Let your outfit work for you
If you work in an office, the likelihood is that you need to look like you work in an office. The way you dress can impact the ebb and flow of your entire working life to a surprising degree. Dress too casually in an environment that dictates a strict dress code, and you run the risk of looking like you’re not interested in being there at all. Dress too elegantly for your low-key office and you’ll look as if you’re trying to upstage co-workers. Here is our guide to dressing appropriately, wherever you work.
Formal Law Firm
Though the days of suspenders and novelty ties may be long gone, if you do happen to work in an environment that dictates an ultra-smart dress code—a law firm or a big city bank, for instance—then you most likely need to dress in a traditionally formal way.
The key here is to invest in a series of suits that you can interchange at will. We suggest a classic navy two-piece, a similar style in black, a windowpane or Prince of Wales check three-piece and a double-breasted charcoal number in flannel.
Once you have the basics down, it’s all about the accessories: proper ties, an elegant dress watch, a selection of smart cufflinks and a dress belt.
Contemporary Management Company
If you work in one of these firms (Price Waterhouse Coopers, for instance), which is now a tie-free zone, the way to dress is not to just wear a normal suit and a standard work shirt without a tie. Rather, you should see it as an opportunity to try something on for size that is as elegant as it is low-key.
Swap your standard shirt for a mandarin-collared garment or wear separates in place of a standard suit. Failing that, you could team your suit with a standard crew-neck sweater or T-shirt. Feeling brave? Try a V-neck T-shirt worn with a double-breasted suit in a tonal shade.
Creative Marketing Agency
The opportunities here are endless, but you have to impose rules and certain limitations on yourself to get it right. Though you can go as casual as you like, the reality is that you still need to make a good impression so don’t avoid tailored clothing altogether.
Our advice would be to opt for tailored separates in complementary tones. Wear them lightly (with sneakers, for instance) or with chunky, casual sweaters and knitted over-shirts (as opposed to fine gauge pieces and tailored poplin shirts).