Are you new to working in the city of London? Have you just got your first job out of university or college and struggling to know what to wear to the office? I've been there and had to work it all out for myself - so here are my tips on what to wear to work so you don't turn up with a Simpsons novelty tie and therefore ruin any promotion opportunities for the next few years!
Invest in a good well tailored suit, it makes a big difference if you invest in something that will last. A cheap suit will wear out quicker and the fabric will not wash as well as a higher quality yarn.
When choosing a suit colour avoid black, as although it may feel like your first day in the office is like a funeral, it is not. Instead opt for more warming, approachable colours such as a navy or grey. You'll find these colours will also be easy to style with different colour ties, shirts & pocket squares.
Have your suits on rotation. It is always best to have 3 suits, rotate so that you avoid wearing out the fabric and for hygiene reasons. I mean wearing the same suit everyday on the tube is bound to kick up a little bit by the end of the week.
Do not iron your suits, or you'll be left with a shiny look to them and when that happens, it is time to get rid.
Keep colours simple and if in doubt you cannot go wrong with white and a variety of different shades of blue. Pattern, check and striped shirts are acceptable, although they are harder to match with ties and better worn with the collar undone. A general rule would be that if you are wearing a check, pattern or striped shirt, then match it with a plain tie.
Join a Shirt Subscription Service, so you are never running low on shirts and keep up to date with new trends and fabrics. Hawkins & Shepherd offer a variety of different Shirt Subscriptions at discounted prices.
Always have a spare shirt and tie in the office. I've lost count of the number of times I've had after work drinks and had to sleep in the office, having a crisp shirt, toothpaste and toothbrush is critical. Or what about that time when you had your yearly appraisal and spilt a whole mug of coffee down your favourite shirt?
Have a Friday shirt, one that has a foot in formal and a foot in casual, so you can keep things professional in the office then let it all hang out (the shirt) after work.
Wear something comfortable as the chances are you'll be doing a lot of walking to and from the office and once you are there walking too and from the coffee machine. In my work photos in this post, I absolutely love these shoes come slippers from Donhall & Bell. My footwear tip would be to have a pair of these in the office to wear around the office and use a more hardier cheaper pair to walk to and from the office. Wearing these powerful, striking shoes you'll stand out for all the right reasons.
If you are wearing leather shoes, it's simple but make sure they are polished regularly or if you are wearing Donhall & Bell suede footwear, invest in a suede brush and give them a brushing every time you have worn them - this will help keep them looking pristine.
Wear a watch. A watch will complete any outfit and they do not need to be expensive. There are many more fashion watch brands out there producing affordable stylish watches. I've recently found this watch brand called Kartel from Scotland and every single one of their watches are modern yet classic but most importantly only around £90.
Do not be afraid to accessorise with socks and pocket squares, although keep things relatively simple and not too over powering. Subtle hints and sartorial touches should be discrete. For example don't wear a bold red tie, red pocket square and red socks - it's too much.
SHOP THE LOOK
Photography by Ella H