In a post-COVID world, brands and organizations are having to redefine the guidelines of business fashion. Montreal-based personal stylist Jeff Golf (Ludique) shares three ideas for how to establish your professional wardrobe with inclusion in mind.
Jeff Golf has had a passion for fashion all his adult life. Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada’s fashion capital, he and his business partner Caroline Alexander opened a stylist agency in 2006. Their company, Ludique, specializes in helping others find comfort and confidence each morning when they get dressed.
“The goal of a stylist is to help you look in the mirror and feel like your most authentic self, every day. Then, forget about how you look and go about your day with confidence.”
Ludique helps businesses to establish a sort of “corporate closet,” outlining the types of apparel styles that work together to create different brand identity ensembles. By providing a mix of coordinated apparel options Ludique is able to help the client outfit team members of all shapes and sizes, and offer education on how to assemble the collection in different ways to achieve different desired results.
Taken from a conversation with feature in the February 2024 edition of marketingedge magazine, the following three tips are Jeff's suggestions for where to start in building a foundation for your professional appearance;
1. Moderation is a skill, balancing creative and relaxed values with respect and leadership.
"If a wedding host asked you to dress formally, and you arrive in sweat pants, you’re not respecting the situation. Similarly, if someone is trusting you with their finances, or expecting you to lead a presentation, you want to make sure that you balance your clothing comfort and confidence within the context of the situation. That’s why brands develop guidelines for their identity, to ensure that team members are coached on how to best represent company values."
One of the more pivotal moments in personal fashion is the transition from student life to workplace professional. What is comfortable and acceptable on campus isn't likely to meet the expectations of brands working in professional services, particularly if a brand values power, control and respect. A balanced style guide will help a new employee to understand appropriate fashion expectations and how to acheive personal expression and comfort within that framework.
2. Everyone should have a pair of dark jeans.
"A clean-cut, well-fitting pair of dark indigo jeans with no rips or fades, are a versatile basic that can transition through different environments. You can dress your ensemble up or down with tops, accessories and shoes."
Education about appropriate workplace fashion sets an expectation, and creates unity and consistency while allowing room for personal style and expression. Maintaining a balance between casual and professional is a skill that you will develop. Simple details like tucking in a shirt, coordinating accessories like belt, bag and shoes, and even combing your hair, can make a difference in how a customer or colleague will interpret your appearance. You want to be confident, but also instill confidence in the people you interact with.
#3 You need at least one neutral blazer.
"A well-fitting neutral blazer in a solid basic colour like navy, black or tan, is the other core item to have in your wardrobe. You can tailor your style for the moment by choosing from a solid knit top, high-quality T-shirt or blouse, or button-down dress shirt. are all good choices to coordinate with a blazer."
If you want to take part in seasonal hype colour palettes, it is more cost effective to include them in smaller accessories that are more easily changed out. Pocket squares can add a fun colour pop when coordinated with other apparel choices.
The way a team member dresses for work is an extension of your organization’s brand identity. Developing a wardrobe program with style guidelines, education, and apparel options, is a forward-thinking plan for developing positive corporate culture.
Golf reminds us , “There are ways to wear all the trends, all the styles. It’s just a matter of learning how to do it to highlight your best features and feel your most confident.” mem
Jeff Golf is a personal stylist and co-founder of Ludique (Montreal, Quebec).
Jeff’s approach to personal styling is a dynamic and collaborative process. “When an individual entrusts me with helping to define their appearance in the world, I recognize the value in that responsibility and engage the process with great respect.”
Ludique personal fashion stylists create wardrobes that are unique, exciting and authentic to who you are and want to become.
The February 2024 Top Products Apparel edition of marketingedge magazine, read free online.
- as featured in marketingedge magazine, February 2024