The truth is, an investor will be summing your business up even before you've opened your mouth. They will be scrutinising your entrepreneurial ability and deciding your likeability just from looking at you. So it's vital that what you wear represents your business in the best possible way.
But how do you find a suit that's tailor made to reflect the personality of your business and make you look great at the same time? To answer this, we gave ex-Smarta 100 winner and hand tailored suit maker www.asuitthatfits.com a test.
I booked a fitting with one of the company's style advisors who brought a book of fabrics and colours that would send Gok Wan into meltdown. Having such a big choice means you can match the colour of your suit to the colour of your business' logo. Yes, the Smarta logo likes to be seen wearing a hot pink, but thankfully, I was allowed to opt for a more reserved grey.
Next up come the accessories and cut. You have a choice of 75 different styles of jacket ranging from City Slicker to Anchorman, each with a different price tag. Once you've picked the style that reflects your business best, it's time to add in personality with other extras. There's the fabric and colour of the lining, the collar, how many buttons, what type of lapel, the style of jacket vent. Pause for breath. Pockets, how would you like them? Straight-flapless, slanted-flapped or curved pleated? How about buttons on your sleeve? And that's before we've even started on the trousers.
There are so many extras and intricate details going into this, I could be sitting in the engineer's office of Ferrari, not a tailors in Moorgate.
After an hour long meeting conjuring up my grand idea for a killer suit, I'm worried I might have overdone it. I've only seen all these added pats and even the colour on a computer screen. There's no way of viewing this jacket in all its glory before it comes.
Once the style advisor gleaned all of my fashion needs, the information is sent off to A Suit That Fits tailor in Kathmandu, Nepal. It takes two- three weeks for the suit to come back and for my next appointment. When it arrives I wait in the reception of the style office with sweaty palms, worried I may have dived into the optional extras like a fat kid in a sweet shop and be lumbered with a jacket even Lady Gaga would render overkill. Fortunately, aside from the shoulders being too wide for my frame it's all good. The jacket is sent off to another tailor, this time in south London who nips the shoulders in and it's another two weeks before I go back to the A Suit That Fits studio and pick up the finished article.
This time when I slip the jacket on it feels like a second skin and I'm instantly elevated from a scruffy journalist to a tiny James Bond, in my own head obviously, but who cares when you have a jacket like this? It's perfect and it's affordable, with tailor made suits starting at £259. A steal when compared to the suits on Saville Row which sell for prices in the thousand.
There's almost no end to what the A Suit That Fits Tailors can create in a suit. Are you a business selling British goods? They can produce a Union Jack suit, or maybe your business has two different sides to it's personality, get a suit that's half black and half white.
So, if you're a business owner wanting the quality of a tailor made suit without the Savile Row prices, I'd suggest a meeting with A Suit That Fits advisor. The only thing I'd say is make sure you book in early, as the creation of a tailor made suit takes over a month, by the time it's been flown over from Nepal and then snipped some more in London, 100% worth the wait though.
Follow the link for more information about www.asuitthatfits.com