5 Easy & Inexpensive Ensembles For The Workplace | Part 1: Attire
[ Part 1: Attire | Part 2: Shoes | Part 3: Accessories ]
Over the next three Tuesdays, Gear Patrol plans to bring you ensembles for the workplace that are sharp, inexpensive and easy to find – starting with attire. 5 Jobs. 5 Ensembles. Real Prices.
We read the magazines too, so we know how irritating it is that a fashion director somewhere in New York thinks he (or worse, she) honestly believes you’re willing to purchase $1500 suits, $300 shirts, $150 ties, $300 shoes, $30 socks, $200 belts, $350 wallets, and still have money left over for rent. Sure, a few marquee pieces in your wardrobe are worthwhile and we’ll deliver those to you in time, but lets talk about real money in real life. Whether you earn $50k, $100k or $200k here are five simple ensembles, by job, that won’t incinerate your paycheck, unlike that last trip to Vegas. Read on.
Finance, Law, Banking, Management (Suitless)
Editor’s Tip: Not wearing a jacket gives you a little more room to express yourself, but you’re not a dandy so dress with smooth, modern-fit attire. FYI, a gray pant will carry you through three seasons. Don’t cheap out. Try other patterns besides vertical stripes. We’re willing to bet you’ll be surprised at how well you frame up in a Prince Of Wales Check shirt like this. During the summer months, try and unbutton that top button while keeping your tie knot relatively close. It’ll give you breathing room and a touch of put-together casualness.
Finance, Law, Banking, Management (Suited)
Express Design Studio Suit Ensemble: Light Stretch Wool Jacket [$198], Stretch Wool Producer Pant [$88], 1MX Solid Shirt [$49], Narrow Silk Tie [$40], Optional: Matching Wool Vest [$88]. Total: $287 w/o vest.
Editor’s Tip: One black suit is the modern essential suit for men who choose to keep their suiting simple. It will take you from work to wedding to interview and never miss a beat. The key is making sure it’s tailored well. A $300 well-fitting suit can outlook a $1000 ill-fitting ensemble anyday. Notice how everyone else in your office is wearing shirts that look like they all came off the same assembly line? Well, match a crisp white shirt, modern silk tie and suddenly you’re the sharpest man in the room/office/club. Feeling a bit adventerous? Match it with a vest.
Post College Entry Level
Editor’s Tip: The key here is to avoid looking slouchy at all costs. Your belt shouldn’t have dents and folds in it, your pants should fit well (no bagginess), get it altered if you have to. And your shirt must be ironed or pressed. No one expects you to wear power suits right out of college. If you do, then trust us, your lack of experience will shine through twice as much. We endorse sharp dress, but dressing like your boss’s boss isn’t really as smart as the movies hype it up to be.
New Media, Technology, Startup
Editor’s Tip: At this point, you’ve probably got a couple of decent looking polos. If not, then make sure you purchase slim fit polos that fit your biceps properly. Too tight and you look like you’re trying. Too loose and you look dumpy. When trying polos on slide your thumb between the shirt and your bicep and make sure there’s just a little give. If you work in a jeans-approved office then do yourself a favor and make sure they fit properly. No slack at the bottom, one crease above the ankle, no unnecessary fraying and stick with darker washes.
Advertising, Agency, Media
Zachary Prell Alan Shirt [$175], Banana Republic Straight Window-Box Plaid Pant [$69], Nautica Leather Belt, not shown, [$25], Perry Ellis Madison Leather Messenger Bag [$110]. Total: $269 w/o messenger.
Editor’s Tip: Take this unique advice from one of our editors that works in advertising – spend a little more on the shirt than you would normally. Your coworkers (and women) tend to notice the quality and fit of your shirt very quickly. Again, make sure it fits well, has a tailored fit and pairs with or without a tie to give it some versatility. Barrel or French Cuffs are great if you want to lengthen the appearance of your arm, but make sure you get appropriate sleeve lengths. Just like a good relationship, the less baggage the better. We couldn’t help including the messenger bag for this one.
Bonus: Home Office
If you work from home then you, good sir, have the luxury of wearing whatever the hell you want. Gym shorts? Approved. Boxers only? Approved. In bed with your significant other delivering you breakfast in nothing but one of the aforementioned dress shirts? Definitely approved.
Next Week: Shoes