It’s possible to dress stylishly and comfortably while maintaining a modicum of professionalism.
After all, you don’t want to be mistaken for a lifeguard, who, by the way, is the only person who can get away with wearing shorts and slops to work.
The new, more relaxed code of business casual is symbolized by jeans. Yep, the blue-collar worker’s staple has fought it’s way into the frontline of fashion.That said, you can’t get away with wearing your grungy XXL old-faithfuls. Denim is available in a plethora of washes and fits for a reason. For work you need to go dark and slim and then wear them with the correct attire. (Psst! Go check out this slideshow for a denim primer: http://www.mh.co.za/grooming/style/denim-done-right)
Otherwise if you purchase the following essentials you can’t go wrong: black leather belt, black leather shoes, white shirt, navy blazer, handsome bag and a solid dark tie.
Need some colour? Slip in a layer. Because it’s essentially a jersey that buttons up like a jacket, the cardigan is versatile enough to dress up a T-shirt or add a pop of colour under a suit jacket. The V-neck jersey is also perfect office attire, as the triangle allows the shirt and tie to show. You could also play around with socks, a watch strap or even spectacles.
Remember that your clothes should not only suit your physique and personal sense of style, but also your profession. Some will wear the same uniform day in and day out, while others will dress according to what they’re doing that day, whether it’s an appraisal from the boss, lunch with clients or attending a function after work…
The traveling man: You need to have a wardrobe that’s as versatile as possible. A dark wool suit is great for travel as it won’t wrinkle and the colour helps to hide stains. The pants can serve as stand alone slacks. A black knit tie goes with everything and won’t wrinkle. Black loafers go with everything and can work as business or casual wear, depending on what you pair them with.
The boss: This outfit depends on what type of message you want to convey. Are you a hands-on, open-door, in the trenches style boss, or do you want to crack the whip? If it’s the later then a double-breasted suit looks imposing, with it’s double row of buttons and upward slashing lapels. Wear it with a boldly striped shirt with French cuffs, black wing tips and a watch that costs more than what your minions make in a year.
The creative: Firstly, you don’t need to dress creatively to be creative. However, it will impress the clients. Dark selvedge denim, structured T-shirt devoid of any logos and other bumpf (the only thing that your shirt should have on it is a pocket), and your shoes can be sneakers if they’re pared down and plain. But why not go one better and wear a pair of desert boots or wallabies in an earthy tone. Black framed spectacles should go without saying.
The politician: This depends on who you’re addressing. Disgruntled strikers? Put on your red T-shirt and your beret. Angel investor? Time to bring out those boots made from endangered albino snake skin. However, you’ll be glad to know that your silk pajamas will do just fine…