Behind every great man is a great … wardrobe. Yes, it’s true — at least when it comes to the handsomely clad, professionally accomplished chaps in our new series, Dress for the Job You Want, which profiles more than a few good men who have proven that success is an equation of both substance and style.
They’ve cut their teeth in the fashion industry, climbed the corporate ladder, created their own companies, and conjured plenty of new ideas — and have looked damn good doing it. For these guys, dressing for the occasion is simply part of the gig.
But you don’t have to be a fully suited, buttoned-up show-off to stake your claim in the game, as suave subtlety often wins in the end. And, with our apologies to Mark Twain, it takes a lot more than just clothes to make the man. However, a good sartorial statement can go a long way when it comes to charting your career course.
Perhaps no one knows that better than J. Hilburn co-founder Veeral Rathod, a former Wall Street guy who turned his passion for custom-made dress shirts and suits into a career. His luxury menswear company makes dressing well a seamless endeavor with made-to-measure and ready-to-wear apparel of the highest European quality — plus personal styling and direct delivery services. The core mission of the J. Hilburn brand is simple: Bring confidence and style to men everywhere.
Intimately aware of the transformative power of impeccably tailored clothes, the entrepreneurial Rathod serves as a model example for both sartorial and professional success. Here’s what he had to say about dressing for the job.
The Cheat Sheet: What is your background and what led you to your current profession?
Veeral Rathod: I started my career in investment banking and private equity, and I had a unique opportunity to help launch a London office. During my time in Europe, I developed an appreciation for great tailoring and the idea for J.Hilburn was born. We realize that it’s hard to find clothes that fit well off-the-rack and also that men need some guidance on what to wear and how to wear it. Our direct-to-consumer supply chain enables us to deliver a better fitting garment through a personal experience at an exceptional value.
CS: Workday essentials?
VR: Usually, I’m in a button-down shirt, pants, and a jacket. These pieces give me flexibility to meet the specific occasions of the day — from business formal all the way to casual. And I prefer a custom fit, which always results in more comfort throughout the day. You might find me wearing a navy blue suit and white shirt for presentations or board meetings, or washed chinos paired with an indigo shirt and our deconstructed jacket. The navy blazer has always been a wardrobe staple for me; I think a guy should have at least two different variations of a great blue blazer that he can wear for different seasons and occasions.
CS: How do you define your personal style?
VR: I believe in timeless colors and patterns updated with modern styling details. Even the smallest of details — the collar of a shirt or a jacket’s lapels and pockets — tell a subtle story. And, design elements that require extra attention, such as working buttonholes or contrast thread on buttons, always provide another layer of refinement that I like to incorporate whenever possible.
CS: Why should all guys care about their personal style?
VR: Having a personal style is more than just dressing well. It’s about knowing who you are and feeling comfortable expressing yourself. Ultimately, people are attracted to confidence.
CS: Do you believe that success and good style go hand-in-hand?
VR: Absolutely. Confidence is a key to success. When you’re well put-together, you’re confident both internally and externally — and people take notice of your distinct style, which really becomes a part of your own personal brand.
CS: What are your “style cheats”?
VR: I have a handful of shirts with collars that sit higher on my neck that I like to wear without a tie and under a jacket. A taller collar prevents it from collapsing under the jacket and looking sloppy. Plus, the whole idea of standing taller just projects confidence!