10 Tips for a Successful Business Wardrobe

This entry was posted on November 16, 2009 under Dressing Guidelines, Rules. Written by:



RHD783N_401_241X2411. Invest in quality tailored clothing that will last. Buy conservative suits and basic trousers that won’t be out of style next season, and use fashion dress shirts and ties to personalize your fashion statement.

2. Find a good tailor and treat him/her well. Proper alterations on suits, trousers and sportcoats are important to your appearance.

3. Be a bit more adventurous when matching shirts and ties. A large patterned necktie will work very well with a small patterned dress shirt, and vice versa. For example, pair a bold paisley tie with a micro-check dress shirt.

4. Make certain that your shoes are shined and appropriate for the rest of your outfit. For example, don’t wear penny loafers with a suit, or cap toe dress shoes with chinos.

5. Make sure your accessories work together. Your belt should match your shoes and your socks should coordinate with your trousers.

6. Make yourself “perspiration proof.” Always wear an undershirt under your dress shirt, and carry a handkerchief to wipe perspiration from your hands or brow.

7. Purchase a small, fold-up umbrella and keep it in your briefcase at all times. Nothing takes the smartness out of a man’s appearance like an unexpected rain shower.

8. Unless you are in a profession where artistic flair is expected, always try to err on the side of dressing too conservatively.

9. Emulate (but do not copy) your boss, or other senior executives at your company, when deciding how to dress.

10. Never wear anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or not yourself.



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6 Comments to “10 Tips for a Successful Business Wardrobe”

  1. Tom says:

    I bet you could sell 10,000 in a month of these if you carried and featured them: White button down dress shirt with French Cuffs. I have mine made this way with collar stays. Best shirt I own, but custom is pricey.

  2. Jason says:

    Thanks for the umbrella tip – It makes a lot of sense. Emulating my boss’s fashion sense on the other hand, doesn’t make much sense… :-) Kohls vs Paul Frederick… hmmm… I’ll choose PF! Thanks for the top 10 Allen.

  3. Nigel says:

    Like Tom, I prefer French cuffs, even with buttondown collars. I think your hidden buttondown collar is probably the way to go with French cuffs. While I’m sure you would sell plenty of white shirts in this style-way, I personally prefer blues, both plain and patterned. The thing is that I still like to wear French cuffs and a pocket handkerchief when not wearing a tie with a suit, especially a double-breasted suit. Of course, I acknowledge that a tab or pin collar is a really sharp way to go with a tie. Even if you have the appropriate facial structure for spread collars, which I don’t, I don’t think they look anywhere near as nice as tab/pin collars. When I used to power dress with nice silk ties I always found that tab/pin collars with half-Windsor knotted ties set me apart from the crowd in a very positive way. I also acknowledge that the absence of a tie when dressing beyond business casual presents a real challenge. Personally I think soft collars work best for a dressy appearance without a tie, and I personally quite like camp collars, so I would like to see some long-sleeve options, including French cuffs, even if only offered as a custom option. I think the range of custom shirting fabric could do with greatly extending, not just the cottons but also to include quality silks and synthetics for evening wear with soft-collar options aimed at those who do not wish to wear a tie. I think that part of the market is still largely untapped by PF.

  4. LauraF says:

    We appreciate your feedback, Tom and Nigel!

    I will make sure that your suggestions are forwarded to our Merchandising department.

  5. Nigel says:

    It is also noteworthy that Cary Grant used to order his shirts with buttondown collars and French cuffs. Of late, I have also seen some Italian shirts teaming a buttondown collar with French cuffs. And as we know, Fred Astaire liked breaking the rules, or maybe conventions would be a better word, as there is no rulebook. But then conventions have always only been a guide that important people and confident dressers have often set aside, and in so doing often setting new conventions.

  6. Caroline says:

    Stands back from the keyboard in azmemaent! Thanks!

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