The Style Guide: What to Wear to Work

For most of us ‘what to wear to work?’ is a dilemma we find ourselves in on a weekly (and in some cases daily) basis. Whether intentional or not, the decisions we make when planning our office outfits can leave a huge impression on our work lives. In recent years, the rise of workwear fashion and office trends has made the issue of what to wear for work all the more difficult. Here at Country Attire, we have created a workwear guide to help simplify your morning routine and make the daily question of ‘what to wear to the office?’ something to look forward to instead of fretting over.

The First Day

Nailing that first day look for a new job is never easy, as office etiquette can alternate between careers, businesses and even departments. However, this is where the golden rule of fashion ‘always dress like you have somewhere more important to be’ can be most applicable. No one has ever been looked down on for dressing too well and ‘keenness’ is not something to be shunned either. A quality two piece navy or grey suit is the epitome of smart dressing and once mastered, can be customised to parallel your personal style.

The most important rule to consider when picking the right suit is that fit is key. Too short and you will not only appear under prepared, looking like you have arrived straight out of school, but you will also likely be uncomfortable throughout the day. On the other hand an oversized blazer will give the impression you are over relaxed and may even come across as scruffy.

To ensure the right size, we recommend checking out our comprehensive Country Attire size guide for unique information on individual brands. Pair a tailored wool blazer with a crisp fitted shirt from the likes of Ted Baker, Hackett or Thomas Pink and you are guaranteed to make a lasting first impression at work. In colder weather, we advise investing in a designer pea coat to continue the professional sartorial look right through to your outerwear.

Work Hard…

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Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, so why not save time by creating an outfit which will look just as impeccable during the day time as it will at night? Taking the same timeless suit from the previous look and pairing it with a premium T-shirt and branded trainers is a great way to reinvent the smart staple into a more casual classic.

The secret to mastering this versatile look is to start off simple and from there evolve into your own flavour of style. A classic white Tee with a sturdy pair of leather trainers will build the foundations for almost any outfit and from there you are free to experiment with your choice footwear and tops, until you find a variation on the look which works for you. It’s important to note that all pieces of a look must be of similar quality in order to maintain consistency, however, style of the look is free game and can even result in some truly remarkable one off looks.

It’s the little things

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Smart dressing is frequently confused with looking overly serious due to sharp suit cuts and strict silhouettes; however that doesn’t mean a formal look can’t also feature fashionable quirks. The caricature of a business man as square is long played out, but in recent years fashion innovators have found ways to customise their office looks to reflect current trends and their own personal style.

It’s all too easy to see someone who is well dressed and think anyone could look as good if they had the same clothes; the truth, however, couldn’t be further from this. The distance between success and failure is measured in the minutiae we may willingly or unwillingly put into the creation of our outfits. Matching leathers, deciding how many buttons to fasten, even working out the length of cuffs to show can make or break an outfit; the important thing to remember is to not go after the full picture, but instead pursue the separate pieces of the jigsaw that go into perfecting a look.

Experimenting with your office look could start off small with a quirky pair of designer cufflinks or with some brightly coloured and patterned socks; once you are comfortable with this, you could take some bigger style risks such as opting for statement patterned shirts or mixing and matching your separates for some truly unique outfit combinations.

Tools of the Trade

When we think of ‘investments pieces’ it’s all too common to think of those sophisticated, on trend items which despite their hefty price tag, we hope we will get our wear out of. However, the real ‘investment pieces’ aren’t the statement items we find in our weekend wardrobe, but the ones we come to rely on day in and day out.

These are the messenger bags and  leather briefcases that need to be reliable, to protect and transport the workload whilst also offering a sartorial finish to not bring down the whole office outfit. These are the umbrellas which need to be durable to ensure when the weather really picks up we aren’t caught out in the rain. These are the humble necessities which should be found in every working wardrobe and though they are the basics by name, in truth they couldn’t be further from it.

Getting these finishing touches correct is the most important thing when planning any office outfit, as one slip up can moot all the previous effort made. However, when these simple additions are done right in combination with the information from earlier sections, you can be sure that next time you arrive at the office they will know you mean business.

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