Power Dressing

Executives of the corporate world have an exclusive dressing code… the right clothes, with accessories to match.

HE’s young and ambitious. He’s professionally qualified and upwardly mobile. He buys on credit whether a car or a hi-fit He’s a fitness freak and a stickler for details. His trouser crease is as sharp as his mind and he believes implicitly in a dress code and a pecking order. He is the executive of yesterday, the manager of today and the M.D. of tomorrow.

Colours like tan and fawn though appreciated aesthetically are not preferred for corporate gear. His belt is generally narrow, not exceeding the two-and-a-half cm. width and he likes the reversible types which give him two belts for the price of one, value for money after all. The most popular combination in reversible belts is naturally black/brown followed in descending order by black/maroon and black/tan. The buckle of the belt generally carries a designer name, which is a definite bonus for the elitist executive. Another must is the right wallet. For how can impressive looking Visa or American Express cards be housed in shabby, worn out receptacles that have obviously seen many summers not to mention monsoons too? So a pure leather wallet, usually in black, has features like a key chain, visiting card and credit card holder added on without the wallet losing its slim silhouette. Wallets with a designer logo naturally sell better. But the latest in leather for the Concorde flying exec is an exclusive, leather slipper case with matching leather bathroom slippers, which is also available in silk.

Narrow ties are no longer in, with customer preference veering towards broader ties of 8.75 cm. Brands like Zodiac and Park Avenue are favoured even though they may be slightly more expensive. Though stripes, self design and solids still reign, supreme in tie designs, floral ties are catching up fast, especially for formal occasions. And even though India may be exporting a lot of silk ties, the Indian exec by and large still prefers polyester ties.

While tie-pins are still considered a necessary accessory, cuff links no longer enjoy their former popularity. As for handkerchiefs the preference is still on white as the basic colour either with a narrow coloured border in blue, brown or grey or with initials embroidered in one corner. And the fabric has to be cotton, the finer the better. The demand is again for durable cotton where a product like socks is concerned. To enhance their professional air many executives like to sport glasses, the heavier the frame the more studious the look. But many still prefer a combination of plastic and metal frames which are lightweight while the touch of metal takes away the harshness that is so evident in plastic frames. However the all-metal frame is also in demand as it has a very universal look and looks good on most faces. What is very much in demand is the ‘half eye’, the narrow, sleek looking frame which can make a man look like a gangster, a joker or a lady killer) The timless metalic frame is still popular as dress wear for formal functions. Sunglasses in browns and greys score over others as do those with designer labels like Dunhill, Christian Dior, Carerras and Playboy.

When it comes to footwear most execs give first priority to comfort. Whether mocassins or laced shoes the accent is on leather. No cheap rexine stuff will be tolerated. Leather soles are preferred over rubber soles contrary to international trends. And good support for the arches through effective internal padding is also a must. The favourite colours are again black and brown, though the adventurous do try out shades of tan.

To keep time our young man naturally wears a quartz watch, with a leather strap. Gone are the days of sports watches with crowded dials.

Today the accent is on elegance with a touch of tradition, so the demand is for slim watches with Roma numericals. Gelled, slicked back hair is passe’ and so are gold chains and rings. While colognes and after shaves like Polo, Givenchy, Calvin Klein and Armani still rule the roost, for those with no access to imported meal, Old Spice, Blue Stratos and Park Avenue are good enough.
by Zanita Careem