A dark suit, white shirt and tie used to be all that men needed to wear for work. Nowadays, to gain an advantage you need your work attire to work just as hard as you do to get you up the ladder and pay-scale. Clock in for some wardrobe advice that will help you stand out from the monotone crowd and win the respect of your colleagues and bosses.
Whether you’re a teacher, an architect or an IT consultant, presenting yourself in a way that inspires confidence in your ability, whilst still injecting a dash of personality, can all be expressed through the clothes you wear.
Some professions, it’s fair to say, have retained their sense of tradition. You’re unlikely to find a high-powered barrister in anything less than a tailored suit. Why? Because lawyers are in a position of trust, so they need to convey a strong sense of capability and professionalism at all times. However, for the vast majority of other work environments, it’s fair to say that the collars have been well and truly loosened on business attire for men.
When we think of bankers, a formal suit is, without question, the dress code of choice for any financial whizz. Although the dress code in the banking and City districts of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) may not be as buttoned down as the three-piece London brigade, a smart suit, shirt and tie are still expected.
Ralph Lauren slim-fit khaki chinos with a Hackett leather belt
But “Dress down Thursday” is now more commonplace than you’d think, giving you the opportunity to try out something different at the end of the week. Swap your suit for a lightweight blazer; a button-down shirt or button-up shirt and textured tie; slim-fit cotton khaki trousers or chinos paired with leather brogues, loafers or derby shoes.
Hackett checkered blazer with oxford button-down shirt and polka-dot pocket square
Flexing your business casual muscle can really make you stand out from the crowd in consultancy roles, such as in marketing or recruitment. Take the opportunity to exert your charisma and personality – whether you’re in the office or out and about meeting clients. Remember that fit and feel are everything and, just because permission has been granted to relax a little, that doesn’t mean you should go too far the other way.
Reiss blazer with a white Hackett button-down shirt with button-tab lining
If you’re a consultant in the business or finance sectors, then it’s essential to maintain a certain amount of ‘dress down’ decorum. Play it safe with slim fit trousers and an open collared dress shirt and you won’t go too far wrong. Or try a lightweight blazer accessorised with a bright pocket square to go with fitted jeans or chinos. If a blazer is still too close to a suit for you, then try a polo or casual shirt with chinos and loafers.
Scotch&Soda slim-fit chinos, Hacket leather belt and Van Gils derby shoes
As a lawyer, you’re expected to be suited and booted. But a brightly coloured silk tie can inject new life into a suit and often makes for a memorable impression. Why not perk up your feet too with some coloured socks? ‘Happy socks’, as we call them, can make all the difference to the look and feel of a suit. After all, it’s the head and feet that people notice first.
Reiss formal trousers with ox-blood Van Gils oxford shoes
A pair of fuchsia or scarlet socks can be quite disarming, revealing a flash of colour when they appear at the base of a pinstripe trouser leg! Plus, it makes the shoes you choose all the more fun to wear. As accessories go, the general rule is to set the bar high using quality materials, combined with subtlety of colour and pattern, which will go much further than just attracting attention.
Reiss knitted tie with a Hackett slim-fit cotton blazer
Dressing for your profession doesn’t have to mean looking the same as everyone else either. If you’re a marketer, a media executive or work in IT, then you may not be expected to follow quite the same dress code rules as most other office workers.
Diesel patterned t-shirt with a jersey Scotch&Soda blazer
So, you can afford to experiment just that little bit more. Interesting colours, patterns and combinations can provide a welcome, yet stylish, break from the norm. Being known for style and flair can not only direct positive attention and interest towards you personally but also to the skills and professionalism that you bring to your job or career.
Diesel waykee jeans
As a software engineer, UX designer or banking app developer for the financial industries, your employer may be much more open-minded in their dress code expectations. Although we wouldn’t advise shorts and flip flops; polo shirts, smart T-shirts, dapper jeans and a lightweight jacket or blazer will definitely hit the spot. Contrast casual items with formal wardrobe choices. For example: skinny fit trousers with trainers. Or a T-shirt/polo layered beneath a lightweight/casual blazer.
Diesel denim button down with Reiss crew-neck cotton t-shirt
One tip on what to wear is to look at images associated with some of these newer companies. If you’re faced with a site full of people in suits, then that’s probably what they will expect you to wear. But, if not, go for it and splash out on distinctive new styles and pick out a more futuristic and laidback look?
Diesel black jeans with Diesel sneakers and Tommy Hilfiger jacket
The man you are needs to be represented by your work attire, which also needs to conform to a set dress code – if there is one. For example, if you’re a teacher then what you wear should support and complement the more formal aspects of your job. But not at the expense of your sense of fun and frivolity as you want to remain approachable to your classroom.
Here we have an example of a shawl cardigan that smartens up your look for parent meetings but is more comfortable and agile than a blazer so you can still work the classroom.
Diesel thavar jeans with J-Shoes derbies
No matter what your career or working life might involve, there are plenty of opportunities to inject some business casual creativity here and there. Take this colourful chequered shirt for example that contrasts off the shawl cardigan just perfectly!
Fred Perry checkered cotton button-down shirt paired with a Ralph Lauren cardigan
Dark denim jeans that are well fitted but not too tight always smarten up a look whilst still keeping you comfortable. If chasing kids around the classroom is ever required then this pair of lace-up Derbies will make you feel like you're moving around in a pair of trainers.
Mr. Draper is at your service
At Mr. Draper, we’re always one step ahead of the game and have just the thing to suit you – no matter where you work or what your career might be. With a wide range of selections available to try, our expert stylists will kit you out with a wardrobe that fully expresses your profession and personality. Whether it’s for a start-up venture, or a more traditional company, Mr.Draper is here to help you select the clothing that best showcases you and your skills.
Ready to get started? All you have to do is share your style preferences, sizes and budget with us and we’ll take care of the rest. Our talented personal shoppers will take your brief and compile a personalised set of outfits that are hand-picked to best match you and your individual style. This is the ultimate in #Manshopping. Just sit back, relax and let us do all the hard work.
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