There is a phrase widely used in the fashion industry to describe a certain look. That phrase is ‘put together’. But what look does it describe? That is hard to say. It’s easy to recognize someone dressed formally as opposed to another dressed informally. Yet it is also possible that both people are put together.
Finding it difficult to define put together is rooted in the fact that we all have different fashion preferences. Some people like one particular look, others like another. Then there are those who do not necessarily emphasize any particular look at all. They just go with the flow on any given day.
That being the case, trying to explain to other people how to look put together does an injustice to them. It gives them the impression that they need to look a certain way, or they aren’t in the game with everyone else. To illustrate the point, here are three different ways to define ‘put together’:
1. Professionally Dressed in Every Regard
Some people define being put together as being professionally dressed in every regard. To a man, this would mean a formal business suit complete with expensive dress shoes, silk tie, and gold cufflinks. His outerwear might include a Reiss Gable overcoat and a pair of waterproof shoe covers from GC Tech.
The professionally dressed woman wears a formal business suit or a modest dress from a recognized brand. She accessorizes with a few pieces of jewelry and a nice pair of pumps. Everything is color-coordinated – even her handbag, coat, and hat.
2. Only High-End Brands
Obviously, looking put together is not exclusive to business settings. Outside of work, being described as put together takes on a whole new meaning. Some people take it to mean wearing only high-end brands. When brands and labels are the defining factor, you can forget about shopping at Walmart or Target. The bare minimum is Kohl’s. Even that might not be enough.
The thing about high fashion is that some labels do not really justify their exceptionally high prices. Yes, it’s true that you do get better quality with some of the more expensive brands. But there is no guarantee. Sometimes high-end labels aren’t any better than their department store counterparts.
Any rate, the brand definition of being put together is all about wearing the right brands. You still have to color coordinate. You still have to choose clothing that fits the occasion. But in the end, the labels on each piece are what really matter.
3. Neat, Clean, Well Groomed
The third way to define put together is probably the most accurate. The definition revolves around an appearance that is neat, clean, and well groomed. With this definition, it’s possible to look put together without wearing business formal or spending a ton on the most expensive brands. You can pull off the look regardless of your budget and fashion sense.
This definition demands, at the very least, that your clothing isn’t torn and tattered. It should be clean and non-wrinkled. If you’re a woman, your hair and makeup should be done. Men, hair should be trimmed and combed. If you don’t prefer facial hair, you should be clean shaven. Otherwise, your facial hair should be groomed as well.
There is more than one way to define looking put together. This post has described just three definitions. Here’s the point: there is no hard and fast definition of the term. Being put together is a matter of perception. Whatever you do, don’t let fashion writers and marketers determine what it means to you. Make that choice yourself.