Theres no right and wrong now for work fashion A tracksuit and

first_img Take me to Fora ‘There’s no right and wrong now for work fashion. A tracksuit and hoodie may be perfect for you’ Fashion guru Brendan Courtney delivers a masterclass in dressing for business. Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Broadcaster and designer 256 Views 16 Comments By Brendan Courtney Brendan Courtney Mar 12th 2017, 4:00 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share Tweet Email Sunday 12 Mar 2017, 4:00 PM I NEED MY clothes to be high performers. They need to ‘do’ a lot for me during my day.I need something that will look presentable at meetings in the morning and still work if I’m filming in the afternoon – sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? That’s why I’ve created by own uniform.Every man past a certain age should have a navy blazer, or, in layman’s terms, a ‘sports jacket’. Not with gold buttons or anything, just something simple. I’d wear that with a navy crew-neck sweater, navy trousers and a really good pair shoes as my staple outfit.When you’re the founder of a business or an employer, you have to look at least semi-smart and I think everybody looks good in navy. To my surprise it’s the colour of choice of nearly every man at the Web Summit.I love a good shirt and tie too – but only when I want to wear them. As a menswear fashion accessory, a tie can look really good, but we have to acknowledge its phallic undertones.I sometimes feel sorry for men in business who have to wear a suit all the time. I struggled to find a good quality, comfortable suit but there’s a menswear brand called 6th Sense that I love. Brendan Courtney and business partner Sonya Lennon Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall IrelandEviable wardrobeI used to experiment a lot with my clothes. Now that I’m much more confident in my own style, I don’t any more. I had an entire room at home with about eight rails full of clothes, but I sold most of them about two years ago.Today, I operate out of a very enviable wardrobe which – if I do say so myself – is kind of genius.The best way to manage a wardrobe for professional men and women is to have a few key pieces that are versatile. A good jacket, good coat, good mac and a good skirt or chinos.That said, it really depends on what your requirements are and what your job is. There’s no right and wrong. Tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie may be just perfect for you.The bottom line from me is that there are no rules anymore. We accept that you don’t have to wear a suit to the office every day.Years ago, when I turned up to a TV studio with stubble and wearing an open-collar shirt without a tie it was seen as kind of outrageous and a bit out there. That’s not the case today.There are no more norms that really need to be adhered to, unless you’re a lawyer or a banker and are required to wear the ‘corporate uniform’, which can be a blessing sometimes. Or if you have to wear a uniform (one you didn’t choose for yourself).Making your own statement is completely acceptable now. The vanity of younger men is accepted too. It’s fine to look after yourself, whereas it wasn’t 15 years ago. That’s a great thing. ‘There are no more norms’ Source: ShutterstockNo blanket approachIf I’m honest, giving fashion advice makes me feel uncomfortable. A lot of people will be surprised to hear that, but I don’t ever judge or give advice unless somebody asks for it.Clothes are completely subjective. I’m never sure about people who profess to know ‘what’s hot and what’s not’ and be careful of people who overuse the word ‘trends’.A big part of what we did with Off the Rails on RTÉ was only work with people who had asked for our help. We listened to people who wanted our help and wanted to learn how to manage their wardrobes, and then we worked around that.Everybody’s needs are different and there’s no blanket approach.If you’re really time-poor or need to get sorted for a look, every single major department store and most high street shops offer personal shoppers.They know the stock, work with different types of people every single day and can offer some real, hard-core advice.My business partner Sonya Lennon also runs a non-profit called Dress For Success. If you’re a woman who’s going back to work or preparing for a job interview, they’ll give you advice on what clothes might suit you.Sonya and myself love the madness of fashion and what it represents. As an industry it can be bonkers, but ultimately clothes are massively important – they are how you project who you are to the world, so use them to say what you need to say.Brendan Courtney is a broadcaster and fashion designer. This article was written in conversation with Conor McMahon as part of a series of masterclasses with some of Ireland’s most influential business people.If you want to share your opinion, advice or story, email [email protected] by Brendan Courtney and posted on Short URLlast_img read more