When did business suits get so boring?
Every meeting I go to seems to be with the same guy in the same black suit, with the same pale blue shirt and the same non-offensive tie – usually navy and very shiny! Don’t even get me started on the shoes!
Let’s change that shall we?
When I started this blog 5 years ago it was all about ending casual Fridays and taking back the suit – Well, I mean, that was the dream at least! Now, don’t get me wrong, men’s fashion has come a long way and men are definitely putting some ‘pride’ on before they leave the house – No…’pride’ is not the new Calvin Klein cologne. But, it’s not really moving forward very quickly is it? Besides the influx of menswear influencers on Instagram #Dapper #MensStyle #MenswearBlogger (Everyone’s a f*#kin blogger these days). The real men out on the street sure are taking there sweet time stepping up.
I’ve been getting a lot of mails about “Starting a new job and wanting to look the part” lately so decided I would put together this quick post on putting the business back into your suit. Your business suit of course…come on people it’s a play on words!
I’ve decided to take a basic ‘business look’ (dark suit, blue shirt, red tie) and give it a few tweaks to make it more contemporary. Let’s start with the suit. Unless you’re going to a funeral, don’t buy a black suit. Men seem to be obsessed with black suits and I’m not sure why, they’re just so damn boring. At the very least go for a dark navy and make sure it has something that sets it apart like a pattern or texture – preferably both. I decided on this Navy windowpane suit with a textured fabric – Windowpane is the new black so if you’re looking for a new suit, I would definitely go windowpane. This one is off the rack from River Island and won’t cost you more than $250 (so really no excuses).
The pale blue shirt, seems to be the uniform of the white collar man. Does everyone see the irony here? I don’t know if we can change this ( I don’t know if we’re ready), but we can certainly make it better. Again, a little pattern goes a long way, so get something with a stripe or a check. This shirt is actually white with a fine blue check giving the illusion of a pale blue shirt but with the benefit of texture and contrast. Be brave and get a cutaway collar or even a club collar to give your shirt a more modern look, or retro modern look as it were.
Now let’s talk ties. Look at your tie. Is it all nice and shiny? Turn it around. Does it say microfibre on the back or fine silk? Burn it. That’s right, burn it! There are so many more options out there for great ties that we’ve gotta lie those shiny ones down to rest. In fact, you can wear your black suit to the funeral! Heyyyy Yhooo! My recommendation may surprise you, but I’m gonna suggest going for a tie with texture. That’s right, wool, linen, cotton and even raw silk are all good options. I recently bought (yes, I actually bought them, this isn’t sponsored) a heap of ties from The Tie Bar, at $20 a tie you cant go wrong – They even ship to South Africa so basically they’ll ship anywhere. Again not sponsored, I’m just a fan of good cheap ties. Try and keep the pattern on your tie subtle but interesting, it shouldn’t fight with everything else in your look. This burgundy tie has a slight polka dot which contrasts well with the suit and shirt. One last thing, stop with the skinny ties guys, it’s not the 80’s anymore, it’s not even the 80’s revival anymore.
Last but not least, shoes. I mean, shoes is a blog post on its own but we don’t have the time. If it has a square toe, let it go. Ooooo…that’s a new slogan. “If it has a square toe let it go”. Don’t be afraid of shoes without laces, I promise they won’t fall off your feet. Go for a tasselled loafer or even a double monk strap and it will change your look completely. I’m wearing a pair of dark burgundy loafers to pick on the colour in the tie and pocket square. No, I haven’t forgotten about the pocket square, but I don’t want to be pushy. It’s not something you need to have and it’s not always necessary if you have something that compliments (not matches) your shirt and tie, then go for it.
That’s pretty much it. I guarantee that if you walk into your next meeting looking like that, you’ll get the deal…or that intern from marketing but either way you’ll have a great day.
Now go out and spread the word, everyone!!! If you know someone who you think should read this post, please pass it on! I’ve linked to all the items in this outfit above – where I couldnt find the exact item (like shirts and shoes) I’ve linked to something very similar.
If you need help on getting your pattern mixing right, you can read my tips and tricks here.
Okay. Stay fancy.