The issue with dressing for a stricter corporate office are the number of rules and fewer options when it comes to #menswear. Yes you can switch off among different weaves and suit colors or patterned shirts along with accouterments like pocket squares, tie bars and bold AF socks — but if you don’t master it you look like a damn idiot. The alternative is wearing the same bland office appropriate looks rather than raising an eyebrow, but life is too short to dress like a corporate drone.
The following are some “fun” basic facts that make upping the ante on your office wardrobe less intimidating. Knowledge is power or something.
Where the hell do you put a tie bar?
It’s easier than you think. Tie bars always go between the third and fourth buttons on your shirt. Also – don’t just clip the bar to your tie, make sure it fastens itself to the placket of your shirt as well. You don’t want your tie flapping in the wind as you run away from your responsibilities.
Complementing your printed shirt with a tie — do’s and don’ts
Do make sure your shirt is lighter than the tie
Do pair the same patterns with contrasting sizes (example: a large gingham tie over a smaller gingham shirt or vice versa)
Don’t combine three or more colors between the shirt and tie
Do pair the same colored solid tie to complement the shirt’s printed background
Do go for contrasting textures of ties (knits are always cool)
Don’t go for a loud tie and shirt. You’re not a clown, no matter what your tax return infers
Know your cuffs
There are three types of cuffs — barrel, French and mitered.
A barrel cuff is probably what you’re wearing right now. They’re the most common and casual, usually adorned with a single button.
French cuffs are the fanciest, and should be accented with cuff links or silk knots (usually included with the shirt). French cuffs are fun because you can go rogue with your cuff links, further personalizing your look but remember to not wear these shirts with a casual blazer.
Mitered cuffs are angled and considered the most modern. Thrilling, I know.
Know your collars and what size spread complements your face
Button-down collar. A collar that is literally, buttoned down. It’s the most traditional of the collars and can be worn with or without a tie.
The standard collar is a forward point collar, and works best with bros that have a rounder face because of the collar’s narrow silhouette. You can wear this with a suit, under a blazer or on its own like the renegade you are.
A spread collar is meant to showcase your tie. The collar points sit further apart, showing off your knot like a prized stallion. If you want to go total douschebag throw in a large, full Windsor knot.
Pocket squares aren’t just for assholes
Want to look casual Friday cool sans tie? Throw on a button-up and navy blazer along with a pocket square. It still looks distinguished without being stuffy. Hell, I even wear them and I’m arguably female. If it’s a silk pocket square it can look crumpled-ish, I usually just stuff mine in there like a stolen hot pocket, or fold them into elegant squares. My former boss folded mine for me and I keep them permanently creased so I never have to do it again because I’m inept. No one will know if you do something similar.