Fresh off the back of this year's blazer-filled and tailored trends; take note as I show you how to jingle all the way into the office party.
Inspired by the nostalgic values of the aristocracy and sleek vibe of the underground members clubs' – make this year's festive celebrations mingle amongst the extravagant and dabble in the sleek.
My advice for bringing in the festive season in style is to aim for clean, distinctive lines and offer one bold statement of focus. Leave the fairisle and chunky knits till Christmas morning and for now, concentrate on your colours and textures; there's nothing wrong with mixing or layering them but it is an art! For more concise guidance, follow these simple tips:
- Nobody said your outfit had to 'ooze' that 9-5 look so tailor with a velvet blazer to add that drawing room feel but be careful not to let it blend in or be at risk of losing its [intended] dominating power: match dark velvet with a contrasting pallet of simple, light colours.
- The rules are out the window (the office rules that is). Jersey tailoring is the lightweight option of adding casual style to any attire. Find a cuffed pair of imperial suit trousers, compliment with a pair tan brogues and keep the attraction upstairs. – [see rule 3]
- Chin up! Don’t have your colleagues looking at your feet all night if the main attraction’s supposed to be up top! A pair of Hudson ‘major’ boots will set you aside from the crowd without a doubt; however don’t try and set off exhausting a Technicolor blazer as well. Instead, tone with a soft herringbone blazer to really show those pumps and avoid looking like the wrong side of dress down Sunday.
- Keep it cool. Where your venue is may have a huge impact on your wardrobe for the evening. If you think your staple velvet blazer will end up complimenting the back of a chair rather than you for the evening then don't wear it at all! The last thing you want is to lose your focus-point and end up blending into the wallpaper.
To avoid this, try wearing a pleated bib shirt with contrasting monotone braces and finish off with some clear-lens passenger glasses for that geek chic overlay.
- Keep it covered. Give your outfit that classic touch with a plain knee-length Mac; and for a sartorial edge your regular laptop bag won’t suffice: a distressed leather holdall and you should have that promotion in the bag!
Extra tip: See the grooming section for advice on fragrances, hair care & even the morning after!
However, for those of you who wish to follow the respectably classic route of suit & tie I will share with you my [fashion] biblical rules that many disregard…trust me, people notice!
- Easily the most noticeable even to the lesser 'fashion savvy': ill fitting suits. Indicating laziness and giving an overall sloppy look. If you have recently changed weight/size/stature then treat yourself to a new suit; get measured by a professional and have it made to tailor your needs. Check out Matt Allison's article on the fashion basics of 'good fit' and follow suit!
- Don’t tie a fashion noose! Ties are to be tied correctly, so when you tie a tie, tie it well or don't tie a tie at all. [A simple, easy to remember rule.],
Just because chinos offer a shorter take on the basic trouser does not mean you can chino-ify your neck tie. The tip of your tie should sit between the small margin that is the top and bottom of the belt you wear (excused in the case of an All Saints miniature tie – pictured below).
- Sock it to 'em. Leave your generously coloured socks at home and instead favour the stylistically plain. As long as they match both your underwear and your trousers you are golden!
- Shiniest foot forward. A good pair of shoes can be your wardrobes best friend for years; but you have to look after them! There is no excuse for scruffy shoes so employ the help of a shoe care kit such as Paul Smith's. Scruffy shoes could ruin even best of suits – don't let it be yours!
- Game, set, match match MATCH! Unless you want to be chased by tailors nationwide you must remember the general rule; belts must always match your shoes. Don't be tempted into using your belt as your [earlier discussed] focal point. Also, any belt deemed too: small, thin, thick, long, short, worn, creased, scratched, shabby, emaciated, broken, tatty, chunky, fragile, wrinkled, frail, stretched, cracked or broken should generally be replace immediately!
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