When all it takes is one-tenth of a second to form an opinion, the importance of creating a professional first impression can't be understated.
Whether meeting with a client, presenting to a room or nailing an interview, appearance is a critical filter. Visual cues – from the cut and fit of your attire to the condition of your shoes - become make-or-break details.
When it comes to making sartorial statements that will have a lasting impact, the suit is the sharpest one a man can make.
The moment you put on a perfectly fitting suit – whatever the occasion – there is a noticeable shift in the way you present yourself. Your posture improves, which in turn helps make you appear more confident. The garment's rich history and refinement adds a subtle sense of authority.
The staff at David Jones understand the impact that a great suit can have. "There is a fine art to suiting. A precision cut, smart fabrication and sharp finishes show an acute attention to detail and can set you apart in the workplace," a spokesperson tells Executive Style.
"First impressions count. Make a strong one with colours, prints and styling that reflect your personality."
With men embracing the nuances of fashion more than ever, they've also become spoiled for choice. The sheer variety of modern suiting means there is not only a suit for everyone, but one for every occasion.
Thomas Rolland, the head image consultant for Melbourne-based stylist A Good Man, advises clients that a good impression is as much about knowing your audience as it is dressing for the occasion.
"It is important to take into consideration the setting you will be in and dressing respectfully for the people you will be meeting with," Rolland says.
"When you are getting ready or are preparing for a certain occasion, be sure to think about where you will be going to, who you will be meeting, what will the other people in the same location be wearing, and what best describes you as a person."
Getting the job
A good first impression in an interview could be the vital difference between you and another candidate. It's also a time when the traditional as opposed to the adventurous can make a stronger statement.
Sticking with a classic, single-breasted suit such as those from British designer Paul Smith or Japanese label D'URBAN will help you convey the calm confidence required.
Winning the pitch
From the Monday morning boardroom meeting to walking into a sales pitch, one way to let colleagues or your audience know you have it covered is to look as in-control as you feel.
To achieve this, David Jones suggests choosing a suit that grabs the room's attention. "A three-piece suit, such as those from Hugo Boss, shows an appreciation for tradition," a spokesperosn says.
Leave a lasting impression
Creative industries such as advertising, design and PR have led the way in celebrating individual style within the workplace.
These environments call for style that, while less structured, retains suave professionalism. Saba's "Darren" style in navy check, or Sand's "Sherman Brandon" in sharkskin, teamed with either a crisp white or similarly coloured blue shirt for a tonal effect, will create the perfect balance between personal expression and office appropriate.
Work hard, play harder
Sometimes, dedication to the job requires putting in time outside the traditional 9 to 5.
Entertaining clients after hours or weekend functions lend the chance to break free from corporate rules in favour of a bolder sense of style. Eye-catching checks such as Prince-of-Wales Check or textured finishes offer a relaxed, yet no less refined, aesthetic guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd.
""A bold check suit, like those by Australian label Calibre, reveals a confident leader," a David Jones spokesperson says.
"Alternatively, West End's textured suit teamed with a gingham shirt shows an affection for 1950s good manners."
Dressing for success
It's interesting to note that despite the increasing casualisation of certain industries and workplaces, the suit remains a powerful mark of class, style and power worn by those at the peak of their professions.
"There's a lot of truth in the saying that you should dress for the job you want and not the job you have", the spokesperson says.
"Nothing says you're serious about making a good impression like the perfect suit."
This article is sponsored by David Jones menswear.