So you went for the job interview and managed to beat off all the competition to get your dream job. First of all, congratulations! Well done you. But now what are going to wear five days of the week? The common mistake that most guys will do is head off into Marks & Spencers, buy themselves a couple of pairs of suit trousers, half a dozen baggy shirts and a few under shirts to soak up sweat. Does this sound like you? Well, if it is then stop it! It’s time to make a change and here’s how.
First of all, make sure that the clothes you wear to work fit you properly. I don’t care what the dress code is; t-shirt, cardigan, suit, whatever – make sure you get the right fit. It will make what you’re wearing looking instantly smarter and as if they were meant to be worn by you, not a larger burlier version of you. Check out my article on fit if you’re unsure.
The key to pulling off a successful business wardrobe is to have plenty of no brainer go-to pieces that are easy to mix and match with one another. So we’re talking about blazers, suit trousers, shirts, ties, cardigans, jumpers, grown up shoes and real man bags. Let’s take a look shall we?
You’re going to need three types and in three different materials to achieve maximum versatility. Make sure they have high armholes and slim sleeves to achieve a perfect silhouette without sacrificing movement. Also, aim for a blazer with a structured shoulder, it will seem more work-appropriate.
Make sure you pick up a navy cotton blazer, a grey tweed blazer and a camel corduroy jacket. The great thing about these three jackets is that they will go perfect with just about anything that you have in wardrobe. The navy blazers is a classic that you’ll want to wear all week. On a chilly autumn morning there’s nothing better than a tweed blazer and scarf for your morning commute. And the corduroy jacket, as long as you pick one in thin wales, adds a bit of detail and playfulness to any outfit.
Jumpers & Cardigans
If you’re going to wear one of these to work then you need to make sure it’s the right kind. It needs to be slim cut and with a thin enough gauge to be worn over a shirt and under a jacket if needs be. Please try to avoid crazy patterns and colours, keep them solid and in understated colours to stay office worthy. Again, aim for high armholes and make sure they end at your belt line. With a v-neck jumper, skip the tie to look more put together and when it comes to a cardigan always wear a tie and always leave the bottom two buttons undone.
I would suggest purchasing two jumpers and cardigans, both in navy and grey. Both of these colours can be paired with any other colour imaginable and still look great.
Well first of all, now that you’ve (hopefully) nailed the fit, it’s time to start investing in some shirts. Get your solids down in the beginning – white, light blue and pink should be every man’s standard. Then branch out into bolder colours and patterns, such as a yellow dress shirt, a blue striped or a green gingham shirt.
However, what about if you just want to wear a shirt that day? Losing the jacket means that you’re going to have put more effort in on the shirt guys. Why not try a try a safari shirt with epaulettes, or a patterned shirt in a bold plaid or check? In all cases, the collar should be more dressy than casual. A floppy collar never did anyone any favours.
So there’s your top half sorted out, next week we’ll cover your bottom half and what bag to take to the office.