Whether your office is creative or corporate, co-working or corner, here’s a comprehensive list of rules and tips for dressing better.
Menswear is often built around rigid rules and strict codes, nowhere more so than formal wear – but what if you fancy switching things up now and again by adding a dose of personality to your formal looks?
The good news is that the limitations of tailoring and formal dressing are actually strengths; sartorially speaking, a good suit is a blank canvas for you to customise. With that in mind, we’ve put together five different ways to nail the formal dress code for men without looking like you’ve tried too hard. After all, if you look good and feel good, you’ll likely perform better.
The Corporate Look:
The word corporate comes with a lot of responsibility and suggests a uniform stiffness. You may not be able to flaunt your persona on the outside a lot but no one can stop you from playing with what’s layered underneath. This look is all about showing some personal flair without overdoing it. The colour palette – burgundy, charcoal grey, burnt brown, textured black – is quite safe, and comes with a luxe feel too.
While the outfit itself stays fairly muted, you need to make the accessories speak volumes. A lot of significance can be created from the co-ordinating but not directly matching the briefcase and wallet. Try not to match black & brown leathers at the same time.
The Cabin Look:
Being the boss or one from the senior management – part of the C suite with the word chief in your job title and your own office – you need to dress the part. Structured & tailored suits will help you look like you mean business and versatile at the same time. A power suit – with a double-breasted jacket, wide peak lapels, well-constructed shoulder and fully canvassed chest – gives you a commanding V-shaped silhouette eventually making you look like the one in charge.
If you plan to go with a statement checkered pattern, the rest of your look can be more toned down. Avoid putting anything in your pockets as the clean lines of your suit might get interrupted. Carry a smart leather bag in place of a backpack to provide a little more gravity to your look.
The White Collar Look:
Does your office expect you to wear a suit and tie unvaryingly? You don’t need to resort to the wall-to-wall navy and grey tailoring everyday. Add some alternative shades within the parameters of professional respectability or a patterned shirt in a timeless motif – think checks, polka dots, stripes and subtle florals – can instantly add interest and flair to a standard navy or grey suit. While smart button-downs are unconventional, textured materials such as flannel can help introduce character and depth to an otherwise classic look.
The Creative Look:
For the creative minds who usually have the freedom to do what they want & explore all arenas in their field, love to dress up the part as well. No strict dress code often promises confident, fashion-forward dressers reconnoitring their personalities in their dressing sense. But it’s interesting to know that many creatives stick to just one colour – the cliché is all black every day.
The Cahoot Look:
Co-working spaces is the new age definition of networking which is starting to boom with freelance & start-ups taking up a massive percentage in the business arena. You can afford to be slightly bolder with your choice but not too casual or comfortable as you might suddenly meet someone important. Dressing up with versatility in mind can come in handy by incorporating a pop of colour to help distinguish you in a sea of semi-familiar faces. While the default T-shirt & predictable jeans would be a strict no-no, try to go in with smart casual collared checkered shirts with chinos with canvas sneakers.
You might want to ditch the leather bag & bring your favourite backpack out of the junk to stash your laptop and other mobile desk essentials, so you can easily hop on and off public transport or a bike as your diary dictates.