This week we are looking at new graduate office wardrobe staples for men, last week we covered wardrobe staples for women.
Buying a suit for men these days is relatively easy if you follow these rules: Single-button blazer, single-breasted with flat front pants. That’s about it, because if you avoid double-breasted suits and pleated pants, you won’t look dated in the slightest. The best colour for a beginning suit? Dark grey. It’s dark enough to be close to black without being black (too funeral-like), and navy is a good option as your second suit, if you need to buy more than one suit to wear to work.
Look for a season-less wool and go for a classic cut (nothing too fancy or trendy like very tapered pants) and be sure to take it in to a tailor immediately to get it to fit to your body perfectly because generally speaking, men’s suits never fit as they should off the rack.
2 pairs of Dress Shoes
You need at least two pairs of dress shoes for two good reasons, the first reason being that if your first pair gets ruined or is too scuffed up to look presentable, you have a second, polished pair ready to go in the morning without having to spend 10 minutes buffing it, and the second reason is that you should alternate shoes each day as not to create athlete’s foot by wearing the same pair day in and day out.
A nice pair of leather shoes in brown and black or perhaps the same colour – both brown or both black but with slightly different details on each is the way to go.
For the ultimate comfort in dress shoes, buy a pair of Birkenstock cork dress insoles and put them in your shoes; they will become the most comfortable pair of shoes you own in your wardrobe, particularly if you are on your feet 8 hours a day or more, 5 days a week.
To go with those dress shoes, please don’t think that you can wear normal socks and get away with it; buy a few proper pairs of trouser or dress socks that match your dress shoes and you will be immensely relieved when it comes time to go to a company outing and you will be able to sit down and let your pant legs ride up without fear.
You should have at least one really nice tie in your wardrobe even if you don’t wear ties to work, you just never know when you might have to don a tie. A safe colour in a tie is always blue and if you want more than one, choose any other colour but black or white as it may give off waiter-ish vibes.
Just one belt is all you need, as long as it matches your shoes either in a black or a brown leather, or buy a reversible black/brown one and have both colours!
This is summer’s answer to the business casual dilemma everyone seems to go through. A polo shirt is slightly dressier than a t-shirt but not as formal as a button-up shirt. It’s also a good way to look a little more put-together. Some good colours to buy in a polo shirt are white and blues.
Teaming up with the polo shirt, are trousers to round everything off as a business casual look and they can come in any variety of fabrics, not necessarily in a stodgy wool if you aren’t in a more formal environment.
Sports coat / blazer
This sport coat is something you can throw on over a polo shirt and a pair of trousers and not feel like you are underdressed (think: t-shirt and jeans), or overdressed (think: white button-up with trousers and a blazer).
A sweater is a more casual you can wear over your shirts without having to don a blazer or a sport coat, and it can double as another layer in case it gets chilly.
2 Button up shirts
Even if you wear mostly polo shirts to work, having at least two button-up shirts will help ensure you aren’t caught off guard when it comes time to dress up slightly and give a more formal presentation. If you don’t wear polo shirts to work, then stock up on more button up shirts.
With any luck you won’t need to replace your work wardrobe after you’ve purchased it for at least 3-5 years depending on how hard you are on your clothes and what quality you purchase (e.g. polyester versus more natural fabrics like cotton).