In today’s article we’re going to address a question that many men ask when considering a purchase: “When am I going to wear this?” We’re here to help you get the most out of any Paul Fredrick item you choose. One of the most versatile items you can buy is the always stylish patterned sport coat. An enterprising dresser may certainly be able to create many more outfits than three, but here we’ll be showing you a trio of looks: one for an everyday work style, one for your business casual needs, and one for occasions where you want to impress without over-dressing.
Please note that especially formal offices require the wearing of suits and may look down upon a sport coat pairing in a business dress setting. If that’s your office, disregard this tip. That said, let’s start with our specialty, dress shirts. The usual pattern matching rules still apply, so choose a dress shirt that features a pattern of the opposite size – meaning, if your sport coat has a large or wide pattern like a windowpane, pick a dress shirt with a small pattern like stripes that are close together. This will serve to balance the eye and give your outfit a focal point. In our example, the pattern is a multi-hued check pattern, so it’s best to match it with a solid dress shirt. A basic white dress shirt is a business staple for a reason, so why not make it work to your advantage, then accent it with a solid or larger-patterned tie. As for bottoms, wool pants are always appropriate for professional settings and not only do they look great, they perform great too. You generally want to choose a darker bottom than your top piece because it’s more formal, so navy trousers work best here. Finish the outfit with a polished oxford shoe in brown or black.
Even though Casual Fridays are a chance to be more relaxed with your clothing, don’t fall into the trap of being too casual or you may run the risk of looking sloppy. Especially when it comes to your work, it’s better to be overdressed than under-, so act accordingly. You can follow the guidelines we touched on above for matching your dress shirt and sport coat, but there’s no need for a tie and you can have a little more fun choosing a slightly less traditional shirt. Just avoid any garish combinations and try to keep it relatively simple to avoid visual overload. A sweater vest or cardigan is a refined addition to a business casual look, so pick one in a color that goes with both your shirt and your sport coat – this may mean it is of the same color family or is in a complementary tone. For this particular look we’ve added a light blue sweater in silk, cotton, and cashmere, which is related to the blue in the sport coat. Performance microfiber pants or non-iron chinos are an easy addition that won’t require a great deal of upkeep, and they come in several colors so you’re sure to find the right pair for your look. Here, a navy pair would work, as would a cocoa/brown or even a khaki/tan pair. Loafers or monk straps are still dressy enough for work, but casual compared to other shoe styles; casual also means you have access to a wider array of colors for your footwear.
You might be under the impression that when you’re off the clock, how you’re dressed isn’t important. But your appearance – and especially your clothing choices – will always dictate how you’re perceived and how others treat you. So decide what type of impression you want to give, and make the right decisions to achieve it. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can never relax your dress code; instead, just remember that “casual” does not mean “doesn’t care.” You can look sharp even in laid-back attire like jeans and a sport shirt as long as you style them with panache. Take this sport coat, for instance: you can pair some non-iron chinos with it for a night at the movies or when you’re headed out on a date. We like a sport shirt with a color or colors relating back to the sport coat, with several of the top buttons undone (though only a few) under the open coat for an air of nonchalance. If you’re looking to add a rakish touch, place a pocket square in a complementary hue in the coat’s welt pocket. Depending upon how fancy your event is, anything from dressy sneakers to loafers will work with your look. Simply make sure they’re clear of dirt, dust, or debris before wearing them – nobody likes a dirty shoe!
Now it’s your turn: What are your Business Dress, Casual Friday, and Going Out uniforms?