What an entrepreneur wears matters, as an outfit communicates a great deal about you. With an increasing amount of attention on entrepreneurs today, it is important to at least look presentable at meetings and for spur-of-the-moment social media moments.
While a suit may be the ultimate power outfit, entrepreneurs may not necessarily have to adhere to such a strict dress code. After all, many successful entrepreneurs thrive on having a non-conformist image and enjoy not having to dress up like those in the corporate world do.
Famously casual individuals include Apple’s Steve Jobs who wore a black turtleneck with jeans every day and Jack Ma of Alibaba who simply throws a knitted sweater over his shirt for work.
Here are five items an entrepreneur should own to look smart without compromising on the comfort factor.
The ‘business casual’ jeans
Ditch the baggy and ripped acid-washed jeans. Instead, take the time to pick out a pair of dark-coloured and slim-cut jeans, which are neat enough to fulfil the ‘business casual’ dress code but comfy enough for busy entrepreneurs on the move. A classic example of a boss who always looks pulled together in his jeans is Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group.
A sharp exterior touch with a blazer
One of the easiest ways to smarten up is to throw a blazer over whatever it is that you are wearing – even a black T-shirt and jeans. Take a leaf from the style book of Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who is often seen wearing a sharp jacket. Keep a well-fitted black or navy blue blazer in your office for occasions when you need to get up and look smart in a jiffy.
Fitted dresses for the female entrepreneur
Women entrepreneurs have the sartorial prerogative to add skirts and dresses to their business wardrobes too. Take fashion cues from Spanx founder Sara Blakely, whose wardrobe of fitted and brightly coloured dresses are stylishly feminine yet work-appropriate.
Nice shoes to impress at first sight
Shoes can offer an accurate first impression of a person, so you want to be sure you start things off on the right foot (pun fully intended). Most hands-on bosses will say that dress shoes or spindly stilettos are too uncomfortable for a day of running about, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear grubby sneakers or slippers all the time. Silicon Valley technopreneurs have it figured out with leather lace-up shoes or designer sneakers for the men, and ballet flats or low-heeled pumps for women.
A hoodie to embrace the Zuckerberg within you
Let’s face it: When you’re slogging away in your own office, you’re probably going to end up looking for something comfortable to wear. Just look at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who seems to live out of his hoodie. Since you’re likely to put on a hoodie at some point, especially on casual Fridays, why not pick this Entrepreneur Hoodie, which is cut for a more flattering fit. And with a portion of proceeds donated to youth entrepreneurship programmes, what’s not to love?
Times have changed. The word ‘entrepreneur’ no longer brings to mind black suits and briefcases, and today's entrepreneurs have also become famous for their dress sense. Keep these essentials in your wardrobe, and you’re bound to get noticed among your peers.