"Project success but don't be flashy"

I got a bunch of meetings coming up, some in a casual setting and some in a more formal setting. I was told to "dress and accessorize appropriately" and when I asked what the fork is that supposed to mean, the response was "project success but don't be flashy". So let me pose this question to the community - what does that mean in your opinion?

Comments (43)

Dec 12, 2018

navy suit, black shoes(oxfords), black belt, white shirt semi-spread collar with french placket, Ferragamo tie

Dec 12, 2018

And all of it should fit.

Most Helpful
Dec 12, 2018

Wear something that looks high quality only to people who know what high quality is supposed to look like. Basically dress nice but do not wear a patterned Ferragamo tie and Gucci loafers with a red and green strip going across the shoe.

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Funniest
Dec 12, 2018

Don a 50mm Michael Kors watch and lizard skin drivers

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Dec 12, 2018

Dress more formal for the formal occasion, and slightly less formal for the casual occasion. Without more context on the meeting type, who it's with, etc., it's hard to help.

This should go without saying, but you can buy nice items that are well made, and people who know/care will know.

Depending on the circumstance I'd just wear the same outfit type for each meeting, and if it's more formal, lose the tie. Keep everything else.

Dec 12, 2018

Start with the basics of "project success":

Fit: successful people are aware of how things should fit, and make the effort to find the right items.

Not like this
Sean Spicer projects bad fitQuality fabrics/construction: even if it fits, people can spot a cheap suit with fused lining, or a shirt with thin fabric.

Fits the setting: here's where it's gotten more complicated. Back in the '80s, you could show up in a navy/charcoal suit, white shirt, conservative tie and be just fine. Dress like that at for a meeting with Peter Thiel and you will definitely leave without the deal.

My rule of thumb is to be "client + 1:" if their business casual means khakis and a buttoned-down, match that but throw on a jacket (which you can always take off.) It's on you to find out how the clients will be dressed.

Flashy: you paid top dollar for the item because your officemates would admire the size of your.... budget. Leave this stuff at home for your upcoming meetings.

Dec 12, 2018

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4f/28/ec/4f28ec611c4e0c2481953c51419db0dc.jpg

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Dec 12, 2018

Apparently, there are clothing consultants for aspiring hedgies :I I'd say it's funny if it was not so ridiculous.

Dec 18, 2018

I have a friend who utilizes one, they charge an hourly rate sometimes in excess of $300/hr...absolutely ridiculous.

Dec 18, 2018

A better answer: an open marketplace that provides free guidance to Buyers, in search of Sellers who best fit their individual needs.

Dec 18, 2018

I think there are a few things that we can all agree on:

  1. Get rid of the backpacks and get a briefcase instead. I know some MDs like to wear it at the office but you shouldn't do that.
  2. Get rid of tactical watches (like G-shock), and go for a clean formal dress watch with black leather straps. Don't need to be expensive but keep it formal.
  3. Get rid of sneakers even in your casual wears; instead of sneakers you can get loafer, monkstrap, espadrilles, boat shoes as your casual wear.
  4. Get rid of bulky belts with huge logos; keep it simple and clean.
  5. Get rid of hoodies and get either gray or dark brown houndstooth-patterned blazers.
  6. Get rid of torn jeans, and instead get chinos, corduory or khaki pants in neutral colors.
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Dec 18, 2018
  1. Get rid of your personality.
  2. Get rid of your sense of self.
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Dec 18, 2018

If changing your clothing style to suit your age - that alone - you can get rid of your personality then - there is no personality to begin with at all.

Personality, self worth and sense of self is all spiritual and internal matter, which has nothing to do with your physical and outward self.

Hope that helps.

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Dec 18, 2018

Teams like Facebook and Google don't give a damn about the color of your outfit: you're judged on the content of your code.

Large, conservative, hierarchies tend to have different norms and expect compliance as an outward sign of being a committed member of the team. If your sense of personality/self can't accommodate these expectations, you may be happier in a more free-wheeling, less conformist industry.

If that's the case, make a move, the sooner the better.

Dec 18, 2018

I'd also include ditching any leather pieces you were rocking as an intern and are a few years old. That belt and shoes from Banana Republic had a good run, but a simple way to upgrade your look is by adding some quality leather shoe/belt combos.

Dec 19, 2018

I still got my USD 100 Aldo pointy shoes from 10 years ago.

Dec 18, 2018

High quality sneakers >>> monk straps and boat shoes for casual wear. Monk straps shouldn't be worn on the weekday, nevermind the weekend... And as for boat shoes, they belong on a boat. That's about it.

Dec 18, 2018

Naoki likes to meditate in his monkstraps while reading Eckhart Tolle, let him be.

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Dec 18, 2018
10xleveraged.sellout:

High quality sneakers >>> monk straps and boat shoes for casual wear. Monk straps shouldn't be worn on the weekday, nevermind the weekend... And as for boat shoes, they belong on a boat. That's about it.

'high-quality sneakers' on the weekend are for guys like aziz ansari

Dec 18, 2018

I meant for casual wear - not for office wear. And as an alternative to sneakers - rather than wearing a monkstrap in the place of an oxford shoe for daily office wear.

Dec 18, 2018

Don't wear anything that stands out too much. Keep it pragmatic, safe, and elegant. If you are not within a "luxury" rank or price range, it's often good advice to splurge on one or two items and keep the rest at your price range. The splurges, when worn, will automatically boost the rest of your clothes' value, without standing out like a sore thumb. Wearing professional clothes you can project confidence (and comfort) in without over-compensating with the flash is the way to go.

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Dec 18, 2018

Very good advice. On fit, your tailor's job becomes much easier if you're starting with an off-the-rack item that was designed with you in mind and needs minimal alterations.

Brands have to make informed guesses about how to cut their designs, so an individual dress shirt may be too tight/loose in the chest/waist, even it's just right in the neck and sleeve. Unless you're on the long tail of the size distribution, there's probably something that can fit you well, so don't settle for "just ok."

Dec 19, 2018

It's almost like you read this from a few years ago... https://www.businessinsider.com/the-goldman-sachs-...

Dec 18, 2018

Agree with most of the above. Of course, a lot of it has to do with fit.

Do the opposite of what finmeme accounts fetishize on Instagram...

Two quick things that you probably know, but for the sake of some who don't (see these jacket faux pas all the time):

  • leave the bottom button open
  • unbutton when you sit down
  • if you get a new one, make sure to cut the thread holding the vent

How are the meetings going, by the way?

Dec 18, 2018
Edifice:

How are the meetings going, by the way?

Had the first one which went well, people liked my ideas and we have a follow-up dinner coming up. However, my choice of clothes was an undiluted fail - I wore a suit sans a tie when everyone else was wearing jeans.

Dec 18, 2018
Mostly Random Dude:
Edifice:

How are the meetings going, by the way?

Had the first one which went well, people liked my ideas and we have a follow-up dinner coming up. However, my choice of clothes was an undiluted fail - I wore a suit sans a tie when everyone else was wearing jeans.

yeah because these ridiculous tryhards think that any time you grab a beer with someone you are sitting down at the Union Club with the duke of York

Dec 18, 2018

I think you probably looked great. I'm definitely in the "dress a little better than the other people there" camp. No one will fault you for looking put together, and it'll help you remain sticky in their minds. "@Mostly Random Dude ? Oh yeah, always looks sharp, and great ideas too. You can take him anywhere." Good luck with the rest of them!

Dec 18, 2018
Mostly Random Dude:

I got a bunch of meetings coming up, some in a casual setting and some in a more formal setting. I was told to "dress and accessorize appropriately" and when I asked what the fork is that supposed to mean, the response was "project success but don't be flashy". So let me pose this question to the community - what does that mean in your opinion?

I assume this is his way of telling you that your normal attire is kind of shitty. What are you currently wearing that's making him say this?

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Jan 12, 2019
DickFuld:

I assume this is his way of telling you that your normal attire is kind of shitty. What are you currently wearing that's making him say this?

Usually jeans and a sweater/T depending on the season - my workplace is very casual to say the least. I try not to go down to the trashy engineer attire (hiking boots and all), but I have not worn a suit in years.

Dec 20, 2018

I have no idea if anyone on here is in the market for these since I know they're discontinued, but I'm selling mine in NYC, 8.5 (so 9-9.5 regular shoe). Worn them 5-6 times and just don't like them.
https://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/gucci-classic-leath...

Dec 21, 2018

@Mostly Random Dude
Since you're already in the industry and established, you probably already "have it" down. Depending on your persona and body-type ("athletic", "smart", "luxurious", etc.), how you express casual and formal will be different.

Looks like you went a little more formal for the first meeting. But I would rather be in a suit with guys in jeans than in jeans with men in suits.

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Jan 3, 2019
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Jan 5, 2019