How To Not Look “Shlumpy”

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Ressler 9 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #126730

    “Shlumpy” is a Yiddish word meaning “not put together” clotheswise. Synonyms: frazzled, messy, frowsy, dowdy, dumpy, etc.

    I find that some people are able to look put together no matter what. Others struggle with the “shlumpy” factor.

    What are some quick and simple ways to look put together at all times?

    One idea: Solid colors, not patterns – especially black with white.

    What are some other ideas?

  • #126758

    Steve Ressler

    Fewer but better clothes

    Tailored clothes or better fitting clothes

    Iron shirts or at least wrinkle free

  • #126756

    Peter Sperry

    My biggest challange is weight. No matter how well you dress otherwide, it is next to impossible not look shlumpy if you have a belly bulge like mine. I work at at it in the gym every morning but having an appetite like an elephant does not help.

  • #126754

    Alise Frye

    Polished shoes.

    Dressing for your body type – if you don’t know, make an appointment with a Nordstrom shopper. That one investment will help you to start looking what will flatter you (including men!)

    Clean fingernails and men especially keep them short.

    For the ladies, a haircut that does not look like you’ve had it for the last 30 years can change your whole appearance. Even a simple layering or a few highlights can brighten your whole look. For the men, loose the comb over, embrace the pate! No one is fooled and it undermines your professionalism.

    Hems that flatter – for pants and skirts. Pants that are either too long or too short can distract the eye. Skirt hems are entirely dependent on the shape of your legs. A good tailor can tell you what is best for you. Never too short – it makes you look unprofessional and people wont take you seriously.

  • #126752

    Not that I am endorsing anyone but over the weekend I brought 11 shirts to Zip drycleaners and paid around $13. That is really cheap. Seems like the wrinkle-free thing makes a big difference. Since I can’t iron to save my life this could be a great thing!

  • #126750

    melissa peery

    Spend a few hundred dollars and have a professional stylist come and “shop your closet” with you. It will be some of the best money you’ve ever spent.

  • #126748

    Sunni M.

    The crew on the show “What Not to Wear” recommends buying up and tailoring down. It is the best clothing advice I’ve ever gotten. Buy clothes for the biggest part of your body and get the rest tailored. It is worth every penny!

  • #126746

    Sunni M.

    Rule of thumb: look at the people around you. How are they dressed? Dress for the job you want, not the job you currently have.

  • #126744

    Carol Davison

    People judge you in the first 5 second of your appearance. Dressping professional adds to your crediblity. When I wore a suit to high school the other students thought I was the teacher. Condelezza Rice always dressed beautifully and professionally without being sexy. No sneakers, flip flops, tights for pants, jeans, earrings big as bracelets, open toed shoes, clevage, capri pants, or anything too tight. Remember that you are trying to impress the conservative senior leader audience not your friends or potential dates.

  • #126742

    Dave Uejio

    Find and wear clothes that fit. Better fit > higher quality every time.

    Simple is better – if you don’t have any interest in “fashion”, there is nothing wrong with solid colors and a simple color palette.

  • #126740

    Herman N. Cohen

    I tend to spend more on my shirts and ties than on my suits. If you are in a lot of meetings (who isn’t?), men usually take jackets off, and legs are invisible under tables – so a nicely pressed shirt (white or blue) and a silk tie can really make a difference. And if you are sending shirts “out” to get them laundered, ask for them on hangers, not boxed – why spend the money on professional ironing and then have them put several creases in anyway. Also, I was told early on that there is no such thing as a short sleeved dress shirt – roll the sleeves if you must when you take off the jacket, but if some shirt cuff doesn’t show when you wear a jacket, you don’t look professional. Likewise, socks for men – over the calf socks are a must – it doesn’t look good to have skin showing between your sock top and pant cuff.

    And finally – laced shoes look more professional than loafers.

  • #126738

    Natasha Stark

    Buy the size that fits, not the size you wish would fit.

    Find a great tailor.

    Embrace online shopping if you’re a hard to find/fit size (I’m a 14WP).

    Buy the best quality basics you can afford.

    Learn the art of accessorizing.

  • #126736

    Mark Hammer

    I’m an analyst. I’m supposed to look schlumpy. Although there is a difference between being a schlump, and looking like a schlemiel. You want people to know you’re preoccupied with truth-seeking more than your career, but you don’t want them to think you’re a moron.

    FWIW, I wear overalls to the office on casual Fridays.

    My tip for NOT looking schlumpey? A great haircut. A great haircut is one that makes a person look perky and alert even when they’ve had the worst night of sleep imaginable. Now THAT’s a great haircut.

  • #126734

    Peter Sperry

    Overalls??? Ok, now I don’t feel so guilty about the frayed cuffs on my khakis.

  • #126732

    Mark Hammer

    I just tell people I’m busy farming data. 🙂

    Tip: Do you want serious attention and undeserved respect at any hardware, woodworking, or building supply store? Do you want to be treated as royalty at your neighbourhood Harbour Freight? Wear overalls.

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