An adage often referred to by corporate climbers is to “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” As CEO of a professional company you have made it to the top, and chances are you already have the job you want. This does not mean you can stop thinking about your appearance. On the contrary – how you choose to style yourself is of paramount importance. As the top cat in a corporation, you need to look better and smarter than anyone else in the company does. Your style and attire should exude competence, authority, confidence and control. With just one look, everyone should know that you are the one in charge.
Making a strong first impression is crucial – but of equal importance is the way that you feel about yourself. If you know you look sharp, there can be no stopping you, with the right outfit, you can handle anything thrown your way.
Photo above – Jhanelle Castillo at FORD by Horacio Hamlet for MMSCENE
In a great many companies formal well-tailored business suits will be a necessity. Even where this is the case, different styles of suit are generally appropriate on the shop floor and in the boardroom. Dark coloured suits with straight cuts and vertical lines will heighten your sense of authority. This can be effective in creating an appearance that immediately demands respect from employees. Pale pastel colours and more relaxed flowing lines will make you seem approachable, whilealso exuding great confidence. Wearing a suit like this for lunch meetings with board members and peers can lead them to be more responsive and open.
Photo above – Breanna Nichelle for Male Model Scene
One CEO who always looked the part is the previous president of the FIA, Max Mosley. It seems impossible to take a bad photograph of this formidable business leader. Max Mosley has always looked sharp – usually wearing a highly tailored suit with a crisp white or subtly coloured shirt and a well-coordinated tie in a pristine knot. On race days or at more casual affairs – by removing his tie and unfastening the top button of his shirt collar he made a simple but effective transformation. No one could ever be in doubt that Max Mosley meant business.
In the modern age, there is far greater diversity in accepted roles and attire for CEOs. In contemporary companies – particularly within the arts, fashion or tech industries – there is simply no call to ‘suit-up.’In such professions, bolder more daring shapes and styles can be advantageous. Whatever your industry, ‘bespoke’ is a buzzword you need to pay heed to. Nothing becomes a successful CEO better than a unique personally-tailored outfit. No matter what you choose to wear, classic, sleek, suave and sophisticated are always preferable to sexyor spangled – you still have to maintain a level of respect.
Even the severest formal ensemble can be personalised in subtle ways. Accessorising is a great idea – pocket squares, watches, jewellery, belts, shoes and even socks can all be used to transform a business suit into something uniquely ‘you.’Beyond these more obvious items, bespoke tailoring with distinctive stitching or cuts can make formal attire something remarkable. Military and oriental styling are just two examples.
Photo Above – Peter Esterl by Bernd Mats for Male Model Scene