"It’s called that extra 10 percent," says Nick Sullivan, fashion director at Esquire magazine. "When you’re going to an interview, it’s about projecting a heightened level of performance. It’s not about overdressing or changing your wardrobe entirely, but it’s presenting yourself to impress people. For men, it’s dressing well enough so that your clothes are not an issue."
Here are Sullivan’s top five style tips for landing that perfect gig.
? Know your size. Wear a well-tailored suit. If the environment is extra casual, wear a suit jacket and khakis. The latest trend in men’s suits is a narrow, European-style cut, close to the chest and slimmer in the shoulders and sleeves.
"The best way to show off your body is not to cover it with a circus tent. All guys have issues about their bodies, but you’ll look worse if you smother yourself in cloth. Have a professional fit you with the right cut suit and let that suit work for you."
? Ditch the pleats. "The less cloth trousers use, the better it looks. A flat-front trouser is also trendy now. It’s a return to classic, slimmer cut tailoring."
? Coordinate and invest in details. Avoid mixing metals, such as wearing gold cuff links with a silver watch. Wear the same color belt and shoes. "You don’t have to match directly, but don’t have a belt in a light tan and shoes in a dark tan. And get a watch that looks like a serious man’s watch rather than a $2.99 gas station watch with stickers on it."
? Take care of your good clothes. "A lot of guys will spend a lot of money on a suit, but then leave it at the bottom of their bed in a heap. A creased suit isn’t a suit. It’s a creased suit. And press your shirt. A crumpled shirt doesn’t say you’re ready for work."
? Wear sophisticated, polished shoes. "Clumpy shoes with oversized rubber soles and big round toes are not the most elegant shoe with a suit. Generally, keep it dark (brown or black) with a fairly elegant and elongated shape. A black lace-up with a toe cap can take you from an interview to every formal family function you’ll need to attend."
© 2005, San Jose Mercury News
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.