Believe it or not, the clothes that you choose to wear can send a message about who you are as a person, even if it’s inaccurate. While in some instances, you’ll need to look more professional than casual, you can still avoid projecting that “uptight” image. It can be tough to get out of this groove once you’ve landed there, so I have some tips that I’d like to share with you to help you find that perfect balance that tells the world who you are while highlighting your best traits.

Go with your personal style over fashion perceptions

One of the biggest contributors to the uptight look is falling into the fashion mold that makes you blend in with the herd. It’s comparable to a mass produced persona that doesn’t allow for individuality. It’s perfectly acceptable to let a little of yourself shine through so you will be distinguished from the rest of the pack. Go with the style that you embrace and express your individualism tastefully and within acceptable boundaries. You can look great without looking like a carbon copy of the guy five desks down.

Consider what you want to project to others

This can help you to change up your wardrobe quickly. Think about the guys that you see and admire the most, well the ones that don’t look pinched and forced. Do you want to come across as confident yet individual? Is there a fun side you’d like to display? Are you somewhat classy? Your clothing and accessory choices can promote any aspect of your personality that you’d like. A less conservative suit style and color can make you look like a more cheerful guy while not detracting from your professionalism. If you are required to wear a tie, make it a fun pattern and color choice. Consider the use of pattern,color and texture to change up your look. Accessories can also promote a fun or classy side. Add a wristwatch in a style that sends a message.

The style of your clothing can make you come across in a variety of different ways. One of the best ways to discover the best style for you is to look through a few men’s fashion sites to get some ideas of what appeals the most to you and why. If a sports jacket makes you think a guy projects laid back classiness and that’s how you want to be perceived, get something similar.

Be careful with accessories

Accessories can send subtle messages about who you are unless they are overdone. An overabundance can make it appear that you’re trying to hard and it can actually backfire on you so choose just a few understated accessories and call it good. You wouldn’t want to drown from the weight of your jewelry if you fall into the river.

Just a few simple adjustments can make a big difference in how you are perceived. When you recognize your individuality tastefully, you show confidence. When your attire is tasteful, you show class. When you diversify your wardrobe and accessories a bit, you show your fun side, so have fun and avoid the uptight look.