Professional Appearance Checklist for Men

Before you leave for work or a business-related engagement, examine, along with your best friend�a full length mirror�the overall picture you present and the details from your head to your toe. Make the necessary changes, add or replace accessories, and make sure your appearance and grooming are impeccable. This daily exercise will take just a few minutes, but the benefits are worth it. If you can check all the points, you are ready to face the world!

professional dress men check listBasics

  • Short and clean hair; should not touch shirt collar
  • Hair in nose and ears are trimmed
  • Avoid excessive gels and lotions
  • Avoid facial ornaments
  • Avoid heavy fragrance
  • Clothes are clean and well-pressed
  • There are no buttons missing or falling hems
  • Nothing is torn, stained, or discolored

Dress Shirt

  •  No wrinkles in collar, cuffs or facing
  •  Collar loose enough for one finger to fit in neckline
  •  Collar of shirt stands one-fourth to one-half inches above collar of suit
  •  Sleeve extends one-eighth to one-fourth inches below the jacket
  •  No short sleeves with suit jackets

Business Casual Shirt

  • No wrinkles in collar, cuffs, or facing
  • Well-pressed
  • If buttoned, leave only first button opened
  • Short sleeves at elbow
  • No T-shirts (unless accepted in your organization)
  • Keep colors and patterns subtle


  • Crew or V-neck sweaters
  • Turtleneck
  • Vest with shirt (with or without jacket and/or tie)
  • No sweatshirts


  • Does not wrinkle across the back
  • Length must cover buttocks--measure from collar seam to floor and divide it in half for length
  • Collar lies flat against the shirt
  • Sleeve length at wrist bone
  • Top-stitching is even, no loose threads
  • Leather or metal buttons on sport coat only


  • Ends at top of the belt line
  • Width matched to lapel width
  • Pattern small to medium
  • No tie tack or clip
  • Tie not is balanced with shirt collar
  • four-in-hand knot with most collars


  •  Just breaking in the front
  •  If uncuffed, tapered toward the back
  •  Fall straight from buttocks
  •  Fit above stomach
  •  Pockets remain flat, no bulging
  •  Well pressed


  • Highly polished (if leather)
  • Oxfords and suede must be cleaned
  • The best quality you can afford
  • Dark color: black, cordovan or brown
  • Thin or medium soles
  • Tie or slip-on and tassel loafers for suits and sport coats
  • Penny loafers or loafers with low vamp for business casual  only
  • Avoid  boots
  • Sneakers clean and good condition (if accepted in your organization)
  • No sandals or clogs


  • Always wear socks
  • Color blends with pants and shoes
  • Subtle patterns that resemble solid from a distance
  • Argyles for business causal only
  • Long enough to cover calf; no skin showing


  • The best quality you can afford
  • Leather only, hard or soft
  • No molded plastic or metal
  • Discreet combination lock


  • No bracelets, chains or fancy rings
  • No earrings
  • No heavy sport watches or calculators
  • Simple and elegant are best choices
  • Gold , silver or leather strap
  • Cuff links simple, small size; no fancy or clear stones for daytime
  • Silver-toned cuff links with silver watch; gold toned with gold watch

Other Accessories

  • Pocket square that complements tie, never identical to it
  • No tinted glasses
  • Braces in neutral color, or to complement tie, jacket or shirt
  • No clip-on suspenders for business
  • Never wear braces with belt
  • Simple, classic leather belt design
  • No large or ornate belt buckles
  • Belt color matches shoes
  • Belt  must be in good condition

An impeccable professional image earns you respect and provides you with a competitive edge. Quickly checking these points on a daily basis will help you to sustain a consistent and engaging visual impression.


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