I have had the pleasure of working with many corporate companies, with delivering a ‘Guideline’ to How men should present themselves on a Corporate Level. So I wanted to share a little insight to what I think are some key points to work with.
When choosing a suit, look for fabric, fit, and comfort first, then look for style second.
Your fabric should never shine or change colours in different lighting. Fabrics that are appropriate include wool, cotton, linen and various microfibers. Wool is the most versatile of the three, coming in both summer or tropic weight and in a variety of fabric styles.
A suit in shades of black, grey or dark blue, in either a solid colour or with pinstripes is acceptable for formal business-wear. Generally we lean towards a navy blue suit, because it’s going to go with a lot in your wardrobe and a lot of different shirts and solid black can be quite harsh on certain skin tone and colouring. eg someone with fair hair and blue eyes would be more suited to a navy or charcoal suit and black would look too harsh.
Ties should be made of silk or a similar material and can include a colour and print which provide an attractive contrast when viewed against the shirt and blazer. Stay away from loud patterns, cartoon characters and novelty prints.
Choose socks to match the colour of the pants or shoes. They should reach around the height of the calf. Socks made from natural materials will aid in wicking away excess moisture.
Shoes should be somewhat formal and always cleaned with a good shoe polish. When unsure, choose black leather shoes with laces since they can easily go with most styles.
The style of the belt should compliment the material and style of the shoes.
When it comes to shirts, please try and mix it up a little — go bold. Stop going for the safe, white button-down shirt with the standard striped navy blue and red tie.
The sleeves of the shirt and blazer should reach the wrist. Do not roll up shirtsleeves as it can be viewed as informal.
Be a little creative with your wardrobe! Choose different patterns, whether you’re choosing coloured shirts, patterned ties or even better — going pattern with pattern.
But here’s the key: Keep it to two patterns per outfit so neither of the two are distracting or clashing with each other. And keep the patterns more subdued. eg You can have a pinstripe suit, patterned tie and shirt. I have provided some key rules in the handout.
4 Rules For Mixing Shirt & Tie Patterns
You might be a pro at matching your solid-coloured ties with your solid-coloured shirts, but with trends in recent years emphasizing a mix-and-match approach to fashion, how well do you fare at mixing stripes and patterns? And let’s not even get started on dealing with textures.
Fortunately, learning to combine interesting shirts and ties is not as taxing as it sounds. Just stick to a few simple rules and you’ll find that mixing it up has never been easier.
1- Repeat colours in each pattern
In this case, choose your shirt first, carefully noting the dominant colours. When you are ready to pick your tie, choose one with accents that use the same dominant colours from your shirt. This combination of a brown dress shirt and pink silk tie is a perfect example of how to implement this rule. The shirt is dark brown with lighter, more subtle, nutmeg-coloured stripes and, although the background of the tie is pink, the small, brown, paisley art-nouveau print echoes the colour of the shirt.
2- Graduate checks outward
Skilfully combining a checked shirt with a differently checked tie is a quick way to get a quirky look. The rule to follow in this case is to always wear smaller checked prints on your body and larger checks around your neck. Again, make sure you pay attention to colour and choose a shirt and tie in a similar colour palette. Take, for example, this hip combination of a pumpkin-plaid, shirt with a navy-striped silk tie .The shirt has smaller, thinner checks, while the tie has a larger and brighter pattern. As the checks become larger from the shirt to the tie, this is very effective. Just remember to keep your trousers in the same overall colour scheme.
3- Vary weights between patterns
Choosing two patterns of the same size will just look too busy and confusing, so for a cleaner look that’s easier on the eyes, make sure one piece has a chunkier pattern than the other. This classic shirt has thin grey and white stripes, while the silk tie is set on a grey background with slim white stripes, as well as much larger, notice-me blue stripes. The combination works by giving a subdued dress shirt just the right boost with a brighter, bolder striped tie, thereby breaking up the monotony of the shirt.
4- Match smaller patterns with larger ones
You’ll be surprised at the fantastic and elegant combinations you can come up with, even when the tie and shirt have completely different patterns. simply by following this rule. If your shirt has a small pattern, you’ll need to wear a tie with a larger one and vice versa. You don’t even have to worry much about keeping to the same colour family if the shirt is in a neutral colour like black, grey or white, although matching these pieces when the shirt is coloured does make it easier to get it right if you don’t have a particular eye for colour. This lilac dress shirt has very slim, barely noticeable white stripes, meaning that the tie with alternating stripes and multicolour floral embroidery complements rather than overwhelms the delicate pattern of the shirt.