Once upon a time, going to the office meant dressing up to the nines to show professionality, status and trustworthiness.
Times have changed, and it is not unusual to see people wear office outfits that twenty years ago would have been considered overly casual. Many workplaces today don't even have a well-defined dress code, but instead rely on employees' common sense when it comes to looking "appropriate" and fitting into company culture, which can be a tricky situation to navigate for both employers and employees.
On one hand, it is tempting to stay as comfortable as possible, given the opportunity. On the other hand, making a good impression on clients, supervisors and business partners is paramount, and looking tasteful and polished is a huge part of that impression.
So what's the best solution? How do we kill two birds with one stone?
Thankfully, there are ways to stay comfortable and look professional. Let's take a look at some basic rules:
1. Always wear a collared shirt
Button-down shirts look great with most menswear outfits and will give you a polished look that you can decide to dress up or down, depending on the circumstances.
2. Don't wear loose-fitting pants
In a workplace where there are no clear dress code guidelines, you can wear dress pants, chinos or even jeans, just make sure that the cut of the pants is not too loose, as it will take away from the style of your look.
The accessories you wear to work don't necessarily have to be formal or very expensive. A quality belt or a leather bracelet can give your look a finished touch while still being laid-back and effortless.
Once you've met the above criteria, feel free to experiment with your outfit. Add colors and prints, wear a collared polo shirt instead of the classic white button-up, change up your footwear, and remember that fashion is not just about function; it is a form of art and a way of self-expression.
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