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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    How to update your professional wardrobe for the real world

    Kelsee Becker
    Kelsee Becker / Arizona Daily Wildcat Tyler, a current UA student, displays a sample of his daily attire.

    Present yourself at an interview with a crisp, broad-shouldered blazer that boasts a sense of the alpha male, or walk into the office with something other than the typical mundane button down and dark wash jeans. Either way, begin spring by redefining your office wear.

    In 2006, Justin Timberlake notoriously brought sexy back. Fast-forward seven years and the duo of Timberlake and Jay-Z have transformed the way men wear the classic suit and tie.

    Of course, inspiration for a fresh and sophisticated style can stem from music videos like theirs, or from large urban cities and trademark designers, but it also requires a certain attention to your own personal influences.

    “My parents are definitely big on fashion and portraying yourself in a positive light,” said Tyler McDowell-Blanken, a journalism sophomore. “They show up, they’re pressed, they have that professionalism … They definitely put that out there for me. I always appreciated that; I always respected that.”

    With aspirations to become a writer for GQ Magazine, McDowell-Blanken’s mindset that is both nonchalant and mature. He considers dressing well to be a sign of self-respect as well as regard for one’s appearance.

    Buying a nicely tailored suit is one thing, but crafting your own air of professionalism is another.

    “First and foremost, you have to ‘do you,’” McDowell-Blanken said. “Do what makes you comfortable. Whether that means the ties with cardigans or bow ties versus ties, you have to do what makes you comfortable.”

    Your professionalism should always reflect your lifestyle. Don’t just choose a dark grey blazer in place of a monochromatic navy blue suit because it was featured in the latest GQ’s “The Week in Style.”

    McDowell-Blanken balances his outfit by wearing a Marc Anthony tie paired with grey-toned Levi’s and a Claiborne watch with an embossed leather strap. Business attire should be about balance, contour and confidence.

    When it comes to professional wear, everything should be viewed as a minimalist expression. Ties and lapels shouldn’t be rock star-skinny, and wristwear should never be music video-gaudy. Never confuse being obnoxious for making a statement.

    “For me, it’s about just showing that you put some effort into what you did,” McDowell-Blanken said. “Not that you just woke up, got out of bed 10 minutes ago, had your Cocoa Puffs and then you’re off to class.

    “Just show that you care … I’m not a boy anymore, I’m a young man that’s trying to go places. My appearance needs to reflect that,” he added.

    While sporting tailored attire can generate a natural sense of assertiveness, it’s essential cultivate humility as well. The man makes the suit, and your attitude toward others can easily make or break your appearance.

    “It’s not just about the outer appearance, but it’s also about the mindset you have to carry,” McDowell-Blanken said. “Treating people well, opening doors for people, saying ‘Hello, how are you?’, saying please and thank you — little things definitely go with it.”

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