For the past couple of months I've been working on the Working Style Best Dressed Businessman Awards for 2010. Alongside being a judge, one of my duties involves meeting the nominees and interviewing them about their wardrobes, their stylistic quirks, their sartorial preferences and all that other good stuff. I've met CEOs and surgeons, architects and crime reporters, men from all different industries and walks of life. But one thing that has remained constant throughout is the importance of clothing in creating trust between them and their clients.
From the surgeon: "Would you want open heart surgery performed on you by a guy in jeans?"
From the CEO: "If you want to be successful in business, dress well for business. You can never go wrong with classic lines, and you'll never be taken seriously if you get it wrong."
From the architect: "When you're dealing with people spending the most money they'll ever spend in their lives, you have to project a clear image that you're up to the task."
From the crime reporter: "It's imperative for me to appear authoritative, credible and immaculately turned out, without any distractions to detract from the story at hand."
But the most interesting nominee that I've encountered so far is a guy whose body is about 80% covered in tattoos. They're invisible under his suits, but he told me that he'll regularly be walking down the street in shorts and a tee shirt on his days off, and co-workers will pass him without any flicker of recognition.
What they say is true; clothes maketh the man.
Click here to nominate somebody for the awards.