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15 Must-Have Items For Men To Look Fresh And Professional

15 Must-Have Items For Men To Look Fresh And Professional

The times of white collars are long gone, and professional men are now more dapper than ever. A successful man is always a noticeable one, and what he chooses to wear reflects his esteem, accomplishments and diligence. A big shot or not, a modern man is ever hungry for his professional goals, and not a lot of things can stand in his way towards achieving them. Such a man is presentable and memorable, and with a little help from his wardrobe, stylish and upscale. From head to toe, his appearance reveals his position and determination.

What we wear doesn’t define who we are, people often say this, but nobody can deny that a road to success starts with a sleek suit (and usually finishes with a fancy watch). Being well groomed is, therefore, important for acing the job interview, closing a business deal and conciliating new clients and partners. Also, it’s easy and fun and it doesn’t always have to be expensive. Here’s what you need to look modern, fresh and professional.

1. Dark Two-Piece Suit

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    Let’s start with the basics. A traditional two piece suit in darker tones is a necessity in every working man’s closet. Whether it’s black, navy blue or dark grey, shiny or matt, a suite is the foundation of a professional look. Since a dark suit can be paired with pretty much everything, you should establish it as your go-to item. But just because a dark suit is a safe choice, that doesn’t mean you can’t play with it when you feel a bit bolder. For a little pop of color, complement it with a vibrant pocket square or a patterned tie. And, if you’re not afraid of making strong fashion statements, wear it with a chic turtleneck.

    Dress sharply with Nordstrom, Armani Exchange or Calvin Klein, but be prepared to pay a price that goes from $500 to over a $1000. Low-cost suits that still look like a million bucks can be found with Topman, J. Crew, DKNY and Banana Republic. If on sale, they can even cost under $100.

    2. Light Two-Piece Suit

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      For a gentleman that finds pleasure in being daring and dandy, a light suit is absolutely essential. It brings variety and shows attitude. Dove-grey, pale blue or chino variant is brilliant for sunbathed days, and you’ll certainly get noticed wearing one. A traditional business pinstriped suit can also be freshened up with brighter colors like tan and white. Since this suit is the heart of your outfit, complete it with nothing more than a white shirt and a black or a grey tie. If you choose to go chino, your choice of shirt can be a bit darker, or even gingham.

      Once again, you can find your perfectly tailored suit at Dolce and Gabbana, Jil Sander and Michael Bastian at higher price (around $1000), or turn to equally stylish, yet inexpensive designers like DKNY, Perry Ellis and Claiborne for prices around $200.

      3. White Button-Down Shirt

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        Exactly like the dark two-piece suit, a crisp white button-down shirt is a fashion must-have for every classy man. Besides being wordperfect with any type of a suit, a white shirt can unmistakably contribute to the more casual looks. You can wear it with a pair of jeans, combined with an accentuated belt. For a statement piece, you should consider suspenders or a bow tie. Also, a plain white shirt is trim and elegant when coordinated with a V-neck sweater.

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        In addition to being amazing and practical, a white shirt is incredibly easy to buy. Gap, Eddie Bauer and Guess? offer their shirts with a price that goes around $50, which is just the right amount of money for a quality bargain.

        4. Colored Button-Down Shirt

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          When we propose a colored shirt, it doesn’t include just solid tints, but also patterns and multicolored pieces. Solids can basically be of any color, from pale blues to vibrant oranges. Pairing them with a dark suit is not a big challenge, and it surely makes the look a lot more creative. When it comes to patterns, nothing is more exciting than madras, but polka dots and gingham are equally playful. Color blocking is a huge trend that men can best incorporate in their daily outfits through shirts. An amazing, sharp way of wearing a colored button-down shirt is underneath a waistcoat, with a complementary tie.

          Colored shirts are usually the same price as plain whites, and designers like Benetton, Sisley and J.Crew charge around $40 for them. Stunning, well-priced pieces can be found at Club Monaco and Armani Exchange for about $80.

          5. Tweed Jacket

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            For breezy autumn days, choose tweed. It’s offbeat, European, and a bit eccentric. Tweed suggests different shades of yarn incorporated into the weaving, and therefore can be paired with pants of the same color as one of the minor shades the fabric offers. The most popular choice of tweed blazers are glen-plaid, broken-check, and district-check, and all of them are great with brogue boots and messenger bags. Pick a dark gingham shirt or one of bright solid color for the authentic history professor look.

            Herringbone or tartan, you can get a hold of your tweed jacket at various prices. At Asos, J. Crew and Marc Darcy, their average cost is $150 while Brooks Brothers, Hardwick, Aubin and Wills and A. P. C. will charge for them around $500.

            6. Waistcoat

              Being one of the most versatile pieces of clothing, it’s a pure wonder that men often forget about a waistcoat. As a third piece of a black-tie suit, this dandy item is a privilege of every successful gentleman. However, a waistcoat can also be worn with style in a more casual manner, teamed with tan pants and black loafers, dark jeans and suede boots or formal pants and a tweed jacket. Whichever you choose, a waistcoat is just the right touch of bohemian every flamboyant man needs.

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              For a swanky piece of clothing that it is, a waistcoat is not very expensive. The most affordable pieces are at Asos, for under $50. Mid-priced brands are Topman, River Island and Reiss, and their price range goes from $70 to $150. Since a waistcoat is not something you are going to wear often, you can indulge yourself with a really extravagant one at Ted Baker for $250.

              7. Dark Jeans

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                Getting to wear your favorite pair of jeans is the best part of every casual Friday. You can always complement them with dress shoes, but you can also insist on being relaxed all the way through with leather laced-up boots. The choices of shirts that go with dark jeans are endless, and can be tucked in and finished with a wide leather belt, or let to hang loosely over. Whether you round it up with a blazer or a sweater, a pattern or a pop of color, with jeans you can’t go wrong.

                With some luck, fellas can find the perfect type of jeans at Nordstrom and Lucky Brand for under $100. Mavi, 4 Stroke, J Brand, Acne and Raven jeans costs go in range of 150 to $200.

                8. Trench Coat

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                  Speaking in a subtle and polished way, the Burberry trench coat is just what you need to stay handsome and trim in poor weather. This luxury fashion house made it iconic, but you can always try other designers that suit you well. Choose beige, black or navy blue as essentials, or be prominent with deep reds and greens. Apart from perfect shoes, you’ll need a luxurious scarf to complete your trench coat, a Humphrey Bogart hat to stay within a theme and an umbrella to round it all up.

                  When it comes to this evergreen piece, retailers like Topman and Zara hold charge for them under $150. Others, like Reiss, Agnes B, Paul Smith and Acne value their quality from $200 to $800. The celebrated Burberry approximately costs $1500.

                  9. Black Leather Shoes

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                    When you go shopping for fashion essentials, the first thing you’ll need to be looking for are shoes. Black lace-ups are the key piece of any professional style, and the best of them are the oxfords. Keep their contour slim, and toe rounded, never square. They are downright with suits and jeans both, and can deliver in any occasion. For a little twist, you can try black penny loafers as well. Match your favorite pair with socks of a conservative or more flashy fashion (stripes and other patterns are not only acceptable, but dashing as well), or you can show some ankle with loafer socks.

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                    Affordable brands of this requisite fashion item are Clarks, ASOS, Ted Baker, Dune and Topman (under $100) and you can find your luxury pieces at Church’s, John Lobb, Crockett & Jones, George Cleverley, Mr Hare, Berluti, Edward Green, Tod’s, Oliver Sweeney, J.Crew, Suitsupply and Paul Smith for about $500.

                    10. Brown Leather Shoes

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                      Chocolate and chestnut dress shoes can do much more for your outfit than traditional blacks. Sophisticated and a bit dandy, they can still be pulled off with smart business suits and other formal wear. These hues are allowed with black suits also, but pair them cleverly with accessories of the same tint. They are exquisite when teamed with khaki pants, a white shirt with sleeves rolled up and a cockscomb panama hat. Being brighter, brown shoes demand more attention, and well-polished shoes are a hallmark of every slick gent.

                      For lower costs of brown leather shoes, turn to ALDO, ASOS, Ask The Missus, Ted Baker, Dune and KG by Kurt Geiger, where their price is around $200. Higher priced shoes can be found at Church’s, Grenson, Oliver Sweeney, Cheaney, Loake, Barker, Crockett & Jones, John Lobb, Tricker’s, Mr Hare and O’Keeffe,

                      11. Tie

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                        A tie has crossed a long way from an obligatory piece of bureaucratic formal wear to a strong statement item every elegant man can take a lot of pride in. The ways of mixing and matching this timeless accessory to the rest of your clothes are unlimited, and they both complete formal and casual dress codes. Also, pay attention to the style of your collar, since not every shape complements every tie. Explore what lengths and widths go with which types of blazers. You can play safe with solid ties on patterned shirts or vice versa, or be distinctive with different pattern-on pattern combos. Experiment with different types of knots, from classic balthus to swank eldredge, and include a tie pin for prim look.

                        Unfortunately for gents, ties are a bit more expensive for a piece that needs to be changed quite often. The price range of designer ties goes from $200 to $300 at Charvet, Jay Kos, Ralph Lauren and Hermes. Paul Smith offers them for around $100, and the costs at J. Press go even lower.

                        12. Bag

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                          According to its nature of work, every profession requires a functional bag. Still, its usefulness doesn’t have to hide your sense of style. Briefcases are no longer out of date, since new generation of designers offers sleekness and versatility. Cross body messenger bags and vintage satchels can give you a less stern look, and provide needed space for your computer and papers. A leather folio is impeccable with a business suit, and practical for a tablet and necessities. When out of office, you’ll need a perfect duffle bag to carry all of your gentleman’s indispensables in. Also, for those confident enough, men bags and totes are masculine as they are practical.

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                          Depending on their styles, sizes and material, bags can be found at prices for every budget. The most inexpensive briefcases are at H&M and B. R. Edward ($150), Visconti ($200), Reiss ($250) and Jack Spade, Michael Kors and Rag and Bone (over $300). Ernest Alexander, Asos and River Island craft amazing quality messenger bags and satchels for under $100. At Fossil, Ted Baker and J. Crew these bags cost between $150 & and $300. Duffle bags are somewhat more affordable, and Asos and River Island value theirs from $50 to $150, the same amount of money you would spend here for quality crafted totes.

                          13. Leather Belt

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                            If your choice of clothes is safe, something as simple as a leather belt can draw attention to your look. When picking the right one to go with your business suit, you should keep in mind that smart wear usually demands basic colors, like black, brown and tan. Also, the belt should match your shoes in color and hue, and in type of leather, if possible. The shinier the belt, the better. Keep the buckle minimalist and polished. For a more casual look, a belt can be wider or thinner than the formal one, and can even contrast the color of the rest of the outfit.

                            The prices of leather belts vary from $100 (Dsquared) to $600 (Alexander Mcqueen, Fendi and Dolce and Gabbana). In between are Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Lanvin, Saint Laurent and Armani.

                            14. Leather Wallet

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                              Nothing better to accentuate your professional liability then your wallet. Once again, traditional colors are black, tan and brown, but this practical accessory permits other tints as well. The main thing about a wallet is its functionality, so choose a billfold with a lot of compartments for your business cards, credit cards and ID. The elegant way to go is with personalized engravings in the skin of the wallet, or over the top with snakeskin design.

                              This inexpensive, but much needed accessory can be purchased at pretty inexpensive prices. Merona, Kenneth Cole, Maxx & Unicorn, Corter and Chester Mox give you high quality and impeccable design for under $100.

                              15. Watch

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                                Now that you have succeeded, it’s about time to reward yourself with a superb watch. There aren’t much rules when it comes to detailing your outfit with a wristwatch. Basically, the only thing this gear should match is your personality. You can choose minimalistic and simple styles, vintage or royal, yellow gold with brown leather bracelet or chrome black with complementary steel and a ceramic bracelet. A watch is the most refined and delicate accessory in a grown man’s closet, and you wouldn’t want to pass on the best one for your personal esthetics.

                                The watch shopping is certainly a time to go big – from Longines ($3000) to Chopard ($20000) – but if you are still determined in finding your piece for under $1000, try at Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Guess, Seiko and Breytenbach.

                                Featured photo credit: New York Businessman via brandexponents.com

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                                Vladimir Zivanovic

                                CMO at MyCity-Web

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                                Last Updated on August 10, 2020

                                8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                                8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                                The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

                                Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

                                Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important?”

                                1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

                                It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

                                But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

                                Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

                                Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

                                “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

                                And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

                                Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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                                So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

                                2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

                                Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

                                You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

                                Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

                                Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

                                So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

                                3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

                                A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

                                But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

                                Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

                                Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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                                So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

                                4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

                                This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

                                Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

                                What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

                                This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

                                If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

                                So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

                                5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

                                This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

                                What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

                                The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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                                Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

                                So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

                                6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

                                Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

                                For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

                                A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

                                Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

                                So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

                                7. Goals Make You Feel Good

                                Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

                                Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

                                Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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                                If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

                                So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

                                8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

                                I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

                                Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

                                Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

                                There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

                                Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

                                So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

                                Final Thoughts

                                These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

                                If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

                                Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

                                More Tips About Goals Setting

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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