F***F****S***: 3 Magic Letters to live by
Yes it’s exactly what you’re thinking and what I said. It’s not uncommon when I walk into a meeting or event by the lack of effort made by some men and women in presenting themselves well. It sounds judgemental, and possibly is, but I am OCD about fashion and clothing. If you can’t represent yourself well, then ask for help from the experts. And if you know nothing about clothing or how to dress up or even shopping, remember these 3 magic letters that should be your number one priority in that order. If you keep these in front of mind, you’ll never go wrong.
Think of it like the Big Bang – it all starts here, and end here eventually. The best manufacturers and leading clothiers focus more on this aspect more than anything. Even the stylists and fashionistas will swear by the quality of the cloth, as it affects everything.
When you invest in a quality yarn, you invest in the technology of production along with the natural materials from which it is made; it’s not just about cutting pieces and stitching them together. The good fabrics drape and fall nicely, they have a balanced weight ratio, the sheen (shine) on the cloth is classy and understated and it feels luxurious to touch and comfortable on the skin. Overall, it looks far more expensive than it is, and is both practical and durable.
The poor fabrics feel stiff, itchy, look and feel bland, or can even be too tacky with the weaves irregular or unmatched. There are very few quality mills and quite many cheaper alternatives that may look the same but don’t perform as well. The cheaper cloth don’t last the test of time either, as they rarely last beyond a couple of years ending in shrinkage due to overheating or drying; or start to fade or bubble or even worse pull or tear around the seams.
Even if you wear the most amazing fabric from the leading clothier producers like Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Dormuel and others, if the fit isn’t spot on then it doesn’t look good.
The difference between a well-made and poorly-made suit or shirts is visible to all. What it means is that it’s not made to your body shape and profile, then you might as well throw it in the bin as it will do more damage than benefit to your personal brand wearing an ill-fitted shirt, trousers or suit.
A badly fitting suit can make people look shorter or taller, fatter or slimmer, and even hunched or crooked. The worst offenders are the extra larger shoulders that can make your chest look smaller (for men) or bigger (for women). Both of which aren’t a professional look for a successful business owner or executive representing their company.
Another concern is, “What can you do when you continually fluctuate between sizes and weights? Do you wait till you lose weight or get the clothes taken on or go up a size?”
The best way around this is to get garments made for the normal you, the heavier you and the lighter you. As you fluctuate, you can wear the clothes to suit your weight-body profile. The worst look is when the clothes look like a tent on you, or so tight that you could exhale and send a button flying into space.
The best-made suits are aligned to your shoulders and fall clean over the chest. The nicest shirts don’t drop on the neck, or pull on the chest and are the middle ground of loose and tight with the focus on comfort. It is here that preference comes into play, with some clients wanting bit more fitted compared to more room for others. When you choose a made-to-measure garment, these issues are sorted up front. It is advisable to know what you want as a client in terms of fit and comfort, so the more information you give your tailor, the better a job they can do for you.
This is an important component but the least in terms of priority. Sadly many people put this on top of the list. They start by buying or ordering something very stylish in cheap polyester or lower grade fabric and not made to their fit profile, resulting in an even worse look. It is what I can “try hard” category and you never want to be labelled as one.
True styling should be effortless and easy – it should be an extension of your personality and can be from formal business to casual beach wear, depending on the purpose and occasion.
A common quote I use is “Dress Simply but do not be Simply Dressed”, meaning you can look classy in a simple white shirt and blue jeans but it’s how you carry those garments on you is what sets it apart. Confidence comes from clothes but it can be given to clothes too from the person. A really well made suit can look like absolute crap on a person who doesn’t know how to wear it the right way.
When you put the effort to match the belt to the shoes or sunglasses in the right shade with your bag, that’s when styling is completed. You can make a million looks using accessories, the right makeup or hair cut and being creative with colour and texture.
So, For F*** Sake, please don’t let the best version of you fail by lack of effort or choosing the wrong fabric, poor fit and cheap styling. Make the most of everything at your disposal, within your budget and impress people one look at a time.
For a more in-depth conversation, get in touch with me via my AZRIM business.