Seminar on Business Dressing

“How businessmen have confidence in their dressing? There is surly some rules in western suits. It is very important for those business elite who is active in the world to master the dressing code.”

There is a seminar on dressing held in a medium-sized accounting firm in Toranomon of Tokyo after dusk. The speaker, Mr. Wakaume, who has been active in fashion as an image adviser for politicians, diplomats and businessmen is the speaker today. You can also have practical advice on styling in the seminar. Two hours of changing your dressing idea begun.

“Japanese have some established common knowledge in dressing western suits which, however, is not accepted elsewhere. Western uniform, originating from British nobility, has long history until now while some fixed rules were formed. For example, black suit does not have anything to do with business.”

“Oops…It is black,” said the partipants.

“Black suit is suitable in night party or funeral. The appropriate one for business occasion is navy blue or grey. Suit only in navy blue or “Midnight Blue” is the most basic one. There are also some rules to be followed in shirts. From time to time, you might notice shirts with collar buttons matched with suits in some business occasion, which you might not appreciate. Shirts with collar buttons were originated from polo shirts in equestrianism. It might leave uncomfortable impression on those with good sense.”

“How’s my shirt today,” one participant asked before he ended.

“It’s for the priest. Good. This kind of shirts in one color or in stripe perfectly match with business occasion.Next is tie. You should be careful with the tie in different stripes. In the United Kingdom, ties in different pattern used to represent different hierarchy. The safest one is the tie only in navy blue which is recommended for women to buy as a gift.The above is basic the rules in suit dressing. Moreover, it is important to choose the right match according to different need. Many factors such as timing, occasion and subject affect the whole style. Those business elite in Wall Street not only have good taste, but also have their own stylists to help them choose the right clothes for different occasions. It is easy for you if keep the above basic knowledge in mind. Please remember people can see you in your clothes.”

Those common knowledge believed by Japanese might be seen as unreasonable. But this is a chance to learn more which is not taught in class. People might feel embarrassed in world stage without correct concept.

On site, there are suits in different sizes in a wardrobe, white, blue and striped shirts on the table, tie in navy blue or dot and black straight chip shoes, belt and dulles briefcases side by side.

“In meeting, people will first catch you dressing and then your face and hair style. You will never make a mistake if you follow the dressing rules.”

Mr. Wakaume invited a participant as a model for detailed explanation.

“Only the middle one has to be done up if you wear a suit with three buttons. Even if you have to do up two buttons, it shall not be the Second and the Third. It is no doubt having buttons undone attracts women. The cuff of the suit shall not cover that of the shirt which shall go beyond your wrist. The length of the tie shall be kept to your waist.”

Mr. Wakaume let the model try the suit in the wardrobe to determine his size and adjusted waistline, length and tie knot.

“Wow. Great.”

The model felt pleased when appreciated by the audience.

“One thing which shall be paid special attention to is many people wear suit pants longer than expected.”

Many participants stand up to see if their pants are too long.

“Your pants legs just reach surface of your shoes with little corrugation. With such length, it is the most suitable. The pants legs can be single folded or double folded. Comparatively, the single folded is more formal.”

We can see many people noticed their pants are too long.

“Cutting is very important in suits. Although some brands are expensive, you might not find your size. If it is not your size, the famous brand is nothing. Natural and casual style is the best choice for casual and formal match.”

There are some rules lying in the suit. It has its own reasons. We have to go back to the European society, history and cultural background when it comes to the reason why different suits are matched with different occasions. With global business environment, we should not adhere to our own rule. We are supposed to master the international rule and standard.”

After the seminar, Mr. Masaki Aguni, the vice president of the accounting firm, expressed his idea on holding such activity.

“In business occasions, expertise, experience and communication are important factors for success which also include first impression. And your clothing accounts for the key part. Therefore, I held such seminar. Today’s participants play important roles in our firm. I do hope today’s seminar do some help for them in the future business.”

Most Japanese companies always think less of the importance of clothing. Maybe only those like Mr. Aguni who believe in the importance of clothing would have such a try.

Hiroyuki Yamanaka, who is an executive director specializing in staff training of a consultation company, said:

“we usually have business management as ordinary staff training program. This is the first time on clothing. Everybody had a good time. Yes, it really was. I also have to pay attention to my clothing. This is an opportunity to improve our matching skills.”

With such effect to promote business clothing skills, we believe those businessmen who did not pay much attention would make great progress in this regard. Maybe we will see more and more businessmen in Japan have better taste for clothing and exquisite style in the future.

Takashi Wakaume

Style&Co. Style Editor / Fashion Stylist

He was born in 1981. He has been active as an image consultant in making styling mainly for advertisings, catalogs, and performers of fashion magazines, giving advice to politicians and diplomats as well as delivering lectures to the companies.

Book to Takashi Wakaume on Style&Co.

Text / Tomomi Wada
Photograph / Kaori Ito

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