As the owner and chief style consultant behind Image Granted, a Washington, DC based style firm, Grant Harris is dedicated to solving the complex image, style and fashion issues facing today’s professional man. Having appeared in TIME magazine, CNN Newsroom, and The Wall Street Journal, Grant is one of the East Coast’s brightest rising stars in the men’s fashion world today. Recently we had the good fortune to catch up with Grant to hear his thoughts on how men can look their best.
Shirts My Way: Can you tell us what kind of services your company, Image Granted, offers?
Grant Harris: We provide private & corporate wardrobe consultations, closet organization, personal shopping & other value-based services for men in need of practical & affordable style advice. Our services are very personal and interactive. We want to educate our customer so he is equipped with the knowledge he needs to properly build and maintain his wardrobe for years to come.
SMW: What are the benefits for your clients?
GH: Our clients benefit from the education, knowledge, resources, and best practices that we provide through our personal consultations, media articles and daily hints and tips spread throughout our social media networks. Our clients will gain self-confidence, increase their knowledge about men’s fashion, and more importantly learn how to present themselves to the world as a stylish gentleman.
SMW: Why are you interested in fashion? Why is fashion important for you?
GH: I’m more interested in style than fashion. Style is constant and doesn’t change much over time. Fashion on the other hand changes every season. Longevity, quality, class, and being a gentleman are all important qualities for me. Some people may express these qualities through writing, music, acting, or other pursuits. I chose to express them through my clothing. People see you before they ever hear you or get to know you, and I want that first impression to be a lasting one.
SMW: How would you describe your own sense of fashion and your own tastes?
GH: Understated and polished with a modern flair is my style. Instead of wearing loud brand names, I prefer pieces that look good today and years from now. I stay modern with form fitting shirts and trousers, and I add flair with colorful socks and pocket squares.
SMW: What are the barriers that you see keeping men from looking fashionable? Is it a lack of knowledge, lack of interest, or maybe low confidence or fear of taking risks?
GH: There are many common barriers we come across with men today, but the biggest may be the lack of initiative to gain the basic knowledge needed to become a better dresser. The fact that a man doesn’t know the difference between a suit jacket and sport coat is a problem, but it’s not the real issue. The issue is that he doesn’t take the initiative to learn the difference and find out what makes a quality garment versus a sub-par one in order to improve his personal style. This is why Image Granted exits. To show men what they don’t know and to open their eyes to help them be comfortable and confident with their own style.
SMW: It seems that so many of the rules of fashion and style are unwritten, do you agree? If so, do you find that this makes it difficult to discuss or make judgments about fashion with authority?
GH: Many rules for men are unwritten, but there are just as many which are. The unwritten rules have become socially acceptable over time and each man should be aware of them but he shouldn’t let them affect his personal image. The rules should be used as guidelines instead of commandments. A man displays true style when he is aware of the rules but he is able to bend them in order to create his own personal portrait of himself.
SMW: Any final words of wisdom you’d like to impart to our readers?
GH: Finding and improving your personal style is a life long journey and it should be treated as such. Don’t try to change your look overnight. Study yourself, study other men, study books and movies and learn what you like and what works for you and your lifestyle. I guarantee you’ll be better off for it.