You may be tempted to splash out on trendy colorful clothing. Don’t. Red trousers are for sailing, not for selling. Unless your business is fashion, stick to pieces in grey, blue, black, camel/tan.
The biggest “mistake” I see is the (to my eye) objectionable burgundy shirt.
Black shirt? Fine. Grey. Yes. Camel? Sometimes. Yellow? If it suits you.Pink? Sure! Blue? Of course. White? Always. Outside of that, dark solid shirts just look cheesy. If you’d like to experiment with color in your shirts, wear patterns. Subtle patterns for work (a lavender dobby cotton shirt and blue knit tie add complimentary textures.)
Larger patterns for play. (See you can wear a golf/tennis shirt.)
It happens all too often, especially around here. You see a guy in a pair of khakis, a button down shirt, maybe wearing a blazer or even a tie. And then you see this:
Not to disparage any particular brand, but shoes of this sort are made for mucking about, not looking good.
Silhouette and style should match your look. Sleek? Traditional? All in the best of repair and polished/brushed. That doesn’t mean you must rely solely on a lace-up derby or oxford. The middle-ground is where the loafer, slip-on, and the boot, shine.
Consider the iconic Cleverly elastic-sided models (a favorite of Churchill’s), the laces are fake. There is also a version without them
Or the suede George loafer for Mr. Porter.
Church’s Beijing Boot…
Lobb’s Romsey II is an elegant desert boot (similar boots to be found from C&J)
And my beloved, but reportedly difficult to wear, Oundle by Edward Green. I love the swept back buckle.
You’ll notice a lot of brown and suede in my choices. They make for a more casual shoe that fits nicely into middle-ground dressing. But I think you’ll agree that any of the above are anything but what you might think of as “casual” and are certainly a …. errrr…. step above the typical moccasin or whatever they call that slip-on thing at the top of the post.
If you are foregoing a tie during these business casual days, it doesn’t mean that you can’t show a little personality in your clothing. Don’t skimp on accessories. Scarves, pocket squares, gloves, briefcases, good luggage, a sleek wallet, simple watch, perfectly suited glasses, the latest tech, a good pen, and an exotic belt can all lend a very discreet level of sophistication and elegance to any business man’s wardrobe.
Just a few suggestions that rely more on the style of things rather than the brand. I certainly can’t afford an IWC watch, for example, but I admire their reserve — simple, very elegant. Feel free to add any accessoriesyou find that are elegant, sleek and perfect for the 21st Century Man.
(N.B. It occurs to me that I tend to match my accessories. All black, all tan, etc. . And I probably do that based on my shoes/outerwear. I find that one “colour-story” is sort of like the dark suit, white shirt rule. Never fail.)