leather not of a smelly plastic; everytime you pull it out people will appreciate your fondness for the finer things in life. Similarly, an elegant watch should complete your outfit. Brand names always leave an impression, but think sophistication first and foremost.

RIGHT SHOES

Again, your shoes must be stylish through and through. While comfort should definitely be one of the deciding factors, aim for leather footwear. If possible, avoid rubber soles and opt for leather ones instead. Black, brown and oxblood (i.e. burgundy) are your colors. Always make sure they are properly shined

Last but not the least, the air of confidence, elegance and comfort is what makes a man a winner all the way!

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