Some say that to survive in an office you should never wear a business suit more expensive than your superiors. Although, that doesn't tell the whole story. Rather, you should never let your style be tempered by another's inability to dress, especially when they ought to lead by example. But don't take it too far either, for there's a fine line between being dashing and improperly dressed when sporting a suit for business. Here's a quick guide on how to get it right.
Venture Away From Black
Unless you're a secret service officer or a funeral director, try and minimise the amount of black suiting in your business wardrobe. It's a clichéd symbol of the unstylish when worn in the corporate world, so leave it for formal affairs where it belongs. Instead, look to colours to liven up the office. Darker hues will always suit a business suit, like grey and navy blue, especially so when mixed with whites, reds and greens in your accessories.
Your shirt, too, is just as much a part of your outfit as the suit that encases it. And like the suit itself, don't feel confined to banality. Although, try to keep the shirt simple, as it makes allows you to go for pattern in your tie and is easier to match. A Club Collar (as in the above photos) is a great example of a shirt that's different from the norm, and one which will add complexity to your style.
Patterns are an essential element of a good business suit. A Herringbone pattern is appropriate for most occasions, as it ups your style, without breaking the traditional formality of office wear. Stripes, too, are always acceptable, and if you're prone to boldness choose a chalk stripe over the classic pinstripe for a little something more.
Not to be forgotten, checks too can mean business. The Glen check (or Prince of Wales) is perfect for a professional outfit, and suits light and dark greys very well as it allows a slight contrast between the checks. A windowpane check can work too, but is known for its rakish nature. To be safe, stick to neutral colours like grey and navy.
The Three Piece
A three piece business suit is a perfect opportunity to impart some style into your office attire. Despite having fallen a little out of Australian fashion, the three piece is a traditional staple for the European professional, especially in the cooler months. Embrace it, and learn the many benefits of wearing a waistcoat.
Details are paramount to corporate fashion and evidence of the difference between a uniformed worker and a man of style. Your business jacket should always include a pocket square, but with a more professional and understated fold.
And there you have it, a simple guide on how to have your co-workers wondering if you're moonlighting as a sartorialist.