Instilled in me at an early age was the importance of presentation. I was groomed to believe that being polished from head to toe was a sign of respect to those around you. This had less to do with being wealthy and more to do with pride in oneself and attention to detail. To this day, even though the status quo for workweek apparel and beyond has drastically changed, I still choose to have a pulled-together look, day in and day out. Especially in competitive industries, presentation is not only key, but it can be the ultimate deal breaker in social and professional opportunities.
Your presence is the culmination of your interaction, from your chosen look to the individually tailored materials you are presenting to a client. It is often said that the better you look, the better you feel, and that is how you bring an elevated sense of confidence to the table. Over these last 20 years, I have chosen to develop my wardrobe around signature, custom-tailored pieces that complement my look and frame. As a taller gentleman, I find that off-the-rack apparel rarely fits well—and fit is half the battle. From date night to board meetings and dinner with clients, I always choose to honor those I am investing time in by showing respect through carefully curated looks. After all, style has a way of making a statement without having to utter a word.
Now more than ever, building a personal brand is imperative. Between your online presence and your day-to-day interactions, a personal brand is on display 24/7. Personally, I have opted to design mine with a classic and timeless edge that I feel will hold its own throughout the seasons of change. It’s also allowed me to avoid fading trends while remaining confident in the outfits I choose; my clothes never end up wearing me. As a wealth advisor who specializes in serving high-net-worth families, I need to use my assertiveness at an all-time high with every single interaction. So as I rise each morning, well before the sun, my confidence begins to build with the careful selection of my wardrobe for the day. As I prepare to engage with clients, work with my team, and bear the latest market news, I’m always ready to face it all head on.
5 Essential Wardrobe Investments:
- 4 Basic Suits: Navy, black, medium gray, and charcoal. These four colors cover the gamut. When paired with the right accessories (shirt, tie, shoes, belt), the black suit can be worn to a formal black-tie event, a night on the town, or an important business meeting. Three-piece suits are a personal favorite. By adopting this strategy, you get more looks out of the same suit. Building your wardrobe on solid basics lets you develop the essential foundation to a power wardrobe. The solid suits can effortlessly be paired with a crisp white, colored, or patterned shirt. (Paul Smith Suit)
- Sport Coats: Two or three nice sport coats allow you significant mileage on your wardrobe. Navy and black essentials, and a fun/patterned coat are great choices. These coats can be worn with nice slacks, pants from a suit, or dark denim and five-pocket pants. Sport coats help create a polished look for more casual days in the office, dinner dates, or informal client meetings.
- Jeans: Great denim and five-pocket pants have become a big part of my personal wardrobe. I find myself wearing a jeans/sport coat combo more often than not. Look for a nice fitting, straight-leg, dark-finished jean. Over time, I have incorporated different colors of five-pocket pants made with brushed cotton into my wardrobe from brands like AG Jeans or Paige.
- Shoes: Often overlooked but essential. High-quality shoes in a style that reflects your personality are a great choice. I tend to go for modern cap-toe shoes, although I do own a few pairs of monk straps. Choosing basic colors like black, dark brown, and medium brown are the perfect foundation. I recently added a pair of dark grey shoes into my collection and LOVE them. With jeans, I prefer to wear Chelsea boots in black or brown. (Shoes: Manolo Blahnik Watch: Vacheron Constantin)
- Watch: To finish the look, invest in a great timepiece. Find a style that works for you.
For everything above … less is more. I would rather have fewer high-quality pieces that are expertly tailored and offer me a sense of confidence than be buried in options that don’t allow people to see the real me.