You've got to own it. That's the No 1 rule in the corporate man's style book, if he was to have such a thing.

Which, for some, mightn't be a bad idea because fashion blunders abound in the executive workplace.

One of the biggest occurs when a man isn't sure what he likes and is swayed by trends that have little to do with his own style. You know the sort of thing – beards on the shorter man; huge checks on the thin man; tattoos.

"Guys who wish to get on in the corporate world will have more success by following their own authentic style and showing their unique personality," says image consultant Avril Laurie.

"Be different; nobody became famous by following the masses."

When it comes to men's fashion, there are some key rules to observe.

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Dressing up is not dressing better

The two are not related to looking more stylish; on the contrary an ill-fitting shirt or suit will look less stylish than a well-fitted casual blazer with an open-neck shirt. Sometimes casual is key.

Bad matches

"Doing the matchy-poo is a real turn-off and looks like your mother has dressed you," says Laurie, noting a matching pocket square with a tie as a dangerous misstep.

"[The pocket square and tie] should be used as an opportunity to show one's real style and personality."

Scruffy shoes

Because shoes are the last item to be put on in the morning it's easily done, but also one of the first things noticed. Unpolished shoes can bring a well-put-together corporate outfit crashing down.

"A great habit to get into is cleaning your shoes prior to hitting the shower in the morning," Laurie says.

Better still, try this old fashioned trick: apply a generous amount of polish on to the shoes the night before and buff off in the morning. This gives time for the wax to nourish the leather, giving an ideal finish.

Doing away with the tie

"Today in corporate Australia and many other countries it is no longer required for many business occasions to wear a tie. However, one of the biggest mistakes I see is the tie being removed without consideration for the shirt," Laurie says.

"Generally, the tie has been the point of colour which brings engagement up to the face; without this, there is a chance of looking washed out which can be disempowering."

If ties really are redundant, wear a shirt in a colour that is in harmony with your skin tones and has an eye-flattering colour inside the collar or on the jacket.

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