For men who’ve hit the big 5-0 who are looking for that new job, it can be a challenge envisioning how a modernized appearance leads to a positive result. Far from fresh out of college senior year, you don’t feel like a senior citizen either. No man I know wants to be perceived as old, and values his life experience. These tips will help modernize a man’s image, to make the most of his experience, and minimize the effects of aging.
1. When a suit is the right interview wardrobe choice, make it modern.
A suit is made modern by fitting your body to one that is not boxy. More natural shoulders, narrower lapels, and a higher button stance on 2-button coats make all the difference in the world. Men whose tummies extend beyond the width of their shoulders will have to balance the silhouette with more shoulder padding; but for the most part, the other suggestions are still worth paying attention to. A coat with a higher button stance has the effect of more closure, even when it is unbuttoned. This is important to consider, especially when not all men are expected to wear dress shirts and ties under their suits.
2. As part of a suit or worn separately, a pair of pants is make or ‘break.’
It’s more popular to wear flat front pants than pleated pants. This is one surefire way to modernize your look, and slenderize your silhouette. But flat fronts aren’t for every man. A man with a longer rise, or who walks with a longer stride may benefit from the added room that pleats provide. Many women push men into flat front pants, but don’t have the experience of fitting a man’s ‘equipment’ into narrower fitting pants and then walking in them. But one thing is for sure: a man wearing pleated pants must wear them with cuffs [1 ½” is standard, 1 ¾” is fashionable] and with an appropriate break that doesn’t add more weight than necessary.
3. Un-fuddy duddy the footwear.
Nothing says “out of touch man” like the wrong shoes. Sure, as a man ages, his feet need TLC. That’s why there are myriad choices for dressing the feet that offer support and style. Simple and sleek shoes show others that you keep ‘afoot’ of modern style. Stick to black or dark brown for interviews. I suggest a lace-up shoe versus a slip-on style, too. It’s shows that you’re ready to work. If you have just the right shoe all ready, make sure it’s shined up and in great condition because when people are sizing a man up, they always peer down those perfect pant legs to your spiffy shoes.
4. Guys should embrace the face and ‘talk to the hands’ because grooming is next to godliness.
Men are getting much more comfortable with instituting their own grooming regimens rather than visiting a ‘beauty institute’ to get rejuvenated. But for men over 50, it’s not a universally practiced habit. Keep it simple. A little moisturizer with SPF is healthy for the skin. Give yourself enough time for a good shave, and if you have facial hair, absolutely make sure it is well groomed. Though facial hair is much more acceptable across the board in most occupations and professions, anything less than perfectly trimmed facial hair is sure to be a deal-breaker. Nothing shows laziness more than unkempt facial hair. Trim your fingernails and make sure your hands are smooth. Add a hand cream to your daily regimen to soften rough hands and prevent someone from remembering how they recoiled from shaking rough hands.
Here’s another little ‘big’ tip: don’t overuse any grooming product, be it moisturizer, creams, hair products, and especially colognes. Men have a tendency to overuse and the result may be greasy or oily hair or skin. Less is more, guys.
5. More than coloring your hair out of a box, have a modern hairstyle.
Some men turn gray prematurely. So gray isn’t the biggest issue when it comes to looking modern and authentically age appropriate. A modern hairstyle works wonders for your own attitude and for the way others perceive you. Work with a hairstylist to update your look if it’s stagnated for many years. Chances are that style worked back then. But you’ve evolved as a whole person since then and your new hairstyle should work with your facial shape, and take into account how the quality of your hair has changed. If your hair has thinned, or if you wear glasses now [or if you have had Lasik surgery and no longer wear glasses] a new hairstyle may be at the top of your to-do list.
There are so many small details that go into preparing your personal image. You likely take for granted the steps you all ready take. When you want to step up to the next level and need help, I’m here to help modernize your style for interviewing success.
Designing and managing your image is the secret science of your success.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps professional men, women, and corporate workgroups create effective visual brands. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.