Getting Real With The Guys: The Truth About Beards In The Workplace to the Essentials of Jacket Occasions

Sporting a beard in a professional occupation can be tricky.

It seems most guys are growing out their “Corona” Beard, before  completely taking the plunge and committing to this look check out  these six tips to make sure your look stays in sync with your career goals.


Does anyone in the management team have a beard? If not, it may be wise not to have one either. Not all workplaces find them appropriate even if it's not formally written in a dress code document. Understanding your company culture and client culture is the best way to decide if a beard is a career casualty.


Wildman beards are a definite career killer in most workplaces. If you do decide to sport a beard, ensure that it's a short well-trimmed one with no errant neck hairs.  The three-day-old stubble look may be your best beard option.  

🧔🏽LIGHT IS Perceived Differently Than  DARK

Men with dark beards can  look less friendly and approachable so if you are in a sales position think twice and ask yourself… is your facial hair making you look less friendly and approachable?


If your beard is grey, you'll need to work harder against ageism and if it's also on the untidy side you may find yourself looking almost homeless. If this is you, a clean-shaven face is the best option or look to a great barber who can help you maintain a current yet grey beard.


If you're not sure, wait until November and sign up for No Shave November, by the end of the month you'll know how people responded to your look.

I did find this article on Grow a Beard Grow Your Practice an interesting perspective on setting yourself apart however, the key is still a neat, trimmed professional beard.

Clothes -Stand Out From The Crowd

Last weekend I was chatting with a woman who works in the corporate world and when she asked what I did for a living and I answered an image consultant and instantly I felt the atmosphere grow decidedly cool.

Unreservedly she told me that she thought there was far too much importance placed on how someone looks instead of their performance and the things that really matter.

To this, I heartily agreed and then went on to explain my take on the benefits of making an effort to look your best in any situation but especially at work.

To anyone who has this belief, I suggest they think of their clothes and appearance  as communication tools to help them achieve their life/work goals.

At work when you visually and behaviorally 'fit in' relationships and opportunities are more likely to come your way. However, if you go that little bit further and dress that little bit different/better you will be noticed and that's always a good thing. Management are often looking out for those that perform their jobs well and present themselves in a way that enhances the organization.

Jacket Occasions

Open almost any man's closet and you're bound to find at least two out of the three jackets pictured here - Casual Jacket, Blazer, and Suit Jacket. Chances are it will be either the casual Jacket and a Blazer or a blazer and suit jacket.

The point of my post today is to clarify the event settings most appropriate for each of the three types of outerwear.

CASUAL JACKETS are usually any jacket that does not look like a classic suit or blazer jacket. They commonly are:

🕵️ Shorter or longer than blazers or suit jackets,

🕵️ Often have closures other than buttons,

🕵️ Are made from fabrics other than wool,

🕵️ Are either not lined or may have padding,

🕵️ May have more structural and/or decorative components i.e. pockets, waist and wrist bands, yokes etc.  


Casual or business casual events if they are in perfect condition and the client is an established one with whom you have a good rapport.


The blazer sits in the middle of casual and formal. In most cases (but especially navy blazers) they can be easily dressed up for a business casual meeting.

🕵️ Blazers have a military and sporting history and are commonly constructed of heavier fabrics than suit jackets.


All but traditional business and formal occasions.


Suit jackets are the most formal of jackets. The very upper end is, of course, the tuxedo jackets.

Suit jackets are:

🕵️ Part of a two or three-piece suit,

🕵️ Should never be worn without their matching pants.


Conservative, serious or formal occasions.

White Dress Shirt Essentials

The white dress shirt is king when it comes to formality for business and social occasions. However, making a great impression can quickly fail if your white shirt carries any of the following traits:

👎 It's see-through and worse still if there's no T-shirt or single underneath.

➡️ The best white dress shirts are opaque.

👎 It's no longer white. No matter the reason a yellowed or greyed white shirt is a big fail.

➡️ Keep dress shirts pristine white by alternating drycleaning and laundering

👎 There are armpit perspiration stains. It's impossible to keep your arms by your side all day.    You can help avoid this by using armpit shields

➡️ Soaking shirts in a solution and or a paste made from bicarbonate  soda and a little lemon juice can remove new stains.

👎 The collar or cuffs are fraying or stained. The sign of a lazy or overly frugal owner.

➡️ Only a new purchase will cure this ailment.

👎 Poor fit. Gapping, straining or collar points turning upwards are telltale signs.

➡️ Another sign that only a new purchase will cure.

👎 The top button left unbuttoned in formal situation.  Points to a careless personality or a shirt that's too small at the neck.  

➡️ Always keep the top button buttoned and the tie knot pulled up high. If the fit is the problem, it's time for a new shirt.

👎 Buttoned cuffs. Demonstrates a lack of style finesse, a lack of cufflinks and/or laziness.

➡️ Keep those cuffs buttoned.  No cufflinks? Don't wear that shirt.

What’s in a Color? The Psychology of Color

Have you ever stopped to consider that between color hues there is a hierarchy or level of formality? It's true and when you understand it, shopping for the business shirts (solid colored and patterned) that will best support your role and image becomes a breeze.


Highest in the hierarchy is achromatic white followed by the hues blue, red, violet, green, orange.


Value is the degree of lightness or darkness of a color.

When considering the level of a color it needs to be taken into consideration. The close a color is to white the more formal it is - white, icy blue, pink, violet and green etc.  Value is second in importance making an icy or very pale shade of green (mint) higher in the hierarchy than a medium value yellow.


Intensity is how grey/muted or how clean/clear the color is. Clean, clear colors are higher up the hierarchy scale than greyed/dull and muted colors.


This information becomes very useful when considering which patterned shirt to purchase. First, consider the background color followed by the color/s within the print. A white background shirt with a light blue vertical stripe is more formal than an icy blue background shirt with a white stripe.

Feeling a little overwhelmed with all of this?  With a male image consultation, I can lead you through all the fine details of a polished image to ensure you always look and feel your best.

Tara Hooper
Personal image and professional consultant. Effective communicator. Transformation queen. Confidence creator. 

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