On a recent flight back to Houston from Dallas, I was seated in the very last row of the plane, next to a man who was impeccably dressed: dark Zegna suit, burgundy Brioni tie, black John Lobb wingtips.
These items are usually found at Neiman Marcus. I recognized most of his clothing before actually asking him. I knew his pieces were carefully chosen.
Turns out this man, a radio executive, is a student of Style. He mentioned Canali as his other designer of choice; he outfitted his 22-year-old son in a Canali suit, and his interest in clothing has since taken off.
Now, I still have my tan Zegna and charcoal Canali suits in my closet. I purchased both in early 2001 at a Barney's warehouse sale in an airplane hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.
So now, I'm on a plane with a 20-year Army veteran who recognizes the power of clothes. "When people are doing business with me, personal presentation matters."
I concur. Clothes send a message. If you're disheveled, chances are you're disorganized. If you're well-coordinated, you likely mean business.
And business this man did mean. He cared enough to put his best look forward.
When I got home, I went to my closet and checked out my suits and casual wear. I know what messages I want to send in future dealings with the people I meet.
Thanks, Mr. Executive Guy.