Independent Graduate: `Dress for Success' with the `Independent Graduate' and the Menswear Council

He's the Menswear council's Best Dressed Businessman this year. He's also chairman of both the Belgo group and of Pizza Express. But what's his name? Read on and answer our competition question. There are two suit and tie combos, and 18 more ties to be won by runners-up

YOU CAN win one of two new Jeff Banks Studio suits, worth pounds 190 each, and one of 20 ties from Frank Theak & Roskilly worth pounds 40 each, to help you dress for your career success.

The Independent has teamed up with the Menswear Council to help you "Dress for Success", and they offer you the chance to enter our menswear competition.

First some advice from the Menswear Council that should help you on your first important steps up the career ladder and could help you dress for success like Luke Johnson, the winner of the Menswear Council's1999 Best Dressed Businessman Award

Looking the Business

Too rarely the advice that's given for interviews is missing the vital ingredient - what you look like. The old adage about interviews being decided in the first 30 seconds is true.

Your CV may have got you the interview, but those first impressions of how you present yourself, will determine whether you are in or out of the running. The aim at any interview has to be to look confident and relaxed. Good dressing can help you appear so. But this cannot happen just by magic.

Think about it at the last minute, throw on the standard interview garb and you will look a mess and feel uncomfortable. Plan ahead. Find out the dress culture of your target company - are they corporate city types or more relaxed Euro execs? What needs cleaning, pressing or polishing? And does your outfit co-ordinate?

Finally try everything on before the day of the interview - make sure it fits, is comfortable and that you look good.

The "Dress for Success: campaign is dedicated to helping men improve their dressing skills, so they can achieve success, both in the workplace and socially. Looking good for work or an interview should be a key part of your investment plan, not an afterthought.

It is crucial to your career.

Interview Dressing Tips

n Look the part - know the company's dress culture.

n Plan ahead - make sure everything fits well, test the comfort factor.

n Invest in quality - it looks better, feels better and lasts longer.

n Buy a classic cut and colour. Style it with different tie and shirt combinations.

n Single-breasted suits are more a adaptable.

n Have things altered to fit: made-to-measure would be the ultimate.

n Don't get stuck in a style rut, look at the new season's colours and styles.

n Don't be upstaged by your clothes, avoid bold checks and too many patterns together.

n Ties: try a wider knot like the half-Windsor. The tip of your tie should reach the top of your belt.

n Accessories can lift a less expensive suit. Buy good quality belts, cufflinks, shoes etc.

n Make sure everything is clean and pressed.

n Have a hair cut and a manicure. Go smooth or get your beard trimmed.

Menswear Council Dress for Success competition

Who was the winner of the Menswear Council's 1999 Best Dressed Businessman Award?

n 1) Luke Skywalker

n 2) Paul Johnson

n 3) Luke Johnson

All you have to do now, is send your answer with your name, address and daytime phone number on a postcard to The Independent/Dress for Success Competition, 17th Floor, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5DL, by Friday, 20 April 1999.

The first two correct entries will win a Jeff Banks Studio suit and a Frank Theak & Roskilly tie. The next 18 runners-up pulled out of the hat will each win a Frank Theak & Roskilly tie.

All winners will be notified by Friday, 27 April 1999.

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