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Style Scale for the Corporate Man – Part II

A ‘40-point Style Scale’ may sound a bit daunting, so we have simplified it. We aim here to give you guidelines that will help you in an emergency. The detailed scale is available and thoroughly understood by our certified Image Management Consultants who can take you through every level of dress with much ease.

Tailored Level:

The cue for the tailored level is the matched suit. Here the jacket is an exact match to the trouser. This level is for highly formal dressing at very senior levels or formal occasions where you need to wear a suit. At the highest levels between a 4.6 through to 4.9, a tie with stripes or other small geometric patterns is compulsory. Levels below 4.5 of the scale can even do away with the tie. Straight lines and angular cuts in dark dull colours are hallmarks of this level. There should be a strong light dark contrast between the shirt and the jacket for maximum authority. Crisp and firm fabrics also add to this formal, tailored look. When it comes to shoes, stick to the laced variety.

Softly Tailored Level:

Here the cue is the jacket. While the style lines remain straight and angular, the shapes are mixed with some soft curves. Jacket colours can turn lighter. The shirt colour shows a range too, deviating from the more formal tailored shirts. It can be buttoned or open at the neck, but has long sleeves. Soft fabrics including tweeds can be used here. Sports jackets can be used with sports shirts with or without a tie. When it comes to shoes, slip-ons can also be considered. This is the look to don in case of less formal presentations, a sales calls, a networking meet or at the front office.

Casual Tailored Level:

Collars hold the cue to this level. Style lines are softer and curved, but the shapes are mixed with some straight, angular lines. Fabrics are soft and corduroys and knits can be worn too. A variety of patterns can be used here. Typically, you don’t use jackets or ties at this level. Woven or knit shirts can be used with the collar unbuttoned at the neck. This is a very functional level and is ideal for informal office meetings, training sessions, casual networking and any kind of back office work.

Untailored Level:

This level carries no collar. With curved lines, rounded shapes and lighter colours, it’s in absolute contrast to our level 4 above. While that level was for authority, this level is for comfort. You could include larger, rounded patterns and softer fabrics. The idea is to carry a comfortable, functional and non-official look. Although as we have said in the previous post, it is meant for outdoor physical workers, it is also appropriate for those occasions when a formal person has to meet with his factory workers. This will automatically ease the gap between the two sides creating an atmosphere of acceptance of any discussions made therein. To give it just a dash of authority, you could up the same level by using a darker duller colour, or a firmer fabric and that could tide you through very safely yet effectively.

Some more posts carrying greater detail on each of the elements will be coming up. Do write to us on the aspects that you want covered in detail and we shall strive to carry detailed information on them.

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