Office Style Done Right
The workplace is getting increasingly casual, but that doesn’t mean you should look like every other employee at your office, it’s time to lead by example. Think of what you went through to get that job, all that time you spent polishing up your resume and refining your interview skills. Celebrate your success by standing out from the other cubicle-clad warriors. Take pride by looking like, the king of the smart business jungle.
What is business casual? Five days a week in ill-fitting shirts, baggy trousers and poorly cut blazers isn’t it– the way to climb the corporate ladder and have management take notice is to dress, as if. Dress as if you are the boss, dress as if you are the CEO, dress as if it’s your company and you’re leading by example.
The Best Advice I Can Offer
Purchase clothing that fits you properly. Nothing destroys an outfit more then wearing ill fitted clothing. Whatever the dress code and no matter how expensive your clothes are, wearing something that doesn’t fit is the best way to say, I have no intention of moving up in this company.
The first secret to looking smart is correct sizing. Find a local tailor or a good dry cleaner and trust them to fit your new clothing properly, tell them you’re looking for a fitted look. Once you’ve nailed the fit, you can start building out your wardrobe. I highly recommend beginning with pieces that are easy to mix and match throughout the season, so you can get the most bang for your buck. You don’t have to break the bank on over priced brands that sell one size fits all items. Someone that is a 42 regular can be a completely different body type then someone with a 42 short. That being said, find pieces that fit you well from the start and increase your confidence. There is no shortage of sales on fine quality merchandise, paying a fair price is recommended. Spend your remaining time and money with an expert tailor that can alter your garments to your specifications.
Casual Essentials Means Business
If you build your selection of key essentials intelligently, you’ll be able to achieve a maximum level of versatility with minimum effort (which is crucial in the mornings, especially when your running to catch that train or beat the morning traffic grind).
Shirts and summer weight styles
Color is the key to success when it comes to garments worn above the waist. Textured solids are obviously the easiest to match. Focus your attention on staple colors like white, light blue, and soft pink. Once you’re set on that front, you can move into brighter colors and bolder patterns. Always keep in mind that you should be more business than casual.
Avoid sweaters with loud patterns, as well as anything too thick to be worn over a shirt and under a jacket. The timeless basics are best – solid colors, and a slim fit are the way to go. If you’re a cardigan guy, wear a tie and always leave the bottom two buttons undone on your cardigan. If you’re the into bolder colors, then the light weight sweater is a great clothing option to give an otherwise boring work wardrobe a little pop of color.
Chinos and well fitted khakis are the go-to choice for smart casual-dressing during office hours. Stick with classic colors – navy and camel – and opt for a fit that’s slim but not skinny. You also can’t go wrong with a pair of well fitted flat front suit trousers, again in a multifunctional color like black or grey. If jeans are appropriate in your workplace, opt for a style that is on the clean end of the denim spectrum; a crisp clean pair of selvedge denim is always in style. Your office jeans should also be slim but not skinny, and should have a dark simple wash.
The traditional neo-classics are safest when it comes to your shoes. They say you can tell a lot about a man by the shoes he wears, well to no surprise, Drivers, Loafers, Oxfords, Derby’s, Brogues and Monk straps will all look smart at the office and go with anything you wear on top. Color-wise, black, brown, oxblood and tan are your best bets to pull off a sharp, polished office casual look.
Blazers and Jackets
Whether you’re working hard or hardly working, your jacket should always be hard at work for you. The right choice speaks volumes, so choose carefully and always consider a proper fit. Three great jackets are all you really need to get through the work week; a navy blazer, a subtle patterned light weight tweed sport coat and a modern deconstructed sport coat-jacket. The deconstructed sport coat, is by far the most versatile and can take you from the office to the after work spot with ease. Opt for something fitted with contemporary simplistic details. The tweed jacket is an easy-to-wear classic that’s great in autumn or transitional seasons. The navy blazer is a work to life wardrobe staple that can be dressed up or dressed down casually with your favorite denim jeans. When it comes to pockets, try out patch pockets. It will say your not too corporate, but you still mean business. It will also give off a modern European vibe which is always a sharp look.
Smart office style is always in fashion but not always achieved. Menswear this season has embraced the clean and classic aesthetic. This in turn gives the average man with little or no fashion knowledge the ability to make a statement and feel confident. Fitting your wardrobe properly and introducing pops of color makes a world of difference in your everyday life and most importantly to your professional life.
What do you think? Is office casual killing your style or is it getting you the promotion you deserve? Make your style work for you without saying a word. Confidence is always key but lets face it, people are visual, how you dress can result in your future success.
Key Take Away
Stick to the basics first, nail the fit and then get creative.
Dress with purpose my friends.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback… Until next time, thank you.
Make friends with a good local tailor and trust that their skills will make your visual appearance equal to or greater than your office skills. Once your income grows, you can always go bespoke and go for the custom made to measure option. There’s nothing better than a professional well-dressed man with confidence.
Please remember, fashion is a visual tool that can help you get your message across to the world, help you get that job you want, or impress that special someone.