1. Dress Pants
The right pair of dress pants are an invaluable dressy option. They can be dressed up with a sharp blazer and tie for dressy occasions where you want to give your suit a break, or can be the perfect go-to in more casual offices. They’re also going to give you the ability to transition from the office to your evening plans without skipping much of a beat. It also helps to consider the fabric. The cooler months can stand up to heavier fabrics like heavier wools, tweeds and the like, and then you can transition to lighter wools, blends, and crisp cotton as the temperatures rise. Do remember, though, to keep the look and fit as simple as possible. Don’t get sucked in by pleats, experimental cuffs, or tight fits that might make you feel uncomfortable.
Go-To Look: Dark patterned dress pants, white/blue shirt, navy blazer, burgundy or navy tie.
2. Lightweight Corduroy
This Fall and Winter seasons are the perfect opportunity to increase the texture on your bottom half. With that in mind, we encourage you to take a look at a versatile pair of lightweight cords. Cords are great because they combine a relaxed vibe with the classic utility of a pair of chinos. Whether you dress them down or up, they’re sturdy and warm, and perfect for the colder months of the year. Keep the cut and hem time but not tight, just as you would with your favorite pair of chinos. Rule of thumb: Narrower wales (e.g. the width between the ridges, or cords), the lighter and dressier the pants tend to be. Wider wales? More insulation and weight, plus a more traditional look. Plan accordingly.
Go-To Look: Tan or navy cords, oxford, sweater, pea coat or overcoat
3. Dark Denim
As the war between dressy and casual work environments rages on, there’s one power player that’s still the anchor of your wardrobe: dark denim jeans. Week or weekend, a crisp pair of dark denim is always going to be there for you. By keeping them dark you’re increasing their dressiness and they’ll take to a blazer and a tie just as easily as they will a t-shirt and your favorite sneakers. Whatever vibe you go with, selvedge, with some stretch, indigo, blue or black, just make sure they maintain a comfortable, yet fitted, look. Even though they’re denim, you’re still on the clock (even when you’re off it).
Go-To Look: Indigo selvedge denim, grey patterned blazer, oxford, knit tie
4. Basic Chinos
Is there anything a great pair (or three) of chinos can’t do? Just as versatile and useful as a great pair of denim, a fire chino game is easy to pull off and stylish. Get the big three colors dialed in first (tan, navy, grey) then focus on the next step. When looking for the right fit, keep your body type squarely in mind, while opting for something that fits like your dark denim, but has a taper similar to your dress trousers. Cuff or no cuff, it’s up to you but just make sure the length is proper. Nothing is going to make you look like a corporate drone quicker than an oversized pair that’s too long.
Go-To Look: Navy chinos, grey sweater, print or patterned shirt, blazer or overcoat
5. Bold Chinos
There are times when the corporate blues and greys just aren’t going to cut it, and you want to sport something with a more contemporary hue. Colors like olive, dark green, or burgundy will have you standing out in just the right way and are a super stylish next move when you’ve got the basics mastered. Pair up the colors just as you would more basic hues, and keep things simple, the bolder colors will do all the talking.
Go-To Look: Burgundy chinos, blue and white patterned shirt, grey blazer or sweater
To Sweatpant or Not To Sweatpant?
Tough call these days. They’re definitely everywhere and can be a sweet advanced move to mix up the rotation. But, we say proceed with caution. If you insist on a pair, keep them slim, soft, and reserved strictly for the after hours and weekends. Keep the remainder of the look casual and don’t try to hard. They’re sweatpants afterall.
Go-To Look: Grey patterned sweatpants, white sneakers, simple t-shirt, navy sweater or overcoat