Fashion advise needed

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mano, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. mano

    mano Senior member

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    On Friday my business partners and I will be "pitching" a proposal to the the head of a large governmental agency in the hopes of landing all or part of what is a very lucrative contract.  There will be four or more people there, all of whom have direct access to the governor and most of whom are probably in their current positions as a stepping stone for bigger things down the line.  In two weeks, we will be giving the same presentation to another, equally large arm of the same state government.  My question is, what to wear? I'm of the mind to dress as I assume they will be attired.  Accordingly, I'd wear a navy blue SB Hickey Freeman suit and brown shoes (my new Grenson cap-toes.).  Others have  advised me to dress as a "$400,000 a year consultant would dress."  That would be either my DB navy Brioni or my black Corneliani super 150's SB suit.  I typically add a pocket square but would choose to go conservative with a solid color, as opposed to some of the patterns I like, and which add a nice dimension to solid colored suits.  Any input would be appreciated.  BTW, my partners will not be dressed in anything approaching Brioni, much less HF. I'm not a $400,000 a year consultant...yet.  [​IMG]
     
  2. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    I am not qualified to comment but I think the DB option would be a little excessive.
     
  3. truthhurts

    truthhurts Senior member

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    Out of those three I'd pick the navy sb.
     
  4. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

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    In your place, I'd stick to black captoes or brogues...the safer option. While brown shoes are great, a potentially conservative arena may not be the right place for them
     
  5. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I'd go with the navy SB, DB is a little excessive, and black is not usually a good idea for a meeting, especially during the day.
     
  6. jester

    jester Senior member

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    Definitely the navy SB, and probably black shoes as well, and probably skip the pocket square. You don't say what kind of work you're in, but you don't want to come off as "slick", esp. when meeting with government functionaries who don't earn a third of the $400K you hope to be earning, and thus can't afford Brionis of their own.
     
  7. JDMcDaniel

    JDMcDaniel Well-Known Member

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    I agree on the pocket square. It has much larger downside than upside.

    I think brown shoes are far less objectionable. Black is less risky, but the choice is reasonable enough that I would wear whatever will make you feel the most comfortable and confident.

    This assumes the Grensons are a dark brown. Else, definitely black.
     
  8. housemaidsknee

    housemaidsknee Senior member

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    it is not my personal preferance but I would still suck it up and wear black shoes, not brown.
     
  9. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    if it were me i'd wear whatever i was most comfortable in. if you'll feel more confident in the brioni with a pocket square, wear it. i'd rather be overdressed than underdressed.

    and tell your associates to dress for success.
     
  10. Giona Granata

    Giona Granata Senior member

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    DB Navy + Black Shoes + White Pocket Square. I add a white immacolate shirt (it means liability, stability) . The fabric of the dress should not be bright, so that also means stability and liability. Choose the dress form the fabric: not the tipical shiny and striped "$400.000 consultant" fabric, but a serious solid color - boring "I'm the responsable, stable liable head of the family".

    If you can carry this configuration smoothly and relaxed, you are ok.
     
  11. mano

    mano Senior member

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    Thanks so much for the thoughtful replies. Keep them comming. The fact is, I'm comfortable and confident dressing either way (if someone wants to ask me, I'll go on, ad nauseum about what we do [​IMG] ). These folks have something I want, and while I believe passionately about the service we provide, I need to fit into their context, not the other way around. For now, it's the HF, black cap-toes (Johnston-Murphy's) white shirt, red or light blue patterned tie and maybe/maybe not off-white pocket square folded Cagney style.
     
  12. mcarthur

    mcarthur Senior member

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    As an older gentlemen I like your selection of clothes for the professional meeting except I would not use the white pocket square.
     
  13. justlurkingthanks

    justlurkingthanks Senior member

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    When I deal with salesguys and they're all foppish, I just can't relate to them. I appreciate the stuff they're wearing, but it's just too self-centered to me.

    I know this sounds like a contradiction because I love my Oxxford and all that. But when someone comes to my office to make a pitch for a large contract and he's all done up, my boy brain says, "Ain't he dandified."

    Anyway, the short of it is: If you're selling you have to connect and fussy detail is offputting. But hey I'm not swimming in the big pond as some of my fellow posters seem to be.
     
  14. chapunso

    chapunso Well-Known Member

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    Brioni + black shoes + pocket square (white), white shirt and a nice bright tie. you will shine
     
  15. Jill

    Jill Senior member

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    Giona ~  I think you mean, "REliabilty" rather than liability.  But your English is much better than my Italian, so no worries..

    I too (if I were a man, in a similar situation) would go with the most conservative look.  Possible exception, if you KNOW the decision-maker in the audience, and KNOW him/her to be a snappy dresser, then you're safe to spiff it up a bit.  Having spent many years on both sides of the presentation, I would recommend to err on the side of caution.  Nobody likes salemen or consultants, as a rule  (I speak from experience..), so don't go out of your way to overdress them.  Most of your audience think you're overpaid to begin with.

    So I'd go with a navy SB, white linen (or preferably NO) pocket square and black shoes (much to my chagrin, as I prefer cordovan or brown).  Shirt and tie aren't as important in this case.  If you're addressing C-level folks who will be dressed similarly, then go ahead with the white shirt and bright ("power") tie in red, blue or yellow.  Otherwise, I'd soften the look a little with a blue dress shirt.  Soft, warmer and more relatable.

    Either way, I'm sure you'll look fine.  Are these the type people who will grant you credibility based upon your wardrobe??  Ahhh  So many variables here, but the bottom line, KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.

    Good luck.  Hope you get the gig.
     

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