Your Individuality is Showing

How your Individuality is Revealed by your Clothing

What is it about you and your appearance that most distinguishes you from your rival colleague, your arch competitor, or the mass of other professionals in your generation?

What is it that others immediately recognize and admire about you when they see you?

A younger colleague recently described me to someone else as “smart.” Of course, I immediately applauded his keen insight and then concluded that his perception of me must have something to do with my appearance! Is it because I recently started wearing glasses? They do make me look at little like Clark Kent (aka Superman. I’m just sayin’). Or is it because my office walls are lined with books (some of which I’ve actually read)? Or is the reason my occasional wearing of a bow tie? I am also regularly described as a nice guy, somewhat reserved, and good with kids. I don’t even have any children, for heaven’s sake. How do people come up with these ideas?

It is clear to me that from the aggregate of all I display to the world – the words I speak and the way I sound to others, the way I behave and carry myself, and the way that I appear to others (probably even the car I drive and the way I comb my hair) – my character and individuality are revealed.

My style has evolved over many years of learning and observation, trial and error. Not one to latch on to the “fully fashioned” style of a particular designer or school of thought, I prefer to pick and choose from a range of styles and to figure out how to put them together in a way that works for me. Developing and regularly evolving an authentic, personal style has always been my goal. Having discovered the option of custom clothing early in my career has been a real advantage. Custom really opens up the range of possibilities for personal expression.





Color, pattern, the style and cut of your clothing, and how it is all coordinated work to reveal any number of things about your personality and character. Stripes connote authority, while earth tones are warm and inviting. A trim cut is progressive while a cuff on your pants reads conservative and sincere. Any given complete look may strongly communicate one particular characteristic or may quietly convey a complex of meaning.

If you can come up with three or four words that best describe how you want to be perceived by others, your Tom James Clothier can help you construct a personal style and corresponding wardrobe that will enable the desired perception.

To help you along, here are a few words (by no means an exhaustive list…feel free to add your own) to consider:

Confident Competent Compelling Authoritative
Conservative Professional Intelligent Affable/Likeable
Enterprising Approachable Progressive Gentlemanly
Powerful Sharp Detailed Assured
Creative Sophisticated Intrepid (there’s a word) Modern
Charming Traditional Personable Commanding
Impressive Expert Prosperous Distinctive
Natural Prudent Refined Stylish
Successful Sincere Trustworthy Diplomatic
Fashionable Precise Imaginative

What is your clothing (and how you wear it) revealing about you?

Sartorially resplendent,


2 thoughts on “Your Individuality is Showing

  1. Ashley LaMar

    Very interesting article. Clothing and appearance definitely affect the perception that people develop about you. For example, a woman I work with arrives at work every morning with her hair still damp from her shower. Her clothing, nails and shoes are also in poor condition but it is always her hair that speaks to me. Regardless of the quality of work she produces she will only go so far in her career if I can not trust her to put forth a good image of the company. Besides, what does it say about a person who can not schedule their morning properly enough to be able to dry her own hair before arriving at work?

  2. Tom James

    Good point, Ashley. Every level within any business/industry requires a higher level of polish and usually is more closely scrutinized….partly because higher level positions are often more visible. thanks reading and commenting.

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