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I need to change up my wardrobe...

ThePlatypus

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I am a real estate agent in a major city and the majority of my business is apartment rentals so I tend to dress like my clients. T-shirts, jeans and Adidas Gazelle's and in the summer a pair of shorts, a golf shirt and a pair of boat shoes. My wife thinks I dress too casual and that it may be hurting my business. I think she is right! During a recent office meeting, everyone was dressed up in nice pants, polished shoes, a button down shirt and some even had a tie on.

I am a little self conscious of my appearance. I feel like Chris Farley (RIP) in Tommy Boy...ya know "fat guy in a little coat..." While my situation is not as bad, that's how I feel when I wear a pair of khakis with a tie and dress shirt along with a pair of wing tips. I just feel like a fish out of water which leads to me feeling self conscious which leaves me appearing less confidant when I am out doing showings.

Today I went out in a Brooks Brothers button down shirt with a Brooks Brothers sweater, a pair of jeans and a pair of suede chukka boots. My wife thought I looked good but I couldn't wait to get home and change.

All of my more professional attire is from Brooks Brothers and all of my shoes are from Allen Edmonds.

Any suggestions for me?
 

Veremund

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Today I went out in a Brooks Brothers button down shirt with a Brooks Brothers sweater, a pair of jeans and a pair of suede chukka boots. My wife thought I looked good but I couldn't wait to get home and change.
All of my more professional attire is from Brooks Brothers and all of my shoes are from Allen Edmonds.
That is a great casual outfit. Wear it more often. Wear it when meeting clients, wear it when going out for dinner.

Tip 1: Never wear a tie without a jacket. That look just screams “I don’t know what I’m doing”.

Tip 2: Get used to wear a sport coat. Combine it with a cotton down shirt and nice, slim, dark jeans. Add suede chukkas or a pair of Allen Edmonds and you’re good to go.

Tip 3: Listen to your wife more often. In hindsight, this should be tip 1.
 
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jaxenro

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Can't go wrong with Brooks Brothers :) Or listening to your wife in this case

Wear the sports coats running to the store, pumping gas, going for a stroll in the evening. After a while it becomes second nature and the comfort level rises. Currently you only wear them for "occasions" or "work" and they feel like it to you. It needs to become second nature. Take you wife out to dinner a few times and dress for it. Go to a place where others dress for dinner it would be good for both of you.

Right now you feel like this is something odd because you only do it on occasion you need to grow into it. Like anything else you just need to get used to it. Try not leaving the house for at least a week without a sports coat on of some type no matter what or where your going. Soon you won't even notice your wearing one.

When I started wearing sports coats, blazers, and even ties I thought everyone was looking at me before I realized most don't care. I get the occasional compliment like the other day a woman at the store said she liked my hat (Brooks Brothers linen blocked hat perfect for spring) or the man at the Dr's office who said I looked like I was ready for church (I told him a man should always be ready for church even though I was "dressed down" for me and never would have worn that jacket to church). In the trade shirts are referred to as "furnishings" like socks and underwear because historically shirts were considered underwear and no man would appear in public in just his underwear. At a minimum a vest over it but normally a jacket of some type and this in the pre air conditioning days.
 

cellphoneguy81

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Sports coats, dark slim fitting jeans, nice boots for colder months or loafers for warmer months. That should be more than fine for your clients. You just have to own it. Don’t let it own you. Confidence
 

johng70

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The outfit you had sounds great. I'm going to say you don't want to go too far though. Don't go so far as wearing coat/tie - then your level of formality is just too different than the people you're dealing with and that can put people off. Nice pants, button down shirt and quality shoes = a very good choice. It looks sharp without being too much more formal. I would even suggest using a sportcoat would be going too far. This is precisely why so many sales forces dealing with the general public have ditched business attire - it's about perception as much as anything else. Stick with the type of outfit you went out in (with or without sweater) and it should strike a very good balance.
 

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