Over the coming weeks I am going to be producing a few more articles that relate to work wear and how to dress in the office. You will have to bear with me a little bit because I have never worked in a truly formal corporation environment with budgets, reports, targets and general a**holes who are on a power trip. I have always worked within graphic design and creative type work environments where everyone was instead trying to outdo each other’s personal fashion and style!
Today we are going to concentrate on cheap suits and how to make them WORK. You might have just left uni and after a summer of dossing you are looking for your first job, you may have found your first job but obviously do not have a large amount of disposable income yet to really splash out, or you may be one of the unlucky ones trying to find a job in this market, and need to look your best in interviews – but on a budget. When I say cheap suits, don’t think of them as low quality or made from horrible cheap materials/construction. What I mean is there are plenty of suits on the market from high street retailers that can work really well for you and at a price that suits (sorry) your pocket.
First we need to get a few things straight. When you are in a professional environment, most of the time it is not appropriate to go over the top and really try your hardest to look fashionable. There is nothing worse than someone who is “trying” to stand out and look better than everyone else – I am thinking brash colours, over accessorising and generally over compensating to try and make people think they are cool. You will probably have all seen one of these guys before in your current place of work – or if not, you soon will!
When dressing for formal events or in a work environment, the way you stand out and come across as a stylish male is all in the details. The cut and fit of your suit needs to be perfect – it should hug the contours of your body without being tight. The way you achieve this is to get yourself professionally measured. You can get this done at any local tailors and some high street chains will actually provide this service free of charge now as well. Once you have your EXACT measurements, you can feel free to buy suits from anywhere; the Internet, off the shelf etc. There is nothing better than a custom made suit, and you will only ever know the difference once you have had one made for you, but there are ways around this on a budget.
One of the best tips I can ever give you would be that you can buy great looking suit from a high street chain like Topman which is fashionable, well constructed and will last a long time – however the fit may be slightly off. What you can do in this case is take it to a local tailor (check local directories online, newspapers etc.) and ask them to modify it for you. You know your measurements now right? Right!? So they can do it do an exact spec without changing the overall look of the suit or ruining it. You can get this done for a great price normally, and in the recession people will be prepared to do it at a low cost just for the business. I once got a suit trousers and blazer taken in slightly for £10! It makes perfect sense because once it is done and the suit fits you perfectly, it makes it look literally worth £100′s more. This is what I mean by details that make an extraordinary difference.
So that is my first tip for dressing in a formal environment. Below I have showcased some of the best suits I can find on the high street and low cost versions from the web. Grab one or two if you can afford it, but make sure you get your measurements done first so you know what size you need. Then take it to a local tailor and get it custom altered. You will look like a truly stylish PROFESSIONAL by the time you are finished.
Check out some picks below…
If this is your first suit purchase I would recommend you going for a classic black or charcoal version. It will always look professional and is a timeless colour. It will also allow you to vary your shirt colour whilst still co-ordinating perfectly. If you already have one or two, then look to expand your collection with a nice navy, light grey or brown version. Topman are my favourites for budget versions. They understand how to make a great fashion forward suit but at a price that definitely will not break the bank. The slim fit suits are my particular favourite as it adds a fashion edge but looks smart and professional at the same time.
Burton also have an amazing offer on at the moment where you get FREE Shoes, Shirt and Tie with a £99 suit! ENDS TODAY (9th September) THOUGH SO GET THERE QUICK. This is really a bargain for those looking for a good suit at an unreal price. Perfect for graduates.