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- Pay attention to what you wear to office because your outfit is a reflection not just of your personality but of how seriously you take your work.
What you wear to office affects the image you project of yourself at work as well as outside.
Still, many employees – even those who hold high-ranking positions – often don’t pay enough attention to how they dress to work. That is a mistake, say experts, because your outfit is a reflection not just of your personality but of how seriously you take your work.
“Wear to work what you would wear for an interview,” suggests Tulika Tripathi, managing director at recruitment firm Michael Page in India.
Here are a few tips on dos and don’ts for men at the office. (Next week, we look at women)
For formal occasions, like business meetings, wear suits.
But it’s not enough to wear anysuit: it has to be a well-fitted suit. Above all, pay attention to the length of your trousers (you don’t want them to fold over your shoes), to the jacket (it should not be wider than your shoulders) and to the length of your sleeves (when you bend your arms, they should not be shorter than your wrists.)
For normal work days, a light-colored shirt with dark trousers works well. Keep a formal jacket in the office to put on in case of a last-minute meeting.
In winter, an alternative to wearing suits is to wear a woolen sweater with a tie, say experts.
If your workplace is more casual – think dress-down Fridays – chinos with shirts or polo shirts are a good option. A kurta may also work, though it should be avoided in more formal corporate environments.
Fabrics: Dress seasonally, stylists say. In the summer, this means sticking to cotton and linen while staying way clear of synthetic fabrics. (If you live somewhere that is always hot, this obviously applies year-round.)
In the winter, woolens are what you should be aiming for. Fabrics like tweed and gabardines, a sturdy twill-woven cloth, work well.
No matter what the season is, never ever wear shiny materials. They are the absolute worst. Stay clear of anything overly patterned or multicolored.
Men who are a little overweight may want to stick to darker hues, which are slimming, and avoid wearing slim-fit trousers.
Shirts and ties: White, cream and light blue are the colors you should be aiming for. Simple patterns like squares are fine, but avoid loud or garish colors.
Ties should be darker than your shirt. Avoid crooked knots and knots that are excessively big. And remember: the office is no place for novelty ties.
Feel free to be more creative with your cufflinks, but don’t go overboard. (The good thing about cufflinks if that they’re too small for most to notice.)
Shoes and accessories: Don’t underestimate the importance of good shoes. Bad shoes can ruin your outfit: no matter how smart your suit is, they can make you look shabby. So it’s worth investing in a couple of pairs of quality leather shoes.
Stick to classic colors – black, brown or tan – and avoid extravagant shapes, and please please stay away from long, pointy shoes. Make sure to keep them clean but don’t go for anything too shiny. And never ever wear light socks with dark shoes.
Accessories matter, too. This is something that office goers often overlook, say experts. A useful tip is to make sure the color of your leather accessories match. So if the shoes are black, your belt should also be black. Belts should be functional, not a fashion statement. So avoid buckles that stand out.
Experimenting: Don’t. Just don’t. Unless you are very comfortable with your fashion sense and work in an informal environment, experimenting with your style at the workplace should be avoided. Save that for afterhours.
Do you have any tips of what men should and shouldn’t wear at the office? Share them in the Comments section.