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Guide to Business Attire

Dress Shirts

Diversify your holdings, as even mediocre clothiers stock nonwhite shirts in a host of stripes and patterns. Don the spectrum, closeting several shades of blue, ecru and other earth tones with smart designs. Expand your hues variants of lemon, lime, and lilac to brighten warmer months. Unlike the monsignor, vary your collar styles- the button-down collar is the least formal, and the surest way to downplay an otherwise dressy outfit. Both point and spread collars accentuate broad shoulders and allow ties room to aunt their patterns and dimples. Tab collars provide a closer fit and confidently showcase a gentleman's tie. Wait until you've been complimented on your dress before venturing into contrasting collars or rounded French styles requiring a collar pin. Short sleeves with a tie demonstrates kinship with door-to-door vacuum salesmen. Incidentally, once you've accrued a few pairs of classic studs and cuff links, slip French-cuffed attire into workday ensembles.


Select a versatile medley of all-season suits for office and after hours. Every business professional's closet includes the old IBM mandated classic corporate blue suit and several dark-gray or black styles. Beyond color, match button style and subtle pipping with body type and appearance. Chestnut or olive suits agree with darker features; three-button or four-button models allow for more expression and perfect for taller individuals. Buttoning only the bottom button of the dressier double-breasted suit elongates lines and favors the shorter man. Buttoning the middle or waist button balances the height of a tall man and accentuates build. Piping and texture break up the banal and offer clues to tie and shirt selection. Always hang suits after use to breathe and unwrinkle; if done faithfully pressing and dry cleaning are but a rare occurrence. Pressing a suit without dry cleaning is verboten. Always pairing the same shirt and tie makes he closet compact. Maximize combinations and look for new groupings that turn a small collection of professional garments into a well-stocked walk-in closet.

Business Overcoats

The traditional raincoat (tan or olive green) never goes out of style. Unless you are an Inspector Gadget fan, don't actually tie the belt around your waist. Instead, loop it around back, clasp together, and allow it to hang harmlessly. When the arctic cold front hits, wear a calf-length black or navy wool overcoat and a stylish muffler.


Rugged leather bands are for everyday, handsome metal bands for evening wear. Digital watches are for triathletes on the go; magazine subscription thank-you models, for the junk drawer unless you frequently take part in sports. If so inclined, carry a pocket watch to keep forearm unencumbered by weight or tan lines. Tucked away, a pocket watch protects against passerby questions of the time; it also leaves the liberty ask a lady for her time. Incidentally, don't have a fine watch repaired by an establishment that also features a barber pole, cobbler corner, or key-copying booth. Trust a jeweler instead

Pocket Squares

A white-cotton handkerchief elevates style and costs next nothing. Finish dressing-don't neglect a bare breast pocket or worse. stuff a hard pack of smokes. This is not a bow tie-cummerbund set: the best pocket squares complement but don't match exactly. Contrast texture and tone: muted linen squares with flashy ties, patterned silky handkerchiefs with solid-colored ties. Master the four folds: 1.) the conservative square-ended or Presidential fold 2.) the classic one-point triangle fold 3.) the elegant multi-pointed Cagney fold 4.) the dandier puffed or Cooper fold, typically worn with colored silk and handlebar mustaches. If you can master a paper airplane, the pocket square is within reach. Visit a men's shop or this site for fold-by-fold tutorials.