Corporate Grooming and Personal Branding Quick Guide

Thinking of rebranding?
Bernard Kelvin Clive, Brand Strategist at BKC Consulting, making a point at the maiden Brand-CON Africa in Accra

“The way you are perceived determines how you will be received” – Bernard Kelvin Clive

It has become cliché over the years that one’s appearance speaks volumes about the person. It either opens or closes doors of opportunity for you.

As brands and businesses strive to project a more professional image and performance, this cannot be overlooked in the corporate arena.

Today we will look at some quick tips to help in that area.

Corporate Wardrobe Quick Guide – Dos and Don’ts

In general, there are a few points to remember when figuring out how to dress for work. First off, you want to make sure that your clothing is appropriate for the company culture and industry. If you work in a creative field like marketing or writing, you can probably get away with more casual clothing than someone working in law or finance. Additionally, you should always dress for the job that you want, not just the job that you have.


Dressing up is all about how you carry yourself and what you wear.

Dress Shirt

A dress shirt is a great way to spice up any outfit. A dress shirt adds class and elegance to any outfit, whether you’re headed to work or hanging out with friends. A dress shirt comes in many styles, including button-down shirts, v-neck shirts, oxford shirts, and polo shirts.

When it comes to shirts, make sure they’re tucked in.

Tucked shirts give men a more formal appearance.

If you are looking for smart-casual dressing, the Oxford shirt is your best bet. It’s a classic piece that can be worn with ease in a formal setting or dressed down for an evening out with friends.

Ties with Suits

A tie completes the look when it comes to dressing sharp at work. No matter how well-fitting your suit may be, if you don’t pair it with a tie, you risk looking sloppy or unprofessional at work! Also, remember that choosing the right tie can make or break your overall professional appearance; choose one that compliments your outfit well while keeping things simple!

Don’t go overboard on colors!

There’s only so much space for color when it comes to workwear and suit separates. While some might argue that pink and yellow shirts can look good, I would advise that you stay away from bright colors while dressing up for the workplace. So, stay away from bright shades of reds, oranges, and yellows at work! Stick to pastel shades like light grey and blue instead; these colors serve as great options for business meetings.


Two types of shoes are acceptable for a corporate environment: lace-up and slip-on. They’re both great options for any laired professional. As you may have guessed, the differences between them lie in their fastening systems. Lace-up shoes typically have eyelets at the sides that allow you to adjust the tightness of your shoe with laces. Slip-on can be slipped on without having to worry about adjusting laces or buckles. Some slip-on also have a low heel for added support and comfort, which is a nice bonus!

Every man should own at least one pair of black and one pair of brown shoes, with their matching belts.

Regardless of which style you choose, it is extremely important to keep your shoes clean and polished at all times.


Accessories are a great way to change up your look and add personality to your overall style. Be mindful of the message you are sending with your accessories. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Watches, belts, ties, bow ties, cuff links, tie clips, socks, hats (for men) and scarves, jewelry, and glasses (for women) all make for excellent accessories that can add a touch of elegance or a point of interest to an otherwise plain outfit.
  • For women: office-appropriate jewelry should be kept simple; avoid dangling earrings or flashy necklaces.

Wardrobe Add-ons

V-Neck Tops

The v-neck top has been around forever but recently it’s become a popular choice among men who are looking to show off their toned arms. This style gives your chest room while still showing off your abs and shoulders. If you’re not sure about this look yet, try it out first before buying anything. You can also go for a turtleneck if you want something that won’t make your upper body look bulky.

Polo Shirts

Polos are classic pieces that never go out of style. They come in many different colors, patterns, and styles. A polo shirt is great for casual days at work or hanging out with friends. You can also pair them with jeans or shorts for a fun look.


Hoodies have been around since the 90s and they’ve always had their unique style. They are perfect for layering over a tee or sweatshirt. They give you extra warmth without being too bulky.


Jeans are one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can have in your closet. They come in different cuts, colors, and sizes, which makes them ideal for any occasion. They are comfortable, durable, easy to wear, and go with almost everything.


Sweaters are a staple piece of any woman’s wardrobe. There are many different kinds of sweaters, each designed for specific purposes. Women’s cardigans are popular choices for layering over blouses and dresses. Men’s pullovers are perfect for keeping warm while wearing a suit.

African Wears

As a Ghanaian and an African, you should never pass up an opportunity to showcase your country and culture. So, fill your wardrobe with the best of the best. African clothing comes in a variety of styles and fabrics. From the Boubou to the Kaftan to the Kaba and the Slits. The good news is that a growing number of business organizations now recognize African attire as corporate Friday attire.


Do make sure your clothes are clean and fit well. You want to look professional and put together. Don’t wear clothing with distracting patterns or bright colors – it can be too informal. Do consider wearing a pair of heels, but not if they’re going to make you late for work every day (or cause you to trip on your way into the office). As long as they’re not too high or distracting, they might even help boost your confidence! Don’t wear open-toed shoes – this is inappropriate in most workplaces where people are expected to interact face-to-face frequently.

To create a professional look for women, think about the weather and your daily tasks. You want to look great but also be prepared for anything that comes up. For example, if you are in a corporate office environment, you will probably do a lot of sitting behind your desk. You should choose comfortable shoes that can still look sleek with your everyday outfit. If you work in an environment where you may have to lift or carry heavy things (like medical offices), then sneakers will probably be more appropriate than heels or ballet flats.

Remember that dresses and skirts are appropriate options as well! As long as they’re not too short (think knee-length or longer) then they can make a great statement at work.

It’s important to keep in mind the fabrics of these garments; breathable materials like cotton blends tend to work best when working outdoors whereas wool might be better suited indoors because it keeps body heat in more efficiently than other fibers would do (such as polyester).

In addition to thinking about the workplace itself and what people in your industry wear on a day-to-day basis, it’s also important to dress appropriately given whatever occasion may be coming up at work. If there’s an upcoming presentation or conference where your boss will be making an appearance, spruce up your outfit and make sure everything is clean and pressed—it won’t go unnoticed!

Finally, don’t forget one last thing: dress appropriately for both the weather outside and the temperature of where you are (at home versus in your office). Although it might seem obvious that dressing for cold weather means bundling up more than normal so as not to freeze outside—remembering this point can save unpleasant surprises like shivering through a walk after a walk from place to place!

Bernard Kelvin Clive is an Author, Speaker, Lecturer and Corporate Trainer. Africa’s foremost authority on Personal Branding and Digital Book Publishing. An Amazon bestselling author of over 50 published books. As a speaker & trainer he has been known to simplify complex ideas about branding and life and present them to audiences in clear, actionable steps. He has over a decade experience in digital publishing and has globally consulted for entrepreneurs, pastors, and people like you to write books and build brands. His branding books, “The Art of Personal Branding” and “Rebrand,” were listed in BookAuthority’s list of the “100 Best Selling Personal eBooks of All Time” He hosts the number one ranked Career & Business Podcast. Bernard is a brand strategist at BKC consulting and runs the monthly Branding & Publishing Masterclass. 


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