Personal Branding Image Consulting ,Atlanta
Photo courtesy of J. Hilburn.
As I consult both professional men and women, I reach out to many sources for sartorial knowledge and information to stay current and in-the-know about corporate and professional style trends. Although I never encourage fashion trends, as they are so flighty, I always want to pass on smart information that applies to my client and his or her personal style. Maintaining a quality, current and professional wardrobe takes a bit of effort and investment, but the result is a wardrobe that is relevant for many seasons and a professional image that authentically represents the individual. Afterall, style means nothing unless its personal.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Kevin Knaus, Creative Strategist, Retail Advisor, Trend Forecaster and Professor of Fashion Marketing and Management at SCAD, Atlanta. Our special focus was on men's wear and the trends corprate America is witnessing in professional attire.
Q: In the past decade, we have increasingly seen casual attire take over offices all over America, and not just in the creative industries. Do you see this continuing, or is there a fall-back to a more sophisticated and "dressed-up" sense of style?
A: I do see it continuing in the office environment. Future change will be up to the company or organization and how they establish or enforce dress codes. Today’s employees must exert a certain amount of judgment when casual attire is offered.
So much has been written about the changing of dress codes. Recently major Wall Street firms announced new relaxed dress codes to compete when recruiting talent from major technology firms but, today’s employees are still very confused on business casual which gives retailers an exciting opportunity to develop fashion education programs for the customer.
Q: Do you think that younger men/millennials have a greater sense of personal/individual style than their Gen-X or Baby Boomer predecessors?
A: Yes – Younger men/millennials are more open to experiment with dressing. I do see a difference in the older millennial verses the younger millennial. The younger millennial wants to dress with a more significant personal style. When visiting retailers, the staff are telling me that young millennial men have a stronger interest in dressing up. This customer likes the educated staff that can help them with the correct purchase.
Q: European cuts are just that! Are Southern professional men embracing the more fitted shorter jackets and pants or are they still inclined to wear tailored and classic cuts?
A: I feel this is a personal taste and depends on the man. As we know the American man has a build that is different than the average European man. It’s very common for American men to be larger in the middle, more so than European men. American men can have difficulty finding correctly sized European suits because if the jacket fits, the trousers may be too small. It comes down to how much a man wants to spends. A well-fitting suit can be expensive. In the end, the Southern professional male is still inclined to wear the classic cuts.
Q: The blue blazer is a timeless piece for men. How often must it be replaced to stay current in a man's wardrobe?
A: The blue blazer will always be a staple in a man’s wardrobe. The blazer is perfect for a meeting or with blue jeans as it’s a timeless silhouette that will always be in style. Dressed up or down a man always needs the classic blue blazer. Today, many types of blazers are available but, I recommend either the standard double-breasted or the two button as they are the most classic for men. Today’s man needs a great cotton/linen blend for summer and a wool for winter.
Thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge and expertise with my followers, Kevin!
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I write about the topics that make you stand out and help you be that for which you want to be known. My passion is helping you as a professional to discover your values: your inner style and project it authentically and confidently though your words, actions, appearance and digital presence.