We all get caught up in the daily grind. Wake up, coffee, work, lunch, work, a drink or two, and then back to bed to repeat the cycle ad infinitum. It’s easy, with repetition, to lose sight of the creative ways we can express ourselves in the workplace. No one wants to be known as a slob, and I doubt many of our readers are interested in simply meeting the basic requirements of an office dress code. As quick as it is to throw on the same color shirt every day, or to wear your gym watch to work because it’s easier, just a few minor adjustments to your day-to-day wardrobe can help you stand out. For example, instead of a pair of sneakers on casual Friday, consider investing in an inexpensive pair of leather boots.
Workplaces vary greatly by attitude. Yours may require a strict, ultra-professional dress code (think tailored suits and shoes imported from Italy), or it may be the kind of place that has a keg in the cafeteria and a more relaxed attitude.
We put together a list of a few small changes you can make to your routine to put together a consistent look that would make Matthew McConoughey proud, and we even organized it for you based on the work environment you’re in.
1.) FOR A CASUAL WORKPLACE
Think commercial bank, insurance office, corporate office for a mid-major pharma company.
The Extra Mile:
Although casual-attire workplaces might not have the same reputation for fashion prestige as more appearance-oriented spaces, working in one can be more of a blessing than a curse. You have a wider range of options at lower cost, with the added bonus of any standout wardrobe decisions being even more noticeable relative to your peers.
Try these options to up your game:
Uniqlo Stretch Slim-Fit Shirt: $30
As recommended by GQ, Uniqlo’s run of slim button-downs are snazzy enough to be versatile while still maintaining a professional appearance. Switching up your plain white shirt and using polka dots, stripes, or tasteful repeating designs is a fun way to experiment with your style without getting too crazy.
Weekday Sunday Bedford Trousers: $40
From Fashion Beans’ “Best Menswear Pieces to Buy Right Now”, these trousers by Weekday are the right mixture of casual comfort and implied responsibility for the casual office. Built to be worn with everything from t-shirts to button-ups to coats and jackets, they’re sure to set you apart.
Target Goodfellow and Co. Wool Overcoat Jacket $80
Dappered raves about Target’s in-house Goodfellow and Co. brand and this jacket is no exception to their reputation for affordable quality. Walking into work with a good-looking, thought out jacket as opposed to an old gym hoodie sets the tone for the rest of the day and lets your coworkers know that your attitude is in the right place.
2.) FOR THE EXECUTIVE WORKSPACE
Think investment bank, auditing firm, or financial consulting firm.
The Extra Mile:
By and large, people here dress well, more often than not due simply to the dress code. Take it a step beyond what’s required and make some subtle additions to your wardrobe. It could be the difference between a lateral move and a promotion!
Give these styles a shot:
MP Massimo Piombo Classic Wool Blazer $727
GQ has a lot of faith in this blazer, and for good reason. With a unique yet classic design and a contemporary flair, this blazer makes a great addition to an ensemble designed to turn heads without arrogance. If you’re looking for the final touch to “tie” the look together, consider the Gieves and Hawkes Wool Tonal Herringbone Tie ($62).
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero $6,700
According to Esquire, the El Primero is a once-forgotten forerunner to many of the most famous watch brands we all take for granted today, and a great step up from the watch your grandmother gave you when you turned 18. A subtle touch, but a watch with history doubles as both a great conversation piece and a testament to your worldliness.
Mr. Porter Le Gramme White Gold Ring $425
The muted swagger that comes with certain men’s jewelry is well worth the investment. Once again, Esquire pointed us in the right direction for this one: a simple silver ring that accomplishes a polished, suave, and refined look without looking like you care too much.
3.) FOR THE STARTUP ENVIRONMENT
Think marketing firms, software development companies, and tech incubators.
The Extra Mile:
A hallmark of millennial work culture, the style of workplace made popular by Silicon Valley tech companies like Facebook and Google has trickled down and become a common trope of workspaces the world over. Typically much more laid-back than other work environments, it’s even more important with less guidance to hold yourself to a high standard of appearance.
Let’s put you on game:
Match Men’s Chino Jogger Pants $18
If you’re like a lot of the upcoming millennial workforce, you don’t want to be too traditional in your attire. Men’s Health brought our attention to these joggers, the perfect foil to typical khaki slacks. With a traditional color scheme but a contemporary fit, these pants are perfect for a day in the office or a long lunch break.
adidas NMD R1 PK $180
Sneakers aren’t reserved for Saturdays and the beach anymore. Recently released, this white-on-white adidas colorway with a sporty but low-key design is the perfect meeting of class and relaxation. Replace your desert boots or leather shoes with this comfortable and light alternative. SneakerNews stays on top of new releases around the clock.
The Idle Man Camo Light Weight Festival Mac Green $45
Camo is back in style, and the designers at The Idle Man are well aware. Camo is a versatile colorway that goes with practically anything, and has gained a reputation for interesting, hip fashion which will be sure to turn heads in the office.
And regardless of what you do to up your game, you'll want to have Ignite along in your briefcase or satchel to help you keep your cool throughout your day.