Five City Grooming Faux Pas

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Disguising a thinning thatch? Or faking flawless skin with layers of foundation? Think you look professional? Think again.

To better your chances of success (in all areas), watch out for these five all-too-common City grooming blunders:

1. Boot camp

Everyone notices shoes. Worn-down heels, broken laces, unpolished or tired footwear send the signal that you’re unkempt. Ensure that your shoes don’t need a spa day at Timpsons.

2. B.B. (the ‘other’ body odour acronym)

Even with immaculate grooming, bad breath can knock your image stone dead. Add a tongue-scraper to your daily brushing and flossing routine (try Boots). And while you’re there, pick up a Retardex breath spray to freshen up after spicy lunches, or before important meetings. But spray in private - not as you’re entering a meeting room.

3. Orange jawline

Nothing says ‘groomed’ like a clear, radiant complexion. Feigning flawless skin with trowelled-on foundation does draw attention, but for all the wrong reasons. As with perfume, the less-is-more rule applies. Choose the same colour as your skin tone, and blend, blend, blend!

4. Follicular faux-pas

Most of us are switched on about the no-no called the comb-over. But they’re still around, as are the ‘comb-forwards’, another unfortunate variation. If you’ve got a thinning thatch, do two things: admit it; and get the right haircut. A good hairdresser knows the drill. Also check your ears, nose, neck and eyebrows regularly for straggly hairs. People notice.

5. Nail it!

In my City workshops on professional image, participants always mention hands. Bitten fingernails and chipped nail varnish are serious image-sappers. So, too, are garish nail polish colours and long fake nails.

And while we're on the topic, watch out for these lesser-but-still-evil blunders:

  • Stains on ties
  • Fallen hems
  • Antiperspirant ‘halos’ under arms, even on clean shirts
  • Bulging pockets or handbags
  • An unshaven face

Get it together. Your career will thank you!