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.
Classic-Fit Charcoal Wool Suit Jacket
Classic-Fit Charcoal Suit Trouser
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.
JOHNSTON & MURPHY Hartley Plain Toe
Blue Footbed Heeled Arch Support
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.
BLACK BROWN 1826 Mercerized Cotton Socks
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.
Classic Fit Solid Wool Trouser
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).
Heritage Colorblock Sweater Jacket
Heritage Grey Herringbone Knit 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.
BR Monogram Micro-Stripe Shirt
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).
*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on Femme Frugality and A Disease Called Debt*
Silvia Kabaivanova says
Hey Anne !!
Great share !!
For those days you want a softer, more feminine look, make sure you have a blouse in a lightweight fabric. A neutral color will come in handy when you want to dress up with a statement necklace or when wearing a brightly patterned bottom.If you’re getting ready to start a summer internship, or are preparing for graduation and hoping to land your first corporate job, you’re probably stressing out about the entire world of “workwear.” You might live in denim and T-shirts at school, but even your nice jeans aren’t necessarily cubicle-ready.
Keep sharing !!
That’s quality information about men’s suits not fitting right off the rack for those looking to purchase for them. Getting a season-less, classic cut, was also a nice tip.
June Haywood says
I liked the whole collection. My future husband has few pairs of suits he is an entrepreneur and he has to go for meetings and while running a business you need to wear professional outfit. I will definitely show your collection to him, for sure he will going to like it.
Daisy @ Add Vodka says
All these things are super nice. My husband doesn’t work in an office, so it doesn’t apply to him; this is a bit too dressy for most of the offices I’ve worked in, and I guess it really also depends on the profession/environment.
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Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way says
My husband has some pairs of trousers and long sleeves because they are required to wear a formal attire on their job, but during on Fridays they can wear a semi-formal attire. Btw, I love that Grant Cashmere Blazer!
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No Nonsense Landlord says
There was a time I wore a suit everyday. it was expensive. Dry clean suits, launder shirts, buy new ties a lot. now it’s jeans. I love it and save a lot.
But a suit is needed, just in case.
No Nonsense Landlord recently posted…Multifamily Landlords Are Better Than Single Family Landlords
I’m lucky that I work somewhere where jeans are the standard wear, too!
Mrs. Frugalwoods says
Perfect selections here! We actually had my husband’s one and only suit custom made and tailored from the website Indochino. It ended up being almost the same price as an off-the-rack suit and it was tailored to fit! As you note, fit is everything with a suit and we were very pleased with having his custom made. Highly recommend it! And, we got it in grey 🙂
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SaverSpender has good style sense! We’ve ordered shirts from itailor, but never gone whole hog for a suit. Is that one of the companies that does the measurements for you at a booth, or did you do them yourself? I’m glad to hear that it turned out well.
Mrs. Frugalwoods says
I measured Mr. FW myself. You could go to a tailor and pay them to measure you, but, since we’re super cheap (surprise, surprise), we read Indochino’s tutorial on measuring and it worked just fine. The suit was a bit too big when it arrived, BUT, Indochino provides you with a $75 credit to use at a local tailor. That covered the minor alterations (taking in the pants, and nipping in the jacket). We kind of held our breaths after we ordered it and figured it could very well be a $450 mistake, but, it turned out fabulously and he’s worn it to 5 weddings so far.
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Those are some very nice clothing items for men. When my husband worked in a corporate office we both enjoyed buying new clothes for him. I always love the selection of mens dress shirts. Although I hated ironing them every week.
Sicorra recently posted…When Further Education Leads To Further Debt
We have a rule in our house now that we’re both only allowed to buy Brooks Brother’s no-iron shirts. They are SO WORTH the money for the time savings and the lack of frustration!
Femme @ femmefrugality says
Passing on to the husband!
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DC @ Young Adult Money says
My wardrobe is in serious need of upgrading so this was a good post to gather some ideas. I think the most important thing is to go to a tailor if you are slimmer. Dress clothes are larger than they should be so that they can be sold to a bigger demographic.
DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…How to get a Loan for a Small Business
Nearly universally they can be tailored to look way more awesome. Tailoring included is one of the reasons we like to go to Brooks Brothers… the initial cost is high, but the included tailoring and end result is totally worth it!