1. Clothing is maybe the single greatest form of self-expression. Whether you're fashion-impaired or fashion-inspired, I urge everyone to take a few extra minutes every day to contemplate the message you’re sending to the world.
2. If you wear a fragrance, make sure it doesn't arrive before you do and linger when you're gone.
3. Few people get dressed up today. Mix dressy with casual or rugged with refined. And one item should be more tailored. For example, if you're wearing a T-shirt, wear cleaner jeans. Wear a blazer with the jeans or a casual top with slacks.
4. Beyond any other accessory, shoes will have a very significant impact on how you look—they make the whole outfit come together. There's that old adage that before you judge somebody you should walk a mile in their shoes. Then if you don't like them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes. What you wear below the ankles is critical.
5. Establish a uniform, then layer in something new to make it fresh each day. I always have my white shirt, my jeans, and my boots. Then I mix up the rest. Some days I wear a graphic tee with a white shirt and a vest. The next, I might wear a white shirt, a V-neck sweater, and a pin-striped blazer. But the must-haves for every wardrobe are a white shirt and a comfortable blazer.
6. When all else fails, wear black.
7. Vests are the accessory of the season. They look great as an element of sportswear or with a suit—as long as they're not matching. It's about breaking up the suit and then wearing the pieces as separates. The jacket, with or without the vest, can be worn with jeans. The pants can be worn with sneakers, T-shirts, and hooded sweaters.
8. Patterns, like stripes, need to be very subtle. The message overall should be that you're not wearing a matched wardrobe (or on parole). Contemplate wearing a jacket that doesn't match your pants and a shirt that matches neither. Your belt and shoes don't have to match either, but there needs to be a sense that everything works together.
9. You've done a good job if people see you and say, "You look great," as opposed to "Where did you buy your shoes, and how much did you pay for the jacket?" Your clothing choices should help present you.
10. No matter how long it takes you to get dressed, it shouldn't look like it took more than 10 minutes.