From board meetings to creative workshops – a versatile office wardrobe gets you ready for any business situation. Discover our tips on how you dress to impress at work.
The line between formal and informal is getting blurrier. Situations where a suit once was recognised as the most appropriate attire, might today require a much more casual approach. This ever changing work environment makes it complex – but also far more fun – to find the perfect office ensemble. Here, we gathered some helpful tips on how to create a versatile business wardrobe that’ll last for years to come.
It all starts with the shirts. A well-thought-out combination of patterns, colours and collars enables you to go from formal board meetings to creative workshops in great style. To begin with, we suggest you go for at least two classic plain white shirts such as our Signature Twill Shirt with Cut Away Collar. The white shirt is especially suitable when you want to look your very best, always giving you a fresh and crisp appearance. Complete the classic range with patterns such as fine stripes and micro checks in sky blue, lavender and pink. To add a modern and stylish touch, our micro patterns and woven effects do the job. If you have a more casual office dress code, we recommend our Button Down Shirts in Oxford and Denim. These can easily be dressed up with a knit tie and an unlined suit, or be worn under fine knitwear for a relaxed, yet smart look.
Fine suiting is fundamental for the business wardrobe – and there’s no doubt that an expertly tailored suit is the best investment for great fit, comfort and durability. As a start, go for the classic two or three button models in navy or charcoal grey, preferably in lightweight wool that can be worn all-year on all occasions. Then, complete the suit wardrobe with classic patterns such as pin stripes of Prince Wales checks. For a more relaxed office approach, an unlined suit or a softly tailored blazer creates a smart and contemporary look.
Regardless if you’re going for minimalist sneakers of fine leather Oxfords, investing in high-quality footwear is the best way to step up your office style. Three pairs are a good standard: one pair of Oxford lace ups in black calf leather, one pair of semi-brogues in dark brown leather and one pair of brogues in brown or chestnut tan. Black is traditionally considered a bit more formal than brown ditos, however, a pair of dark brown shoes with no or minimal brogue pattern is equally appropriate. Don’t forget to care for your shoes! To pro-long their life, we suggest you never wear the same shoes two days in a row as the leather and lining will tear. Always store them on wooden shoe trees to retain their shape and regularly polish them with shoe cream to keep them shining.
Tie and Pocket Square
Choosing the right tie is an art. Either you take the smart way that goes with any styling – subtle colours, timeless polka dots and stripe patterns – or go for a statement tie in vivid colours and match with an understated, clean business outfit. The pocket square reflects what you want to express. Wearing a tie and a pocket square in the exact shame design could look a bit too studious. Instead, try to pick up a colour element from your shirt or tie. A straight folded pocket square in crisp white is never wrong, giving you a smart “Mad Men” look.
The saying “Details make all the difference”, is never as true as when it comes to business wear. With little room for sartorial peacocking and improvising, the accessories are even more important. A pair of cufflinks adds a luxurious touch to the formal outfit, matched with a tie bar that accents the tie and gives you a clean and sharp appearance. The final and personalised touch is jewellery, preferably in the same colours as your wristwatch and belt strap.
Add an extra pair of trousers to further vary your office outfits. For more formal looks, a pair of grey flannel wool trousers is a great investment-piece that works especially well with a navy blazer. Cotton chinos or raw denim jeans fulfil all the smart-casual needs. Match with a tweed jacket during the winter season, or go for a lightweight wool jacket in the summer.
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