Hopefully, by now your ‘17 is off to a kick-ass start. You’re back at the gym, you’re working on a few new hobbies, maybe playing a little less Counterstrike (ok fine, maybe not), so now let’s move on to some wardrobe upgrades. Specifically, let’s take a hard look at what your office style is doing (or not doing) for you these days. Look, we know staying stylish, keeping within the dress code, and maintaining a simple morning routine is no easy feat, but looking the part is just as important as crushing those meetings.
Sure, dropping some coin for a new suit or two and a couple of new dress shirt and tie combinations doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t have to be as complicated as a whole wardrobe overhaul. That’s right, let’s start small. These few simple upgrades can have a massive impact on your overall style, and hey, who knows, maybe pave the way for that promotion you’re due this year.
Give Your Suit Some Punch
If you’re a suit-every-day sort of guy, by now your rotation is probably looking a bit stale. It’s time to punch it up in the right way. While bold, patterned suits may not be appropriate for a lot of offices, that doesn’t mean you can’t give your standard navys and charcoals a kick where they need it. Achieve this two ways: adding color or pattern. Choose one outlet (the shirt or the tie) and apply an aggressive hit of pattern, like a paisley or plaid. Alternatively, try a fresh new color with some impact, like emerald green or royal blue. Keep the other part of the equation simple (solid shirt or subtle tie) and you’ll ensure the perfect balance. The pops of color and pattern are going to brighten up the darkest of days and add that extra 10% your standard suit rotation needs.
Dress Pants: Your New Office MVP
For those guys not in a suit-every-day situation, we’re endorsing the style and versatility of a well-fitting pair of dress pants as your easy style upgrade. Think of them as chinos 2.0, with an elevated look that can just as stylishly be dressed down. These bad boys can run the full gamut with ease; with a blazer and a tie when you need to be formal, all the way down to with a sweater and a pair of loafers or leather sneakers on your most casual days. Don’t be afraid to push the limits here, the right pair can do it all.
Up Your Blazer Game
We’ve harped on it time and again, but if there’s one versatile, easy wardrobe game-changer, it’s the right blazer. Sure, maybe you’ve dabbled before, but now it’s time to commit. Adding a few into your rotation (particularly one in a sharp plaid) can not only cover your dressy (but non-suited) days but also take an otherwise lackluster casual Friday denim look into the stylish territory that’s deserving of a promotion. Plus, they’re the perfect thing to help you transition into your evening plans as you head out for a post-work drink.
Don’t Neglect The Final 5%
You can have a killer closet and all the right combinations, but if you’re neglecting a few simple details, it can be easily ruined. So, don’t forget that last 5%: proper tailoring, well-pressed suits and shirts, a well-maintained shoe shine, and a clean shave or trimmed beard with a smart haircut. The amount that these small extra steps can detract from your overall look if not properly managed is significant. Plus, you’re better than that.
Overdress To Impress
Who knows what the hell is going on with office dress codes these days. Sure, they’re getting looser and more casual, but in many ways, it’s making it tougher for you to figure out what the hell to wear. In response, we’re going to argue for a bit of overdressing as you approach 2017. Look, we’re not saying wear your shawl tux to the office or a full suit if you’re working at a startup, but a bit of extra effort (a tie or blazer when it’s not required, for example) will go a long way in making you stand out from your baggy-slacked, ill-fitting dress shirted counterparts. Ultimately, we’re encouraging you to look at the dress code not as an “I’ll just do the bare minimum” sort of situation, but rather as a healthy challenge to be your best-dressed self.