Now that the three piece suit and the tie are becoming endangered in the workplace, more and more businesses are moving to a less formal dress code. Weirdly, casual dress codes can have more nuanced rules than the traditional take on office workwear. You can blame the leaders of tech companies who opted for a pared down wardrobe of t-shirts and trainers, to symbolise the new breed of entrepreneurs. Mark Zuckerburg may have a wardrobe of identical black t-shirts, but you might want to take a little more interest in what you wear.
So how do you pull together a wardrobe that’s casual, but still looks professional? Stick to a restricted colour palette and acquire pieces that work well with everything else. Spend most of your budget on some decent jeans or casual trousers and a couple of pairs of rugged boots or shoes and a jacket or two, then add some t-shirts, relaxed shirts and jumpers. Add interest through pattern, colour and texture, but avoid anything too loud or outré. Labels like Paul Smith or Gant are more suitable than Versace or Cavalli.
You could make an appointment with a personal shopper if you need some guidance on what will suit you, or take a friend whose judgement you trust, if you know you’ll come home with a collection of clothes that don’t work for you. You also need to factor in your body shape, age, position and the culture you work in. Few people want to see a rotund fifty year old CEO in neon animal print Lycra.
Never fear, we’ve picked out a few things that will help you look the business…