How Men Should Dress For Corporate Success

Although it may seem like the world of commerce has moved to digital platforms lock, stock, and barrel, that isn’t really the case, and corporate culture in an office environment is still very much alive and well. Despite seeing tech giant gurus strutting around in turtlenecks, men pursuing a serious career in the classic business environment still need to dress for success. The garb of the male business professional hasn’t changed much over the years, but we will offer a refresher course today for those who need to know how to look their best to impress!

Shirt – Classic, conservative business shirts have barely changed at all in decades, and that is because they are so good at what they do, which is to look clean and professional. The basic pattern is a collar that can either be button-down or not, buttons all the way down the front which must be more than long enough to safely fit into the trousers without any chance of pulling up in the back and revealing skin while seated, a chest pocket over the left breast, or no pocket, and made of a smooth, wrinkle resistant fabric that doesn’t show perspiration and can breathe beneath its accompanying suit jacket. The cuffs can be single plate or double French style and should be kept buttoned closed around the wrist.

The colours should be light; white, light blues, greys, or even very soft greens, while bold colours like bright red should be avoided. If there are patterns or stripes they should absolutely be subtle, no loud zig-zags or big polka dots! When in doubt, it’s best to aim even plainer than you think you need to.

Necktie – Some brighter colours and patterns are allowed here, but never anything too wild. Learn to tie a Windsor knot!

Suit – The time-honoured uniform of the corporate world, the suit is the centrepiece of your business wardrobe. While there has been some experimentation over the decades, like the now humorous excesses of the 1970s, the 21st-century suit is nearly identical to those worn in the 1950s and shows little sign of changing. There are basically two pieces, the jacket and the trousers, with a vest as an option- while never out of style, vests have fallen out of common use, so one can easily do without one.

The entire ensemble must be made of the same fabric of an identical colour. The jacket can be single-breasted or double-breasted with buttons that match the fabric colour. The trousers must have a sharp crease down the legs, two non-flapped front pockets, and at least one back pocket. The colours should be dark and very conservative, and the best choice is always grey, with black being reserved for the utmost formal occasions, and white being the domain of fried chicken salesmen.

Shoes – There is only one material here, and that is leather, and it should be polished to a gleaming shine. The shoe should be of a very formal, laced design, no cute penny slots or moccasin fringe allowed. Black, dark brown, or deep cordovan, never wear light colours.

We hope this inspires you to suit up, a great wardrobe is your best tool for success!

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