The Silent Language
There’s more to your appearance than your clothing. High quality, well-tailored clothing gives your image an immediate boost, but you can maximize that advantage by mastering effective body language.
When others see you, they see your clothes first, then they notice the way you walk, how you sit, what you do with your hands while you talk, and the expressions on your face. All these contribute to their opinion of you. Three key points on body language will steer you toward an image of confidence and self-assurance.
• Handshake – Check that your handshake is firm but not overbearing. No one likes a weak grip, but they also don’t want bruised fingers after a quick hello-and-handshake.
• Eye contact – Many of us look at people when they’re talking to us, but let our gaze wander when we’re the one speaking. Eye contact, more than anything else, shows that we’re interested and engaged in the conversation.
• Posture – Standing (or sitting) tall creates a look of purpose and capability. Much of today’s office work involves sitting at a desk and looking down at a computer screen, phone, or paperwork, which can give one a hunched, worried-looking posture. Remind yourself to stretch your shoulders back and sit in a chair with proper back support.
Once you begin to pay attention to the messages your body language is sending, you’re on the path to a more confident, relaxed look. You’ll enjoy a better image-and maybe even a better self-image, too.
Ties for Spread Collars
Many gentlemen prefer to wear spread collars on their dress shirts. The wide angles of a spread collar can create a masterful, mature look. However, because of its width, a spread collar also creates a wide space at your neck, leaving some ties looking insufficient. You can create pleasing proportions through your choice of fabric and knot.
Choosing a thicker fabric will help your tie take up more space. A wider tie will also help add bulk to the knot. The knot itself should likewise be substantial, so try a Windsor or half-Windsor knot rather than the more common four-in-hand. The wider, fuller symmetrical knot more perfectly fills the space of a spread collar with well-proportioned harmony.
When well balanced with an appropriate tie, a spread collar creates a strong, confident look like no other.
“Clothes don’t make a man, but clothes have got many a man a good job.”
– Herbert Harold Vreeland