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CEO Style Tips - How to Upgrade Your Look After Winning That Promotion

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Section: Dressing for the Occasion - Blog

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A CEO position rarely comes out of the blue. Men and women often spend many years of their lives with one career goal – the corner office. And so it would seem highly unlikely that a man about to take up the stewardship of a company would have anything less than the sound sartorial wit of a professional suit wearer.

But the truth is, that as your office gets an upgrade so too must your wardrobe.

Invest in the best

Now is the time to throw caution to the wind, ignore the little bank manager in your mind, and invest in the best tailored finery your new pay grade can afford. You want to create an image of a successful businessman that exudes confidence, and nothing does this better than high-quality custom made threads.


Level up on your staff

Unless you are a polo shirt and sneakers wearing type of CEO, then you should always aim to dress a level above your staff. If it’s business casual in the office, then you should dress more formally. This sets a subconscious boundary between you and your employees ensuring both you and they are at all times aware of your respective positions within the company hierarchy.


It’s perfectly fine to be that cool CEO that everyone feels comfortable talking to, but boundaries, however subtle, are the cornerstone of a healthy working environment.

Dress in sync with your peers

While dressing a level above your staff is perfectly acceptable, you should try to dress in sync with other top-level executives and board members. Sartorially outshining everyone in the boardroom will give off an air of arrogance that might see your efforts to move the company forward met with resistance.

How to upgrade your current style

Sometimes replacing your old suits with newer versions of the same style just won’t cut it. A suit should last a lifetime and if you took proper care of your current wardrobe, then perhaps the difference between old and new is minimal. In this case, you can look to the finer points of the suit to achieve that upgrade.

  • Vents – Are you a single vent man? Then why not opt for double vents which offer a slightly more contemporary and, dare we say it, European style.
  • Lapels – Notched lapels are the most common so a peaked lapel is an understated difference that can completely change the look of your suit.
  • Lining – The vast majority of suit jacket linings are in dark colours, but as the CEO you can now personalise your suit with a classic power colour such as pink. It might sound a little overkill but trust us it will look incredible.

Small changes like these can make a world of difference to your outfit but don’t stop there.

Ties – Of course, you will have a variety of ties for any occasion but more important than the colour of your tie is the knot. Master many knots and know when to use them.


Pocket square – Another favourite accessory that, depending on the fold and colour, can lend an air of authority or even creativity. Learn these nine folds and make use of them as often as possible.

Cufflinks – If you aren’t wearing some already then get yourself a few pairs that are subtle in design. There’s no doubt that a pair of cufflinks adds more than a little class to your ensemble and they are most certainly an upgrade on regular buttons.


Remember that your new position is one where employees, graduates, friends, and even family members will now look up to you. And when people look up to you, they expect to feel inspired and perhaps even a little awed by what they see.

So don’t let them down and upgrade to a c-level wardrobe that is representative of the incredible promotion you earned.

If you need more visual inspiration to whet your appetite for some upgraded wardrobe options, be sure to check out our Business Suits GalleryBusiness Suits Gallery.

Image credits: © Oleg Tovkach | Dreamstime.com © Brad Calkins | Dreamstime.com


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