Keeping up appearances

Ben Robertson talks to Justine Tyerman about why it’s important to dress well.

Ben Robertson talks to Justine Tyerman about why it’s important to dress well.

Ben Robertson dressed in the three-piece suit he wore to the races.
In casual shorts and T-shirt outside the caravan he’s renovating.
In beachwear at Waikanae Beach.

BEN Robertson, William Shakespeare and Mark Twain have something in common: they all agree that “apparel oft proclaims the man” or “clothes maketh the man”.

The winner of the Best Dressed Man in the Fashions in the Field competition at Poverty Bay Turf Club’s Summer Races meeting last month, Ben says appearances do count.

When Ben first arrived at the races in his 1940s gentlemen-style three-piece dark blue suit with a white shirt and bright tie, he was told he looked so smart, he just had to enter the Fashions in the Field competition.

“So my workmate Taan and I signed up. To begin with, I was the only male until the judge Kylie Bax recruited a few more men to make it more of a fair contest.

“I ended up winning which was a bit of a laugh.”

Ben says it’s important to dress well, especially in his line of work, commercial real estate.

“I care about how I present myself and that says a lot about my work ethic. It’s a reflection of how much I value my work,” he says.

“If I come to work looking scruffy, what does that say about my attitude to work?

“I pride myself on immaculate presentation and I think that commands a certain amount of respect.

“It’s a real expression of who you are personsonally and professionally,” he says.

“Just the other day, someone said to me: ‘You look really sharp mate, keep that up and you will do well’.”

Ben sees his wardrobe as part of the tools of his trade, along with his smart phone and trademark Parker fountain pen.

“I get a lot of positive comments about my pen. It’s surprising how many people notice the finer details.”

Ben says when he worked in real estate in Christchurch, he used to wear a suit every day.

“I really miss wearing a suit in Gisborne but the dress code here is much more casual, and you’d die in the summer heat here in a suit.”

For summer work attire, he favours a neat patterned dress shirt with rolled-up sleeves, dark blue denim shorts and good quality shoes, usually Ralph Lauren.

Come winter though, Ben will be back in his suit with a knee-length woollen coat over the top for extra warmth.

Living at the beach, he’s embraced a relaxed Gizzy look for casual wear — shorts or jeans with a T-shirt and light jacket for the cooler nights.

“At the moment I’m rocking a slim-fitting, American-style baseball jacket.

“And because I’m often in the water, I wear lots of board shorts and bare feet.”

Ben is into retro design and is a fan of the art deco era with its beautiful dresses, elegant suits and old cars.

He bought a 1977 caravan last year and is busy renovating it, drawing inspiration from the Retro custom Caravan website.

Watch this space for a DIY story on Ben’s complete make-over of the 25ft caravan he towed to Gisborne all the way from Roxburgh, Central Otago.

BEN Robertson, William Shakespeare and Mark Twain have something in common: they all agree that “apparel oft proclaims the man” or “clothes maketh the man”.

The winner of the Best Dressed Man in the Fashions in the Field competition at Poverty Bay Turf Club’s Summer Races meeting last month, Ben says appearances do count.

When Ben first arrived at the races in his 1940s gentlemen-style three-piece dark blue suit with a white shirt and bright tie, he was told he looked so smart, he just had to enter the Fashions in the Field competition.

“So my workmate Taan and I signed up. To begin with, I was the only male until the judge Kylie Bax recruited a few more men to make it more of a fair contest.

“I ended up winning which was a bit of a laugh.”

Ben says it’s important to dress well, especially in his line of work, commercial real estate.

“I care about how I present myself and that says a lot about my work ethic. It’s a reflection of how much I value my work,” he says.

“If I come to work looking scruffy, what does that say about my attitude to work?

“I pride myself on immaculate presentation and I think that commands a certain amount of respect.

“It’s a real expression of who you are personsonally and professionally,” he says.

“Just the other day, someone said to me: ‘You look really sharp mate, keep that up and you will do well’.”

Ben sees his wardrobe as part of the tools of his trade, along with his smart phone and trademark Parker fountain pen.

“I get a lot of positive comments about my pen. It’s surprising how many people notice the finer details.”

Ben says when he worked in real estate in Christchurch, he used to wear a suit every day.

“I really miss wearing a suit in Gisborne but the dress code here is much more casual, and you’d die in the summer heat here in a suit.”

For summer work attire, he favours a neat patterned dress shirt with rolled-up sleeves, dark blue denim shorts and good quality shoes, usually Ralph Lauren.

Come winter though, Ben will be back in his suit with a knee-length woollen coat over the top for extra warmth.

Living at the beach, he’s embraced a relaxed Gizzy look for casual wear — shorts or jeans with a T-shirt and light jacket for the cooler nights.

“At the moment I’m rocking a slim-fitting, American-style baseball jacket.

“And because I’m often in the water, I wear lots of board shorts and bare feet.”

Ben is into retro design and is a fan of the art deco era with its beautiful dresses, elegant suits and old cars.

He bought a 1977 caravan last year and is busy renovating it, drawing inspiration from the Retro custom Caravan website.

Watch this space for a DIY story on Ben’s complete make-over of the 25ft caravan he towed to Gisborne all the way from Roxburgh, Central Otago.

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