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On Being Authentic

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A good synonym for the phrase “core values” would be “that which makes you get out of bed in the morning.” What makes you tick? What drives you? For us, being authentic is probably the “core-est” of our core values. Authenticity is at the heart of everything we’re about, and we celebrate it enthusiastically.

Authenticity & Individuality

A Gentleman's Guide to Valentine's DayWe humans have an inherent need to display our authentic selves. When we can be our truest selves, we’re happy and at peace. When you’re unable to present your most authentic “you,” the results are often detrimental to your health – mental, physical, and otherwise.

An image consultant’s raison d’être is to make a client feel and appear to be their most authentic self. As it happens, custom clothing is an excellent way to realize this goal. Every piece is custom-made to a client’s size and design specifications, so it must by definition celebrate the individual.

Custom Tailoring & Being Authentic

individual in custom suitWe relish the opportunity to help a client find his best self through his wardrobe, and each garment is as unique as the individual for whom it was crafted. The romance of custom clothes isn’t that they’re yours, it’s that they’re uniquely yours.

In fact, the entire custom clothing industry has an old-world, sometimes esoteric heritage about it. Because of this, every brand or tailor markets its garments as either in line with that heritage or as some kind of modernized take on it. In a nutshell, the whole industry acknowledges a true article that it considers “authentic” (full bespoke), and that everything else deviates from it to varying degrees.

Authenticity & Your Personal Brand

There’s a simple, unspoken rule we all follow for anything business or socially related. We connect with people we like and people we trust. Authenticity is at the very core of forming and advancing our relationships. We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s not about what you know, but who you know.” We like to take it one step further and add, “It’s not about who you know, but who knows you.”

For your brand to precede you and allow others to know you, authenticity is key. Someone who presents a message that raises red flags in the way others perceive them will undoubtedly form shallow and short relationships. If we try to adapt the messages we send to try to fit in, we may achieve that for a short time, but after enough interaction and time something will just feel “off” and the relationship will likely fade away. Ultimately, nothing is achieved when authenticity is lacking.

man wearing pink custom shirtThe clothing we wear every day becomes part of the messaging we present. To align the non-spoken messaging of our clothing choices with the spoken messaging we deliver enhances the authenticity we present to others, assuming the verbal message itself is authentic. Non-verbal cues make us feel a certain way whether we recognize this or not. The next time you are walking down the street, or shopping at the supermarket, try to take notice of the feeling you get from those around you, and whether that feeling stems from their clothing, movements (body language), or a verbal message you might overhear. Then, take a moment to think about what message they are getting from you.

Someone once said, “It’s easier to tell the truth because you don’t have to remember it. If you tell a lie, you have to remember the story of the lie you told every time it is brought back up, and you’ll inevitably be caught.” With one caveat, this holds true. That caveat is if you believe the lie you told to be truth and you didn’t know you were lying.

Now imagine this theory with your clothing. Many people don’t know the story their clothing is telling, and therefore believe it to be “truth” in line with their verbal message. Imagine though if you’re trying to sell yourself in an interview and you say, “I’m very detail-oriented and hard-working” but your clothing is saying, “I don’t see the details and I show up to work for the paycheck, not because I care about the company.” While the intent of your verbal message may be true and authentic, you likely won’t be selected for the job.


Custom clothing and the Henry A. Davidsen consultation process inherently celebrates your authenticity. It’s in the DNA of us as tailors and image consultants alike.

If this article made you think twice about the authenticity of your messaging, and whether you’re telling lies or the truth in the way you dress and present yourself, then don’t waste any more time. Pick up the phone and call us at 215-310-0219 or email info@henrydavidsen.com to start a conversation about how we can help you create true authenticity. Still unsure?  Take a few more moments to enjoy other tailoring and personal branding content we’ve :

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