How to use office attire to make you confident
Office attire should be more than an unofficial uniform that you’ve deemed appropriate to wear in a randomized order every week. You know what we mean. You find an outfit, like the way it looks, and then wear it as a permanent combination until one of the pieces fail only to be swapped out at the last possible second. That’s boring. It’s uninspired. And most importantly, it can land you in a rut. Instead, what you should be doing is finding new ways to shake up the wardrobe already in your closet. Yes, doing so is easier said, but that’s why we’re here. To show you how it’s done.
Make sure it fits
One of the biggest fashion faux pas a man can make is wearing clothing that is too big – or small – for his size. It doesn’t matter if you have a million-dollar wardrobe if everything in it is an ill-fitting mess. So, dress according to your body type. A good place to start is with customizable, made to measure dress shirts. Doing so gives you control over how well your shirt sits, the warp and weft of the fabric, the color, cut, and style of the cuffs – pretty much everything. So, when we say make sure it fits, we mean in every regard. Physically and stylistically. Make sure it’s you.
Join the Crew
Everyone expects the dress shirt to be a staple of the office environment. It’s a look that goes back as far as most of us can remember. White dress shirt, simple slacks, well shined shoes and a tie. Black was bold, but now it’s old and predictable. Instead of donning the same style as your father – and his father before him for that matter – ditch the solid colored dress shirt and stiff collar for a crew neck sweater. The crew neck sweater is the first step to putting together a smart look. And if feeling smart doesn’t build your confidence then we don’t know what will. They work well with slim fit pants and can go over a dress shirt and tie, although we prefer the all-in approach. This consists of crew neck sweaters and crew neck sweaters alone. Mix up the work wear by utilizing a color that is office friendly. Pair it with a complementary pant and you’re halfway to a more confident demeanor.
Original Stitch's pick: Cotton crewneck sweater, J. Crew $49,50
Sock it to ‘em
Socks are socks. They don’t make or break an outfit, right? Wrong. Socks are the truest form of confidence an outfit can convey. Think about it this way: socks are for you, but they’re also for a select few. Go bold. Be yourself. Wear socks that really speak to the inner you. The person that wouldn’t be concerned about what others think of their apparel. Yes. That pair of Simpson’s dress socks you saw at the booth filled with nostalgic 90s memorabilia and immediately fell in love with last weekend while perusing that pop up shop totally count. Because they’re for you. When you cross your leg in the office meeting and your pants ride up just a little, allowing Homer to peek out for a brief period, that moment is for you as well. And the select few who are lucky enough to witness it.
Original Stitch's pick: Keith Haring Sock Box Set, Happy Socks $48
Belt out the hit accessories
This is a simple concept. Match your belt with your outfit. Match everything else with your belt. What part of your belt you’re matching matters on what accessory you’re accessorizing. Case in point: a brown leather belt with a silver buckle should see you wear a pair of brown shoes and silver watch or jewelry. A black belt with a gold buckle should see you in – you guessed it – black shoes and a gold watch or jewelry.
Original Stitch's pick: Brown leather belt, Cole Haan $80
Stay a cut above the rest
Before the clothes ever come into play, the best place to start building confidence is from within. There is positive proof that the way in which we carry ourselves affect our mood. Simply put, evidence suggests that faking it until you make it can be an effective strategy. And if wearing a smile, even if fake, can reduce stress, then cleaning up your appearance is a no brainer where self-esteem is involved. A clean cut, neatly trimmed beard, and manicured nails all go a long way in shoring up the package you are presenting. Commit to hitting the gym a few times a week and before long, you’ll be feeling that much more confident despite the clothes in your closet. Everyone notices the well-kept man who enters an office first. They notice his attire second.