Men, this is for you – a power dressing 101 to survive the corporate jungle
Which tie with which pocket square? Waist coat or dinner jacket? Beard or no beard? Neha Rakheja answers all this and more in this induction to power dressing.
Why men’s fashion, you ask? Well, bear with us while we take you through the story of Mr. Y.
In his mid-fifties, Mr. Y was the managing director of a renowned FMCG company. There was little that he had not achieved, and while his professional accomplishment spoke for itself, he wanted his personality and appearance to reflect the same. Mr. Y was well aware of the gap in the territory of his personal styling. His prime concern was that, due to a time crunch, he was wearing whatever his wife would lay out for him.
So, he decided to seek professional help. “After the consultation, when he flew to London for his daughter's convocation,” says Neha Rakheja, founder of UrStyleCoach, “He ended up receiving tons of compliments. Even his daughter, wife, brother told him that he was looking smarter and sharper than before.”
Gone are the days when styling and grooming were terms of vanity.
In the corporate jungle, these are powerful tools in the hands of men, helping them project a confident image. And Neha Rakheja, who has specialised knowledge in fashion marketing, styling, and merchandising, knows and understands this very well.
She launched her company, UrStyleCoach, to guide men on the cardinal rules of what to wear, when to wear, and how to wear their clothes, to help them use clothes as a medium to communicate power.
“What I have started out with is beyond fashion, or trends, or just flowing with the fad,” says Neha, who works with corporate clients and individuals and offers a range of services including wardrobe makeovers, business styling, hair consultation, uniform styling, etc. “We are power dressers and not styling agents or fashion designers,” she adds.
Grooming beyond shaving
When Neha returned from the US, she realised that most people holding a position of power weren’t so invested in personal dressing and styling. In her own words, they weren’t dressed to their potential, and this “has got nothing to do with making a fashion statement”.
“The aesthetic sense of Indian men is based on their cultural role models, or the political leaders, or the trendy movie actors. Often this does not help them get in touch with their inner ability, to powerfully project who they truly are. I saw a potential here and realised this was an unattended market,” explains Neha.
In India, the men’s grooming products market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 15% between the period of 2017 and 2022, according to a TechSci report. And by 2022, this market could expand to $3.3 billion. No wonder then, that many others too – such as Gurugram-based The Man Company, Bombay Shaving Company, Mumbai-based Singh Styled – have jumped in to make the most of this segment.
But Neha is quick to point out that “the male grooming market has gone beyond shaving and it is about experiencing the best.” Appearance, she suggests, is guided not only by hairstyle but also by clothes, and other accessories like shoes, belts, ties, glasses, watches, and even hand luggage. Keeping this is mind, she shares a few cardinal rules of grooming, highlighting areas where there is still some room for development.
“Hair style and facial hair must match the facial shape and professional profile,” says Neha. “Same goes for clothes,” she continues adding that “accessories should be appropriate for the occasion and should help a person magnify their personal presentation.”
To put it simply, she adds, “well-fitted clothes, a well-groomed haircut, and choice of shoes,” are what defines a well-dressed man.
Money can’t buy you elegance
If dressing well was all about donning expensive clothes and wearing branded attires and accessories, then every nook and corner would boast of a fashion nawab. Often, even those dressed in designer labels, from head to toe, fail to project the right image. This is where UrStyleCoach comes into play, coaching professionals and men on tastefully putting together that great outfit in line with the occasion.
“Dressing has evolved from covering modesty to presenting inner personality,” quips Neha, “we help people match their potential power and personal dressing sense so that they can amplify their image. This is power dressing.”
Now whether you are a successful business leader in need of a wardrobe overhaul or a corporate seeking a styling workshop, there is something for everyone. To make the experience even more personalised, the team also offers a Style on Dial – a service whereby you can get in touch with the professionals for all your styling queries through email or WhatsApp instantly.
It’s like grooming advice on the go. As Neha adds, “We help our clients build a permanent wardrobe, one that’s classic and timeless.”
You are welcome, MANkind…
Clothes and manners do not make the man, they say, but they greatly improve his appearance. Starting with individuals, in need of grooming and styling tips, to top brass CEOs, MDs, and CXOs; the Gurugram-based startup is changing the way men perceive corporate fashion, one step at a time. If the corporate world is a sophisticated jungle, they are using power dressing to help men put their stylish foot forward. Or as Neha puts it, this is her “share of service to the ‘MANkind’.
Ask her what’s that one advice she would impart, and she is quick to say, “there are no myths that men should follow.” Of course, this doesn’t mean going all abrasive at a formal gala. A white tie event or a black-tie event call for a professional and formal attire, a code that demands to be respected.
“A black dress tailcoat worn over a white starched shirt, waistcoat and the white bow tie worn around a standing wingtip collar,” makes for a perfect attire at a white-tie event, says Neha.
As for a black-tie event, the dress code should be “a traditional tuxedo and accompaniments: a black dinner jacket and matching trousers, an optional black formal waistcoat or black cummerbund, a white formal shirt, a black bow tie or alternatively a black long tie, black dress socks, and black formal shoes.”
Your wardrobe choices shouldn’t restrict your personal expression. "We believe in empowering people and teaching them to dress powerfully, based on their personality and profession. We recommend different tips for each of our clients," she adds.
Who better to cite than the ‘Lamborghini of men’, Ranveer Singh himself. With his ‘Fast’, ‘bright’ and ‘colourful’ personality, he has been the epitome of eclectic style for many Indian men. If he can flaunt his flamboyance with flair, why not you?