Fashion as Branding: It's more than a style.

For these three Southeast Missouri businessmen, fashion is about more than looking good at the office; it's about creating a brand for themselves, an association with a particular signature item that shows their personality not only while they're at work, but also while they're out and about in the community. Here, they share the purpose behind their iconic looks.

Dr. Eric Becking

Dr. Eric Becking

Chiropractor/natural healthcare provider at Becking Clinic in Cape Girardeau and Dexter, Missouri

Style: Trendy Professional

Signature fashion items: Blazer + Chucks

Fashion tip: Be yourself, and stick to that.

How wearing Chucks became his brand: Chucks are the ultimate item for connection and common ground to break the ice, and they are expressive. As a doctor, I always dressed professionally, but I noticed a real disconnect sometimes with the fun side of me and with some people maybe feeling like I was not approachable, so I started wearing my Chucks with my suit, and then I discovered the ice breaker. I adopted Chucks as my go-to. I always wear Chucks because they connect me as an approachable and relatable person to anyone. I've been doing this for about six years now.

I think my branding approach has given me such a fun way to connect with so many types of people, as well as to have a bigger reach than if I was using just my business brand alone.

I want all readers to wear Chucks on Tuesdays and be a part of the Love Revolution and connect all of us as people and as friends. You can post a picture of you in your shoes every Tuesday with the #chuckTAYLORtuesday and share with the community. There are literally thousands of people across the U.S. and globe that join in.

Jared Ritter

Jared Ritter

Broker of Ritter Real Estate

Style: BRIGHT! Fun, wild, eye-catching

Signature fashion item: Bright blazers

Fashion tip: Simply be yourself. Trying to be like everyone else isn't fun, and it doesn't pay, either.

The story of the bright blazer: I was reading a book about sales early in my real estate career. There was a comment about standing out and having your "thing." I had just ordered a charcoal blazer and was so excited. It was slick. Then reading that, I thought, "Jared, what're you doing? Everyone wears gray blazers!" So I began searching for my favorite color -- orange. It was a long search, but I found it. I then thought about how many other colors I could wear, how many other "bright blazers." Right then, the idea came. I was finishing up taking courses to become a broker. Being an English major, I love creativity and alliteration, especially. The Bright Blazer Broker was born.

Most think it's just a gimmick, but it's definitely me to the core. I love having fun, wearing bright, different colors and receiving the attention that comes with it. It's the ideology that has turned it into a brand. It's more than a tagline; it's me as a person. People have definitely come to expect it in the community, and that's what makes it so fun. I enjoy it, and most definitely keep the different blazers coming. I've always simply worn what I wanted, especially if it could get a few laughs, even in the business world. Being known is a wonderful thing, especially being known for your brand.

Gunnar James Knudtson

Gunnar James Knudtson

Mortgage Banker, First Missouri State Bank

Style: "Cool-hand Luke"

Staple fashion item: Ray-Ban aviators. I have a love for the first movie I ever saw in theaters, "Big Daddy," and agree with Julian, the little boy in the movie, who feels invincible when his shades are on. The shades blocked him from anything negative; I don't do negative.

Fashion tip: Know your audience. Whether it is a coffee shop, bank, office space or music venue, I try to find out and feel what would give me the best chance to be professional, yet approachable. That has been one of our mottos at the bank: we want to be fun, approachable, relatable, professional and an advocate for our great community.

How fashion relates to his career: I grew up with "look the part," "look good, feel good" and "dress for the job you want, not what you have" statements. I could not believe in them more. Even in a society where it's cool to be relaxed and casual, you still feel something when you sharpen yourself up. I started my style when I started my professional career. I did what made me feel good and ready to walk into any room. As my grandma once said, "Even if you are going to the grocery store, dress like you may run into someone important, and be ready to talk to them instead of hiding in the next aisle."