How To Master Office Dressing (No Matter What Office You Work In)
Chances are, that if you’re reading this, you work in an office. And, if you work in an office, the likelihood is that you need to dress like you work in an office. And, if we know anything about offices at GQ), we know that the way you dress can impact the ebb and flow of your entire working life to a surprising degree.
Dress too casually in an office environment that dictates a strict dress code, and you run the risk of looking like you can’t really be bothered to work there at all. And you’ll probably get sacked. Dress too smartly for your low-key office – an ultra-trendy Dubai creative hub, for instance – and you’ll look like you’re trying way too hard and are a little outdated - which might not get you canned but it’ll definitely drop your cool points.
So, here it is, our foolproof guide to dressing correctly for the workplace, wherever you work.
The stiff law firm
Though the days of red braces and kipper ties may be long gone, if you do happen to work in an environment that dictates an ultra-smart dress code – a law firm for instance, or a big bank – then you most likely need to dress in a traditionally formal way.
The key here is to invest in a series of suits that you can interchange at will (you should be resting your suit for at least a day in between wears, as it is). We would advise one classic navy blue two-piece, a similar style of suit in black, a windowpane or Prince of Wales check three-piece, and a double-breasted charcoal number in flannel. Once you have the basics down pat, it’s all about the accessories. Proper ties, an elegant dress watch, a selection of smart cufflinks to pick from.
The ‘no-ties’ insurance company
If you work in one of those firms (Price Waterhouse Coopers, for instance), which is now a tie-free zone, the way to dress is not to just wear a normal suit and a standard work shirt without a tie. Rather, you should see it as an opportunity to try something for size that is as elegant as it is low-key.
Swap your standard shirt for a granddad one, for instance. Or wear separates in place of a standard suit. Failing that, you could just team your suit with a standard crew-neck sweater or Tee. Or, if you're feeling really brave? A v-neck T-shirt worn with a double breasted suit in a tonal shade.
The laid-back media house
The opportunities, here, are endless. Which means you have to impose rules and certain limitations on yourself to get it right. Though you can go as casual as you like, the reality is that you still need to make a good impression, so don’t eschew tailored stuff altogether. Our advice would be to opt for tailored separates in complementary tones, but to wear them lightly – with sneakers, for instance. Or with chunky, casual sweaters and knitted over-shirts, as opposed to fine gauge pieces and tailored poplin shirts.