Gone are the days when a shirt, tie and suit were the only acceptable uniform to wear in the office. And as industries have evolved, so has the dress code. From smart to smart casual, we now have more choice when it comes to dressing for work. On the one hand, this offers way more flexibility; on the other hand, it can complicate the situation. Leaving you with questions such as “can I wear denim to work?” Or “will I look too formal in a 3-piece suit? So to help you win at getting dressed every day, we’ve pulled together 5 outfits for work.
In the boardroom – the 3-piece suit
When it comes to dressing in the boardroom, you want to look your best. This means wearing your smartest 3-piece suit with a crisp white shirt and tie. You may want to add cufflinks depending on the shirt sleeves and a pocket square. Don’t forget to check your suit fits you correctly and polish your shoes. Then confidently enter the room showing you mean business.
Less formal meetings – the suit
Sometimes you want to look professional but also reflect the industry you work in. Find a happy medium by adapting your suit to fit the situation. This could mean swapping in a roll neck for your shirt and tie. Or wearing a crew neck jumper over a shirt under your suit jacket. This softens the overall outfit, making it more appropriate for less formal meetings.
Smart casual in the office – tailored separates
If you’re not at meetings every day or you work in an industry where a suit is no longer required (creative, architect, IT), choose tailored separates such as a blazer and formal trousers. Not only will these be more comfortable to wear, they also bring a more informal style to your wardrobe. You can easily wear a jumper and formal trousers to work, and then slip on a blazer to instantly smarten up when necessary. Softer in terms of style and less likely to wrinkle, a blazer is your go-to for those impromptu moments when you need to impress.
Casual Fridays or dress down Fridays may not even be relevant if you work in an office where smart-casual attire is the norm. Nevertheless, it’s good to know where the boundaries between smart-casual and too casual lie. Essentially, you want to feel comfortable enough to chat with clients or colleagues without looking too scruffy. A simple outfit that works every time consists of indigo denim jeans, casual shirt, crew neck jumper and blazer. You can always switch in a knitted polo shirt, roll neck or even plain sweatshirt. Keep it minimal in terms of pattern for a clean and consistently casually smart look.
This is another interpretation of dressing casually smart for work. It may be necessary for you to even wear a suit but that doesn’t mean you can get away with wearing jogging bottoms. If you want to add plimsolls and a more casual outfit into your working week, try the following. Team some black denim jeans with a white shirt under a crew neck jumper. Throw on a wool overcoat when you head outside. Minimalist, simple and easy to wear, this outfit will take you from work to play effortlessly.