Tuesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Have you ever been stymied by what you should wear to the office? Or bored with your current standbys? Or perhaps even found yourself, staring blankly in the closet in the morning, wondering what you should wear?
Dressing for the office does not have to be boring, expensive or complicated. In this article, I will look at simplifying men’s clothing. Last week we looked at the woman’s closet.
The Basic Work Wardrobe: What’s the Dress Code?
I have worked in all sorts of places in the past few years, each with separate dress codes. It ranged from “suits, hose and heels” to “just don’t wear flip flops or spaghetti straps”. This gives a lot of scope for clothing. I find that I aim for the middle now, even though my past five clients were ultra-casual. For men, it is the same sort of issue, although the range of acceptable clothing does not span so many styles. At my current client, the only code for the men is “no offensive t-shirts” and “no ripped or torn clothing”.
Know What You Have
Inventory your closet. Try on everything. If it doesn’t fit, has stains, looks terrible or you haven’t worn it in six months, get rid of it. Look at what’s left. Are there certain colors or styles that run through the clothes? Do you have shirts that need special care that you can’t or won’t provide (dry cleaning, ironing, hand washing)? If so, get rid of them.
Getting the Basics for Men
Not knowing much about men’s clothing, I asked my husband to help me out with this. This is what he suggested:
- Pants: several pairs in basic neutral colors in a classic fit. Even if your office allows it, skip the jeans. Slacks look more professional.
- Shirts: long-sleeved Oxfords or polo shirts in solid colors to coordinate with the pants. Don’t bother with short-sleeved dress shirts, the geek factor is too high.
- Ties: if you are required to wear them, choose a basic variety, but express yourself as much as the context allows. Keep your ties up to date. Get rid of any ties that are more than 10 years old.
My husband swears that every many should have two good pairs of shoes and alternate wearing them. This prevents overwear on the shoes, helps your foot health, and allows the material to breathe between wearing.
Far too often I see men walking around with stained, ripped or wrinkled clothing. If you don’t iron, fine! But don’t buy clothes that require ironing. If your clothing is stained or torn, get rid of it. People notice, even if you think they don’t.
Photo by InfinitelyDigital