If you work in a professional environment like Law or Banking, than you’re likely to be held to a “Business” dress code. The rules are pretty well established already:
- Dark Suit
- Blue or White Shirt
So, how do you wear business clothes and still keep from looking boring or stuffy?
Make sure your suit and shirt fit impeccably, and add personality through accessories.
What was the first suit you ever bought? When I first heard that I needed “dark suit for interviews”, I immediately bought the darkest thing I could find: black. This isn’t wrong per se, but it will vastly limit your options. Instead opt for a Navy or Charcoal version with two buttons and a notch lapel; these can be worn with black or brown leather and will adapt more readily to your evolving style requirements.
For best fit, tailor your shirt, but if you just can’t be bothered opt for the slim or tailored version. I mentioned that the business dress code typically requires white or blue shirts only, but you’ll notice that I’ve included a gingham option for Friday. Most environments are more casual on Fridays, and you should take advantage of casual days to shake things up a bit and keep them from going stale. Dig in more on this with the Essentials guide to dress shirts, and Essentials: Blue Shirts.
Time is money. And this is a business suit after all. Pair it off with a minimalist watch in Bauhaus style. I love automatic watches for their history, but quartz keeps time so much more accurately.
Leather. Good leather. Full grain leather. Black or brown, but it should correlate with your shoes; brown with brown — black with black. Also, a dressier belt is thinner, so keep this one thinner than 1.5 inches or so.
High quality. Comfortable. And keep them shiny. As I mentioned above, correlate your colors with your belt; they should go together, but don’t need to match outright. For a business dress code, I’d choose a balmoral in a classic wingtip or cap toe. Check out the Essentials guide to dress shoes for more ideas.
Inject your personality with a guerrilla attack of colorful accessories
You may work for the man, and be proud of it, but that doesn’t mean you have to dress like everyone else. Use colorful accessories to put your own spin on things. And don’t be afraid of a little pink, some wild socks or a great bow tie, if they call to you.