The new year brings a fresh chance to improve your look and climb the corporate ladder. These are Sam’s tips for a tailored and classic back to work look.
Sharp, classic and stock. Navy blue suits are the staple for gents in Melbourne’s corporate scene. Much like a uniform, they look beautiful and are extremely versatile for businessmen. Name any colour combination for shoes and ties, and it’s highly likely a navy suit will provide the perfect canvass. Blue suits are non-offensive - so it’s a good choice if you’re looking to fly under the radar. My tip for a sharpe AF navy suit is to choose a slightly heavier cloth like twill or flannel. The drape will look cleaner and it will be more convincing as a blazer with chinos on casual Friday.
Elegant and Professional. A nice grey or charcoal suit is another staple. Much like navy, it’s highly versatile and lends itself to brown and black effortlessly. In the corporate world, the lighter you go with the grey, the more of a statement the suit. If you’re walking into your first day as a graduate lawyer or accountant it would be best stick to the darker side, initially. Choose a charcoal or navy to test the waters first. However, if you’re a CEO who wants to look like the man in charge a light sharkskin grey is an appropriate choice.
Prince of Wales
One of my favourites. If you’re looking for something a little bit different and not too loud, then the POW check is for you. For the office, the POW works well with navy, grey and charcoal. From a distance the suit colour looks plain, but when you look closer the subtle check is a lovely classic detail. Often the check pattern will combine several colours in threads such as a light blue or red, which provides the great opportunity to match your accessories with.
Bold and Gentlemanly. The notion of pinstripes makes people think of stock brokers, The Wolf of Wallstreet, Gorden Gecko and the Gangsters from the 1920’s from Chicago. The humble pinstripes are popular choice for the corporate big dogs in Melbourne. If you’re trying to climb the ladder and stand out in a ‘business friendly’ way, pinstripes are your best friend. Pinstripes come in all varieties from bold, subtle, thick, thin, wide and so on, so choose carefully. Popular among the larger gents in Melbourne’s corporate scene for the slimming effect. If you’re a little on the heavy side after too much Christmas pudding, a dark fabric with a subtle pinstripe through it will do you more favours than you think.
Tailored Chinos & Versatile Blazers
The casualisation of the work place is an important change in the Melbourne business community. It will allow Melbourne gents to show character and personality beyond a two-piece suit. Try wearing tailored chinos or jeans with a blazer in flannel or tweed with a light check or windowpane. Many offices have a casual Friday, so it’s key to have an arsenal of garments that work separately beyond your suits. A lovely pair of cotton beige chinos with double reverse pleats and adjustable buckles is a killer look for any architect or marketing consultant alike.
White: A white cotton shirt is the staple of every businessman’s wardrobe. Go for french cuffs or buttons depending on your preference. A slightly higher arched, large pointed, cut away or button down collar are all great choices. A beautiful and subtle detail is having your initials monogramed on the left cuff in matching white stitching.
Light Blue: The next most versatile colour for business shirts is light blue. Choose a pale shade and keep things classic with matching blue or mother of pearl buttons. Much like a white shirt, the light blue will work with much any colour you like.
Striped: The striped shirt is one of the most under-rated garments in the business wardrobe. I prefer small and subtle light blue and white stripes. From a distance the shirt will appear to be light blue, however up close it’s clearly not. Choose a buttoned down collar so you can dress the shirt up or down depending on the situation.
Pink: For the real cards out there. A pink shirt is confident and classic. Do NOT choose a bright/loud tone. Keep things simple with a pale shade of pink. Mother of pearl buttons and french cuffs really complete the look. The pink shirt looks best with light grey and dark navy suiting.