Professional Image Guidelines for Men


Sample Professional Image Guidelines
for Men

Shirts — The centerpiece of formal male attire

  • The shirt sleeve cuff should be loose and extend to the end of your wrist.
  • If your shirt has a button on the sleeve above the cuff, button it.
  • Having shirts professionally laundered is a sound investment.

Collars — Most formal to least formal

  • Contrast collars
  • Tab collars — should be worn with a tie.
  • Straight collars — ideal for interviews
  • Spread collars — ideal for interviews
  • Button-down collars


Ties — Add signature style

  • The smaller the pattern and the darker the tie, the more authoritative the look.
  • The point of your tie should lay over your belt buckle.

Suits — dark neutrals are the most traditional and versatile

  • When buttoning the jacket of a three button suit, fasten the top two buttons.
  • A double breasted suit should always be buttoned when standing.

Trousers — ground your look for business

  • Fit is everything. Too big or too tight throws off the balance of your overall image.
  • Pant hems should clear the shoe heel, but rest on the front of the shoe, creating a slight break.

Socks — it is never a good idea to go sockless in a business setting

  • Dark socks such as navy, black or brown are best.
  • Over-the-calf socks are much better than shorter styles.

Shoes — putting your best foot forward makes sense

  • Best shoes for business are wing-tips, oxfords and dress loafers. Wear wing-tips with traditional suits — oxfords and dress loafers with more casual looks.
  • For many men, shoes are an afterthought, but cheap or uncared for shoes can ruin an otherwise polished appearance.

Wing-tipsimage00864  image00955Loafers


  • An all-weather (i.e.trench) coat and a well-maintained briefcase/tote are essential finishing pieces for most business outfits. Select a good quality trench coat with a zip-out liner so you can wear it year ‘round. You are often wearing a coat when you meet someone for the first time. Make sure this is one of the best items in your wardrobe.
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