Remember when dressing for work used to be simple? In a world where every day has become causal Friday at the office, guys have become accustomed to rocking their flip flops, and barely remember how to tie a Windsor knot. I’m not saying that you have to be dressed in a three-piece suit with all of the appropriate accessories. In fact, dressing like
this might work against you depending on the company you work for. Regardless of your workplace the fully put together man, whether he is wearing denim or a suit, is definitely cooler than the rest.
Looks matter, and so does your office style. Let’s take a minute— or five—out of our schedules to clear the lines between appropriate office attire, and the office look that is better suited for your work from home day. Whether you are VPof your division or climbing the ranks, how you dress for the job will leave a lasting impression.
Here a some quick tips to make sure your office style is inline with your career moves.
The Right Fit
The most overlooked way to improve your wardrobe is pretty straightforward and simple. Get the right fit! No matter what your size is, the clothes you wear should have a defined shape thats hugs your body. Notice, I used the word hug and not squeeze. Even if you are a larger guy you do not want your clothes to sag or puff out.
- Trousers should come down far enough to break on your shoes. There shouldn’t be a lot of excess cloth bunching up at the bottom of your trousers. Jeans are different, and can be worn a bit longer because the bunching usually spreads out better.
- Your shirt should fit snug. Check your arm length to make sure that it is long enough to cover your wrist bone when standing with your arms hanging straight down. Another thing to pay attention to is where the shirt sleeve meets the shoulder. The seam should fall nicely on the end of your shoulder and not down toward your bicep.
Pop of Color.
How often do we see a dark colored dress shirt paired with a dark tie? Way too often in my book. Be bold, be bright, and add a pop of color with your shirt and tie combo. A little color never hurts and will liven up the office thanks to you. Don’t be afraid to differentiate yourself from the pack by adding some color.
- I realize that a bright color pop in the tie isn’t for everybody and that’s OK. We all have our personal styles and there are things we just will not do. So if the tie thing does not work for you, go a little bolder with your shirt and pair it with a darker tie. Don’t be afraid to change the solid single-color dress shirt look for the patterned or striped look.
- Experiment with different color khakis in your wardrobe. Keep your staple light or tan khakis ready, but add a deeper brown, charcoal, or olive for the fall and winter months. If you are wearing denim jeans to work try to keep them dark, and well fitted. Save the distressed jeans for the weekday or weekend night out.
Inexpensive, Not Cheap
We are all looking to find a great deal on nice, quality clothes, but do not waste your money on clothes that are made with poor quality fabrics. You know the kind that after one wash or dry clean you can pretty much see the stitching coming apart.
- Try on clothing to see how the fabric lays on your body. Walk around in it, swing your arms, and stretch a little to see how the fabric shifts with your movements. The signs of a thin, cheaply made cloth are when it puffs out, and or shifts around whenever you change positions. Even more visibly the cloth will look saggy, and with the right lighting you will see your undershirt peeking though.
- Pay attention to detail. Look at the buttons, stitching and other fasteners on the clothing, If the buttons are extra loose so that you can wiggle it up and down, or are literally hanging from a thread, this is a sign that this is not a high quality piece of clothing. You want clothes that will last and even look better months after you purchased it.
Daron Pressley (@daronpressley) is an entrepreneur and former Fortune 500 sales and marketing executive who has been featured on outlets including Fox45 News, Black Enterprise magazine, and The Washington Post. Knowledgeable in marketing and branding, Pressley works with professional athletes, organizations, and individuals to develop strategies to create, build, and grow brands. As a speaker, Pressley has reached more than 20,000 students, and provides dynamic insights on leadership and branding via his website: DaronPressley.com