Building Your First Business Wardrobe

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Brand image is a huge part of success for any business, so you should dress the part. It may be hard locate where to building your first business wardrobe in Montreal, and with all the options it gets dizzying. It is certainly worth the stress of putting a little effort in how you look to the public. You need to get ready for a new business wardrobe and start turning heads now. So here are some ideas of where to shop and start dressing like the president of your company:

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Suits

Distribution CNK is not technically in the City of Montreal, but is one of, if not, the best place to get a decent suite at an affordable price. It is in Laval Here and the suits are made with 100% natural materials. The suits are also of better quality than the pricier suites at Moores, and cost a fraction of the cost, around $120.00. They are a wholesaler which is how they get away with better prices. The trick is the accessories and up-sales are where margins are made. The staff is professional, and seems to always have the perfect match for you.

It is important to have your suit fitted. Trust me, it makes all the difference and makes you look sharp. Distribution CNK can handle it when you buy your suit, or you can have a tailor do it for around $15-20. Altering a jacket just isn’t worth it it’s better to buy a new one that fits.

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Shirts should be at least 70-90% cotton blended with polyester or another synthetic. Remember, you need it durable so that you can iron it and wash it regularly. Check out Aubbanerie or go to 5th ave downtown Montreal and you can find shirts for $20-40. Make sure to pick up a few in flattering colors, and get yourself some under shirts at a Wal-Mart to start you off.

Ties should be 100% natural, attractive and professional. It is the first thing people will see when they meet you and they will tell if it’s a cheap piece. You should’t mind spending the extra bucks on some nicer quality ties, as that is the only place in your wardrobe to indulge in at the moment. You might have luck finding a great deal at Winners for the fraction of the cost of nicer boutiques and places like Moores.

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Your belt should match your shoes, so make sure if you are buying a new belt, to wear your shoes when you try it on. You can easily find a decent real leather belt for around $15, and even less at a thrift store. Anything over $25 is a rip-off in my opinion, unless it was made from unicorn leather. If you rather not choose leather, or can’t find a belt at a decent price, go with something natural, clean, and professional. Judge if you can pull it off or not, and wear it with confidence and it will work just fine. Stay away from pleather, because after a very short while it just looks worn out and old.

Pants should be simple, clean and a not pleated. Have them slim-cut and hemmed so that you never have to, nor should roll them up into cuffs. You can choose the color and style that suits you the best, but black or light colors are always safe bets. Always wear the same pants that were made with your suit jacket, if you are going to wear the jacket. Don’t switch up the combination and try to make it work. It won’t work in most cases.

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Thin, breathable plain dress socks are all you need, don’t get hung up on the brand names. You can find the exact same sock at Dollarama, or any other dollar store for that matter, as you can at a posh boutique or department store. If you still rather spend more money in socks you can always go to Winners, Wal-Mart, or a small boutique on St-Hubert. Brand name images, logos or trademarks that are visible are just tacky and should be avoided.

Any simple pair of leather shoes that are clean and professional will work. A place to look for decent new leather shoes at an affordable price is Aldo. You can probably pick a pair up for anywhere from $70-90. You can also hit up Rue St-Hubert near Jean-Talon Metro and check out all the little boutiques for a decent bargain. You don’t need to spend over 100$ if you take the time to shop. $200 is the maximum you should ever spend on any leather shoe, to be honest I would spend only $150. You can find them for around $50 sometimes, and there is no harm in checking out a thrift store. I’ve found amazing shoes there many times.

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Some last tips:

  • Always take off your jacket when you sit down, if you don’t want to or can’t, at least unbutton it. If you are driving or sitting at a computer, take it off and hang it somewhere.
  • Wearing a backpack over your suite makes you look more like a Yale student than an entrepreneur or business owner, so get yourself a stylish laptop bag and use it as a briefcase.
  • Avoid tying “bunny-ears” on with your shoe-laces. Tucking them in under the tongue is cleaner, and there are many methods to choose from.
  • If you can support a local entrepreneur or small business and buy from them, but when you are starting out it is understandable money is an issue. Either try working out a deal with the business owner, or just start off with the bare necessities until you can start supporting your local businesses.
  • You could always ask around to your friends or colleagues as to where to find cheap business colthes in Montreal.

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