I recently had a great conversation with Antonio Centeno, President of ATailoredSuit.com and resident style writer for the Art of Manliness. We were both excited about each other's work (check out his men's style articles-think modern Cary Grant...and for quality custom clothing made easy, I highly recommend you visit his site ATailoredSuit.com). As a New Year's gift, enjoy this article written just for you by Mr. Centeno himself.
Thank you for being a loyal reader and thank you Antonio for gracing our pages with your wit and classy style advice.
All the best to you in the New Year - Lisa; Founder & CEO Hendricks Park
Why Dress Sharp on New Year’s Eve? by Antonio Centeno
Why should a man Dress Sharp for New Years Eve? Does it really matter what we wear when we’re simply going to be surrounded by friends at a private party? Are people really that shallow that they’d make a decision about me based on how I look?
The purpose of this article is to give you 4 reasons to dress sharp this New Year’s Eve. Because even though we shouldn’t judge people by their covers, the reality is…we do. No amount of training or personal awareness is going to fully drive out our human instincts to make quick decisions about others based off their physical characteristics. By understanding this law of human interaction, you can control how quickly you’re attended to at a busy restaurant, the impression you make on friends of friends you only shake hands with, and even how you feel throughout the evening.
For a man to truly dress well on New Year’s Eve he needs to both physically and mentally prepare himself for the evening ahead. While women can carry items to freshen up with in their purse, a man has no such luxury. As such taking the time to properly groom, shower, and dress in a manner so all clothing is pressed, of good condition, and correctly fits cannot be skipped. Normally this grooming and dressing ritual prepares us for a day of work; on New Year’s Eve by dressing in a careful and deliberate manner, we set the tone for how we’ll conduct ourselves and allow our bodies time to refresh and prepare for the long evening. A careful shave, the selection of the right dress shirt, the final polishing of our dress shoes, all of this is a reminder that its game time. Taking the time to get yourself into the right state of mind can be the difference between having a long night you’d rather forget and an unforgettable evening you talk about for years to come.
You’ll make quite a few new acquaintances New Years Eve; most likely though you’ll speak briefly to 90% of these people, maybe remember half of their names, and then spend the majority of your evening talking with your established circle of friends while considering reengaging the one or two other people who caught your interest. Assuming you’ll have one more shot to speak with that beautiful brunette in the blue dress, what do you think is going to make a better first impression?
A) a sincere smile, you dressed sharply from head to toe, and a short but memorable conversation with eye contact -OR-
B) a sincere smile, you dressed like her kid brother, and a drawn out conversation as you try to talk over the music blasting through the speakers.
As shallow as it sounds, your keen intellect is not going to shine through in this situation; in fact how often do you remember what you talked about in moments like this? What will make an impact tonight is your appearance and body language, visual cues that we instinctively use to make split second decisions. And after making our initial judgment, we are then subject to the desire to confirm these impressions with follow-up conversation. Understand this and you’ll have a great night, make solid first impressions, and create a sense of curiosity that will lead to follow-up conversations.
Although technically you’re celebrating New Years and “relaxing”, any businessman worth his salt is ALWAYS open to meeting another go-getter with great ideas. In fact it’s often these random encounters at social events that lead to new profitable partnerships and future sales – a sort of cross pollination that normally wouldn’t happen had we not ventured outside our traditional network. It’s important to remember that even though you’re off the clock you can’t predict who you are going to meet and where a random conversation is going to take you. Luck in business is nothing more than being prepared for opportunity. If you run into a potential client for your startup at a small New Years get together in LA, are you going to be dressed for the pitch? Be dressed for opportunity.
If the party you’re attending specified a dress code in the invitation, then make plans to attend dressed appropriately even if this require you purchasing a piece of clothing specifically to accommodate this party. If no dress code is specified, then dress to at least the level you expect your hosts to be dressed to. If still in doubt, simply ask or look to wear clothing that can be adjusted to suit a variety of dress levels (such as a dress shirt, suit, or sport jacket and dress slacks – add or subtract a tie, wear or remove the jacket and we have a wide range of outfits).
You should be aware that hosting a party, especially one at your home, is hard work and requires days of planning. The hosts will try to account for every possible situation, and is often footing the bill for food, alcohol, and entertainment. All they expect from their guests is that they 1) show up close to the right time, 2) dress in a manner that adds to the atmosphere, and 3) enjoy themselves without too much embarrassment. So dress sharp and show up on time – as for the last expectation, well, it is New Years………
Dressing Sharp for New Years Eve - Conclusion
We celebrate New Year’s Eve once a year, a celebration of making it through the trials of one year and welcoming the opportunities yet manifested in the new. With so many things in our lives out of our control – the economy, our job stability, and our health – it makes sense to do the best with what we can control. So this New Years Eve forget your troubles, look towards a brighter future, and dress like the man you know yourself to be.