It goes with everything and is always respectable. It can also be paired with unusual shirts or trousers for a funkier look in the evening. For the most formal business settings. A second pair of brown leather oxfords or bluchers is also worth having for more casual business wear. They're the navy blazer of the lower body — versatile and functional with almost any look.
And, of course, they can indeed be paired with a navy blazer. Your leathers should always match, and a ratty belt ruins the fanciest suit. But there is a transition point; it just comes at different ages in different men's lives. At some point you go from being a man who's trying different careers, interviewing often, and experimenting with life to someone who's got a path pretty well figured out and plans to keep working at it.
Fashion changes accordingly. Don't break out the walker and Geritol just yet. Being a professional man doesn't mean it's time for tweed jackets and high-waisted stretch pants.
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A little honesty also goes a long way. When your waistline starts to expand and your hairline starts to recede, change your style accordingly. Trying to wear the clothes you wore fifty pounds and a different hair color ago is unlikely to flatter you. Days and evenings off aren't entirely free time for most working men.
The Back To School Shopping Guide For Guys
You never know who you're going to run into, and appearances still matter. Stocking the closet with comfortable casual clothes that actually look good — rather than relying on work jeans and T-shirts — keeps you prepared without having to work at it.
Most men's default wardrobe can use a raise in standards. A pair of jeans or two is fine especially dark, fitted jeans , but you should have just as many cotton slacks, and just as many wool trousers beyond that. A variety of colors keeps you varied as well as dressy. Shirts should get the same treatment.
Once you're past 25 or so there's really no room for T-shirts outside of exercise and physical labor. The majority of your casual shirts should have collars. Your stepping-outside outfits should almost always be something that would look good if you threw a sports jacket on over them. And speaking of that, a professional man's closet needs casual jackets.
Several of them. The tapered shape is going to flatter your body, and by stepping up the formality a notch you're showing everyone that you can afford to dress well for pleasure as well as business. Neon orange corduroys are a young man's indulgence. As you age and settle a bit in life you'll want to tone it down a notch.
That doesn't mean you should stop wearing a variety of colors. In fact, a professional man benefits from a wardrobe made up of many different colors it keeps regular work wear from looking uniform , but the colors shouldn't be the focus of the outfit. Casual clothing doesn't need to stick to the blues and grays of business wear.
Explore shirts, jackets, and even trousers in rich colors like burgundy and forest green, or for a more muted look pastels like pink and sea-foam green. They take even a basic chinos-and-collared-shirt look and turn it into something unique. Sports jackets over collared shirts are a good default outfit, but hardly the sum of a professional's options. Invest in turtlenecks, cardigans, long-sleeved T-shirts, vest, long overcoats, and other pieces that add complexity to your upper body.
Classic Articles of Clothing for All Men
Texture also adds visual depth that gives a simple outfit a little added gravitas. Visible weaves are great in jackets and trousers, as are decorative elements in shoes and belts. You're wearing it for fun, so have some fun shapes in there.
Throw them on over any outfit with a collared shirt and long trousers for an instant upgrade. You're old enough to be paying attention to details, and you should have one of these in the breast pocket any time you wear a jacket. Think of them like you used to think about blue jeans: default pants for every situation, to be dressed up or down as needed. Wearing a tie every time you wear a color shirt is stodgy, but wearing a tie for fun once in a while shows that you're in control of your look.
Every man can use at least one suit in the closet for interviews and business meetings; beyond that use your judgment and focus on buying the kinds of clothes you wear to work regularly. But there are a few rules that work at any level of formality:.
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Don't kid around with the fit of your good business clothes. Get them tailored specifically to you, always, and be honest about the measurements. Counting on losing those ten pounds next month is just kidding yourself. When you do lose the weight, you can have the clothes adjusted. At the professional age the fit of your clothes is a major sign of success or failure. Someone in a slumped suit, or a sports jacket that's too short for his arms, is someone who looks like he can't afford or doesn't care to look better.
Neither one is going to inspire much confidence in your friends and peers. You're better off owning less clothes that fit better than a lot of clothes that fit okay. Prioritize getting everything in your business wardrobe looking sharp and feeling comfortable over adding items to the closet. In business, there's no reason to blend in. If you work for someone else — a boss or an employer — it shows them that you're comfortable where you are and don't plan on advancing. If you're self-employed, it shows clients and business partners that you're getting complacent.
If khakis and an open-collared dress shirt are the norm, alternate casual jackets and neckties as ways of exceeding standards. If everyone's already in suits and ties, invest in good dress shirts and neckties, and make sure you're always sporting a pocket square. Wearing a good suit, or a good pair of slacks with a nice blazer, is only half the battle. The devil is in the details. A professional man needs to strive for professionalism in all of his business clothes, not just the big pieces. Dress shirts should be of good quality and fitted properly around the neck, with no loose collar standing off the skin.
Cuffs should be visible a half-inch or so beyond the end of the jacket sleeve. Pocket squares should be present, bags should always be leather briefcases and not cloth backpacks or messenger bags, and leather and metal accents should always match no silver watches if your blazer has brass buttons, etc.
The difference between a man in a nice suit with no accents or sloppy details and a man in a nice suit with all his smaller accents crisp and in place is a striking one. Once you're getting out of your 20s, it's a difference you should be able to manage every day. When your suit is too formal, wear these with a blazer instead. You'll need one of these at pretty much all ages, in fact. Throw them on over your dress shirt and slacks rather than stopping with just the collared shirt. A similar pair in brown is good for slightly less formal suit-and-tie occasions. If you're not wearing a watch at this age you look a little careless.
By the time you're in your 40s people expect you to take life pretty seriously. You're also getting old enough to start seeing hints of ageism in how people treat you, especially if you're looking for a new job increasingly common as the economy flounders and benefits are slashed. Dressing in your mature years means finding a balance between dignity and stodginess. Timeless styles are increasingly your friend; trend-based fashions that fade in and out less and less so. It's also time to simplify a little, leaving the intricately detailed outfits to younger men and opting for simple elegance whenever possible.
The Forty-Something Man - Style for Dads & older guys
If you don't want to be taken for a fixed-income pensioner, don't give up on your casual style. One of the joys of old age is that you no longer look like you're trying too hard if you wear a suit for fun, or are the only man in a crowd wearing a blazer. You're an old guy. You get to do things like that. Casual suits are one of the underused joys of American menswear. Have a few — in striped seersucker, plaid wool, pastel linen, or anything else that strikes your fancy. When you're not in the mood for a suit, go for slacks and a sports jacket instead. The key thing to avoid is anything that smacks of laziness rather than studied casualness.
Your outfits should look like they took a little thought and work. It's surprising how many great pieces of clothing some men never bother to wear.
Hats, gloves, scarves, cufflinks — these are the refinements that an elder gentleman can use in his everyday wardrobe. A few beloved hats are something every man should own by the time he's If you don't have them yet, work on finding them. Colored leather gloves anything from a sedate burgundy to a stylish yellow are a three-season piece that almost nobody thinks to wear anymore, setting you firmly apart without being anything but the soul of dignity. Smaller accents like French-cuff shirts with casual cufflinks, colored pocket squares, and neck scarves all complete the image of a man with both the time and the skill to out-dress everyone, even on his day off.
The only touches worth avoiding are ones that evoke a specific past era, whether they've come back into style or not — younger men are wearing cravats again, for example, but an elder gentleman wearing one is going to look like an oil painting from the 19th century. Stick to timeless styles. Wear the unusual, the interesting, and occasionally the downright startling when you're on your own time. Got a favorite old tweed jacket?