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HR And People Packaging

One aspect of my job that also fascinates me is people packaging for job interviews. I love HR consultancy and all things that relate to getting people ready for job interviews and presentations (though, I have only done a handful of interview preparations. A couple of others have been with reed and hr freelancers). Because I understand that only 7% of adults fear nothing about job interviews, when I’m working candidates, I always imagine the kind of stress that hits them. With a background in performing arts (before getting into image consultancy), I truly understand what stage fright means to these inexperienced performers. Many of them panic that they don’t sleep the night before their interviews.
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My recent work was with a college graduate from the Xaverian College in Manchester whom I will call Lee here. Lee finished college a year before his interview preparation with me and had been to few job interviews where he couldn’t win the job. He was one of those that basically develop those symptoms of anxiety towards a job interview. When Lee came to see me in my studio the first thing I asked him to do was to go and cut his hair. That hair made him look so unkempt. No doubt, Lee was one intelligent young lad, but how smart you look is one thing your interviewer wants to see besides the major skills you have listed in your cv. Bringing alive the invisible force surrounding you can often win you that job.
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More Ways To Wear Your Suits by Marie Miguel

There are many reasons why many men are not keen on owning two or more suits, aside

from the fact that is expensive, they think that there are limited occasions where the formal

ensemble is worn. Fortunately, the wearability of suits has significantly improved over the

years. With the right pairing, you can now use the fashion piece anytime you want.

Here are the ways on how you can wear the outfit that you love to hate!

Not your typical full suit outfit.

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  •  The most typical way to wear a suit is by pairing it with a button down and tie. To ditch the

monotony of the outfit, you ass accessories such as tie pins and pocket squares.

  • You can wear snickers with your full suit to turn it into a business casual outfit. It is best to

wear the ensemble without the tie to maintain the consistency of the look.

  •  Cotton, Khaki, and solid gray suits can be paired with a T-shirt to turn it into a daily wear.

You can wear the cool outfit in the office or late night parties.

  • A dress shirt plus your full suit sans the tie is an elegant pairing but less formal than the

classic full suit and tie. Do not wear a dress shirt with a sturdy collar because it can make

your formal attire look stuffy.

  •  If you are going out on a warm weather with a suit, wear it with a polo shirt. It will prevent

you from being drench with sweat while wearing layers of clothing on a sunny day.

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Fancy Jacket and Pants Combination:

The jacket is quite versatile. You can pair it with jeans and chino and still look sharp and

dapper without being too formal. During fall and spring, where layering is required, you can

wear your suit jacket with button down, jeans and cardigan. The trio will provide warmth and

comfort when you take an outdoor walk.

 

Trendy Tops for Your Trousers:

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The formal pants like the jacket can stand on its own. However, choosing the right pair of

shoes and blaze is crucial. Cardigan of sweater paired with a button down are safe choices.

You can also pair a leather jacket with your pants but make sure to wear a Henley and not a

regular tee to make the rugged outfit work.

The misconception with suits should stop once and for all. The formal wear is fashionable,

and it deserves to be cared properly and worn more than a few times. Do not miss the

opportunity to look better every day, get out of your comfort zone and be fearless with fashion!

 

Marie Miguel is a fashion blogger and contributor to http://www.fosimageuk.com blog. 

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My Boss Has (A Silly) Unwritten Dress Code By J. T. O’Donnell

Employee POV: I work in a department with 15 other people. I started around the same time with seven of them. Three of them recently got promoted. When my boss announced their promotions, I noticed he stressed how much they “look the part” for their new roles. He commented on their attire and how “client-facing” and “business-minded” it was. Several of us chatted afterwards and agreed they got the promotions because they dress like him. He’s a buttoned-up type of guy. Even though the office policy says we can dress casual, he doesn’t dress like that. I’ve never seen him in a pair of sneakers. I think it’s ridiculous that to get ahead in his department, you need to dress up. Promotions should be based on the quality of your work, not what you wear. Besides, I’m not going to be a kiss-up like those other employees and dress just to please him. Plus, I’m not got to invest in a whole new wardrobe just for this job.

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Manager POV: I recently gave promotions to several employees who have really been standing out in their work. They clearly are career-minded and are looking to go places. What stood out to me was how they were dressing for the job they wanted, instead of the one they had. I have confidence that these three could handle themselves in front of customers and management confidently because they understand how power dressing plays a role in success. I tried to tactfully explain that to the rest of the team when I announced the promotions. Let’s hope some of them got the message. I swear they all look like they just rolled out of bed and came to work. They take no pride in their appearance.

Who’s at fault?

The idea of dressing up to show you want a promotion has been around for years. And, while it may be old-school thinking, there’s evidence that shows dressing up can be tied to higher levels of productivity. That said, I think both sides are making some mistakes here….

First, the boss shouldn’t be holding important career development information hostage. If you want your staff to dress more professionally, have a conversation about it. Just be prepared to give some solid business reasons why. I say this because you may find your preference towards snazzy dressing is outdated. A large part of the working world has gone to casual attire in the office. If you want to buck the trend, you need to back it up with facts. And expect that some employees won’t stick around because they don’t like being told how to dress.

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At the same time, the employee should remember this very powerful phrase by the great actress Doris Day. She said, “People hear what they see.” How you choose to dress at the office is being interpreted as a lack of respect or commitment to your work. While you may not see it that way, your boss clearly does.

What can both sides learn from this?
In this situation, I would advise each side as follows:

Employee Takeaway: If you like this job and want to get promoted at this company, consider what simple changes you can make to your office attire that will show the boss you heard what he said. I’d even suggest asking to meet one-on-one with your boss to let him know you are keen on getting a promotion like your peers and are going to try to dress up a bit more. Also, tell him you hope he will let you know if you are doing a better job. Just announcing your intentions to him will make him happy to know you want to step up and earn promotion.

Manager Takeaway: Contemplate whether your unwritten dress code is really necessary. Are you hanging on to an outdated stereotype? If not, then have a conversation with your entire staff and tell them the career benefits to dressing up more in the office. Don’t make them guess how to impress you. The more open and honest you are, the easier it is for them to prove to you they understand what you need.

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Social Media, Mobile Tech & Personal Branding

The year 2016 has proven to be the year of personal branding revolution, and we can all see the roles played by technology. 2017 is around the corner. As it appears, technology will continue to play a significant role, especially with employees personal brand.

 

Unarguably, employees remain the best advocates for corporations. Employers who value their employees are encouraging them to become active on networks like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn so they can groom their professional brand, while contributing to the growth of the company.

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In return, employees are expected to become more proactive and give a positive approach to the use of social media. In my own opinion, I strongly recommend that every employee does the following to stay on top of the game:

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  • Use their real name on social media
  • Use professional head shots
  • Position themselves as experts in their fields
  • Increase their online presence
  • Be professional in their conduct
  • Follow companies that offer services or products similar to what they do on Twitter or LinkedIn
  • Join a professional network on social media platforms

The list goes on and on but this is how far I could go on employees personal brand. If you have anything more to add, feel free and do so in the comment section. In the meantime, like and share the post with your own network.

 

Wumi Balogun is the Founder and Principal Consultant at http://www.fosimageuk.com, an image consulting firm that works with people and corporations in building better image that stands them out from the crowd as well as creating bespoke styles for the true gentlemen. He also heads the creative team at Iven Alger fashion brand.

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Unveiling The Iven Alger Sneakers

If you have not seen some its images on social media recently, then you have missed a glimpse of what Iven Alger is bringing to the fashion world. Although there is still enough time to have a sneak peek of what the designers at Iven Alger, the latest British fashion brand, have been up to in the past thirteen months or so. And if you have caught a glimpse of these images, then you are good to go along with the flow of this blog post.

Through FOS Image UK, the fashion brand says it’s been preparing the ground for the unveiling of its debut collection of fashion sneakers which it has been working on for several months. This collection of fashion sneakers (for men) is to form a part of its luxury urban wears that will be launching on its website (alongside an opening for the bespoke suits which are created by appointments only) once it is open for its waiting customers across the globe. And it’s only releasing a limited edition of these fashion sneakers to the public for a pre order only.

Based on the images shown below, the sneakers have a range of features which make them the next luxury footwear to take on the world of fashion sneakers once released. Handmade in Italy, the sneakers which come with cap toes, bring so much comfort to the wearers with their classic looks besides the underlisted details.

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  • Padded tongue
  • Padded ankles
  • Calf skin upper sole
  • Gum sole
  • Sheep skin and suede lining
  • Futuristic heel tab with hand sewn thread
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Iven Alger black low top sneaker

The sneakers which are made with top quality Italian leather also boast of waxed laces and golden eyelets. Iven Alger says customers will be able to pre order these sneakers which are in black and brown colours in the next few weeks and they will be expected to ship by 04/2017. This pre order campaign according to Iven Alger, comes  with a free worldwide free delivery. Delivery will be charged after pre order has ended.

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Sheep skin and suede lining of an Iven Alger

So, if you are looking for the next thing in fashion sneakers, grab a pair of the Iven Alger low top sneakers on pre order so as to enjoy a free worldwide delivery (with free UK returns).

 

 

Wumi Balogun is the Founder and Principal Consultant at http://www.fosimageuk.com, an image consulting firm that works with people and corporations in building better image that stand them out from the crowd as well as creating bespoke styles for the true gentlemen. He is currently working on his footwear brand.

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Mark Zuckerberg: In Hoodies And Suits

So, people have written all sorts of posts and created all manners of memes about the brand Zuckerberg and his visit to Yaba, Lagos. From how he ate to how he smiled, and how, (thank His goodness), he didn’t meet with Nigeria ‘s communication minister. The surprising one among all these stories and memes is the one about his gray Tee and how humble that makes him look. Now I have been searching for the “thumb down” button on my pad and just realized it’s not enabled with one.

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Let’s get it clear here that your character and attitude are two different things that stand afar from your appearance. Mark wearing a gray Tee or hoodies as time permits him has nothing to do with his simplicity or humility. It only has to do with his job. People do on-the-job dressing based on their industry. Millions of geek millionaires and billionaires from the same industry like Mark have similar capsule wardrobe. Even the blokes he came to see in Yaba own the same wardrobe basics for their day to day activities. If Mark were a state attorney, he wouldn’t be globe trotting in hoodies and Tees carrying out official duties.

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Saying a man in tee is more humble than the comedian in a suit is late 2016 injustice done through social media posting. It’s like saying the governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode, is arrogant because he wears suits or flamboyant African attires all the time. There are credible and humble men in suits and flamboyant native attires. It’s their personal style and a personal style isn’t created based on your attitude but on what you do and every other thing that links your lifestyle i.e the job, the industry, the people you meet day to day, what you value and your passions, amongst other things.

 

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In fact, Mark wears suits and he does with the very luxurious ones whenever there is need for him to do so. Like meeting with the PM of Japan, Barack Obama, Pope Francis, PM of North Korea and other world leaders who influence policies that may affect the operations of Facebook. And when he wears these suits, he does so because he understands business image (or he is being guided by those who know). Also, these people you consider non humble have their moments of floral shorts and Hawaii shirts complete with boat shoes. Would they look humble to you then?

It is not what you wear that makes you humble. It is your attitude. Your clothes can not make the man in you. It can only enhance your appearance. And your appearance is one single aspect of image consulting. To unearth the gentleman in you, you need the whole ABC of image consulting which are appearance, behavior and communication.

 

Wumi Balogun is the Founder and Principal Consultant at http://www.fosimageuk.com, an image consulting firm that works with people and corporations in building better image that stand them out from the crowd as well as creating bespoke styles for the true gentlemen. He is currently working on his footwear brand.

 

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Things That Keep You Stylish This Winter

No doubt, we are in the coldest season of the year. And this in both polar and temperate climates. Some of us are really sensitive to this cold weather and other health concerns associated with it. Getting an inspiration for the winter look is what this post attempts to address. For every gentleman and lady out there, there is always a stylish way to prep up during winter. While some of us get inspired by runway and celebrities, others get inspired on winter fashion trends by fashion shops and magazines. But, if you are still struggling to find your inspiration, we have put together some winter must-haves that will make you keep stylish through the cold season, ladies and gentlemen.

Here is our winter edit.

Hats:

 

Jackets:

 

Gloves:

 

Socks:

 

Boots:

 

Scarves:

 

Chunky Roll Necks:

 

 

Leggings:

 

 

On the extra list are images of runway celebrities who have led the way in winter fashion trends and have continued to inspire those who really value keeping with winter fashion essentials during the cold season.

 

 

 

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Kendall Jenner
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David Beckham
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Victoria Beckham

 

Wumi Balogun is the Founder and Principal Consultant at http://www.fosimageuk.com, an image consulting firm that works with people and corporations in building better image that stand them out from the crowd as well as creating bespoke styles for the true gentlemen. He is currently working on his footwear brand.

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Your Suits? Here Is How To Look After Them

Suits, like every other item, need adequate care and attention to keep them in real good condition. Anything short of this is an indication that the wearer is not capable of doing the least of work required to make himself look good.

As an image consultant, I have worked with clients who dress themselves in very expensive bespoke suits or off-the-rack suits but always ask me the usual questions of ”how do I look after my suits?”, ”how many times do I have to wear my suits before cleaning them?” and ”how do I fold my suits?”. And I bet you there is no end to these questions. It is what has inspired this blog post.

 

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So, let’s say you have got two to three or four suits, bespoke or off-the-rack, the way you maintain them goes a long way in determining  how long they last in your wardrobe. The best ways to look after them are what we are going to be looking at here.

 

Rotating: Creating a rotation between your suits is one good way to make them last long. It is simply the same thing you do with your shoes. Own a few suits and rotate them within the week.

 

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Dry Cleaning: Unless it is really necessary, dry cleaning is one thing you don’t want to do too often with your suits. The harsh chemicals used in cry cleaning the suits cause a sever damage to the fibres of the fabric. And this is why it is important to invest in steam cleaner and fabric brush. Take some caution against pressing your suits with dry iron. I have seen many guys walking around with suits that have shiny lapels. This is an image detractor.

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Spare Trousers: When you are buying or getting your suits made, always get spare trousers. This helps to prevent your suit pants from wearing out and fading in color. Some men just have a single pair of trousers for their suits. This is not an ideal thing to do.

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Storage: Here, you want to make sure you have got the right wardrobe to store your suits. Suits are made with fabrics that often need space and the air to breathe in. And before storing them, make sure they are properly cleaned. Storing them should be done on the proper hangers that can help keep them in shape. I have always helped my clients store their suits on wooden hangers. When folding the trousers, use the Savile Row fold.

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Don’t Load The Pockets: A number of men still do it and they don’t seem to see any wrong in it. To prevent your suit from losing its shape, you have to stop loading the pockets with keys, wallets, calling cards, bank notes and receipts. You should avoid doing this not just with the front pockets but with the back pockets. It is sheer lack of style etiquette. The style I use with my clients is sewing up their trousers’ pockets.

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Hope you enjoyed this.

 

Wumi Balogun is the Founder and Principal Consultant at http://www.fosimageuk.com, an image consulting firm that works with people and corporations in building better image that stand them out in crowd as well as creating bespoke styles for the true gentlemen.

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The Oxford Shoes

Mastering the gentleman’s guide to shoes is one thing we need to really take serious if we sure want to up our style game. A good understanding of the classic dress shoes would help every man to stay stylish and improve their good sense of dressing as they stay on top of the style game and build a wardrobe with the basics and all seasons’ must-haves. For men’s classic dress shoes, there are two basic types that are very similar. One is the Derby and the other is the Oxford. While the Derby is less formal with flexible laces, the Oxford is more formal and usually comes with tighter laces. For the purpose of educating our true gentlemen with essential tips, the focus here will be on the Oxford. So, below are tips and images on a man’s guide to his Oxford shoes.

Type of Shoes: Oxford

Where To Wear It: Cocktail Parties, Dates, Work, Opera,

Wear It With: Formal Suits, Jeans, or to dress up any casual look.

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Wumi Balogun is the Founder and Principal Consultant at http://www.fosimageuk.com, an image consulting firm that works with people and corporations in building better image that stand them out in crowd. He also blogs about styles at http://www.thedarkstylist.blogspot.co.uk