It only takes some simple tweaks to bring some interest and style to your work wardrobe.
Swap your plain shirts for patterns
There’s nothing wrong with a plain white dress shirt — they were famously the only style of shirt President Obama wore to cut down the number of decisions he had to make every day — but you’ve got a little more time to spend on your wardrobe than the POTUS, so you can afford to upgrade your workwear with well-considered patterned shirts. Stripes are versatile, checks provide a nice contrast with a patterned tie, or bolder prints like paisley and geometric patterns are certain to make a splash in the office.
Swap your Oxfords for monkstraps
Just like there’s nothing wrong with a plain white dress shirt, there’s nothing wrong with your smart black Oxfords — but you wouldn’t go through life only eating vanilla ice cream without sampling some other flavours, and monk straps are the cookies and cream of formal footwear. The on-trend style — defined by its one or two straps and buckles instead of laces, often in a rich burgundy or oxblood — is a suave step up from more conservative shoe types.
Swap your silk tie for a knitted tie
A bold knit adds a little more flair to your outfit than a plain striped or regimental tie, with its outstanding texture, square tip, and slightly skinny width (usually 2.5 inches compared to 3 or 3.5). In the more formal business environment, stick to solid dark colours like deep shades of blue and red, a simple four-in-hand knot (full or half Windsor is too bulky with the heavier fabric), and consider accessorising with a collar bar beneath the knot.
Swap your backpack for a messenger bag
Let’s get one thing straight: never crumple your suit’s shoulders by wearing a backpack into the office, especially when there’s so many more stylish man bag options out there — a messenger in brown leather or a casual checked print, an over-the-shoulder portfolio or work bag, a no-frills leather or calfskin briefcase in any number of hues, the list goes on.
Swap for plain suit for some accessories
Your suit is a blank canvas for any number of sharp accessories that will make you the style king of your office. Think about dressing up your work wear with a pocket square featuring a colour or pattern that echoes your shirt and tie, an understated lapel pin that suits the office environment, or a restrained narrow tie bar worn between the third and fourth buttons of your shirt.