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Being well-dressed can make all the difference in a man’s work and personal life.
Ph. The Lazy Artist Gallery, Pexels
Read on to find out what we have unearthed to be men’s professional wardrobe essentials in 2021.
Undoubtedly, the modern professional man has more options than in previous decades to express himself; here we are going to take a quick look at how men’s fashion has evolved into the looks that we know and look to for inspiration today.
Men’s fashion has taken some drastic changes, although there are some elements that we can still see today, paying tribute to the smart dressers our ancestors were. For example, the simple work shirt has been around since the Victorian era, often dressed in a waistcoat, tailored trousers and the occasional top hat.
Looking at the last 50 years in men’s fashion alone we can see the influences in modern work clothes. From the love of patterns and paisley in the '70s, power dressing and full shoulders of the '80s, the baggy revolution of the '90s to the slimmed-down opposite in the '00s – each era has what men wear today.
10 Men’s Professional Wardrobe Essentials
There are some classic pieces that every professional man should own. To make it easy for you, we have created a men’s wardrobe essentials checklist below to get started.
1. White Shirt
Ph. Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels
A crisp white shirt is essential for any professional Whether you are in a busy office or heading to after-work drinks, a white shirt is a clean slate and something that you can easily style with accessories.
2. Khaki Pants
Having a pair of khaki pants in your wardrobe means that you are covered no matter the event. If you are heading to a smart casual event or meeting, team them up with a shirt. For a more casual look, switch for a polo or T-shirt.
3. Plain T-shirt
A plain t-shirt is perfect for chilling out but still looking stylish, or you can pair it with a jacket or blazer to give it a little more of a smart casual look. Look at getting a few colours so you can have some variety.
It sounds simple, right? But a good pair of jeans can make or break an outfit. Look into a pair that fit well, are comfortable and can be worn with a range of different style tops. When it comes to jeans, see them as an investment piece.
As the colder months set in, you are going to need a decent coat. Gone are the days where waterproof coats will make you look like a walking marshmallow! You can find coats that look stylish while also keeping you warm and dry. Top tip: a black coat will go with all of your outfits.
6. Polo Shirt
The polo shirt may have started on the pitch with a horse in tow, but now it is a comfortable addition to the professional wardrobe, appropriate for dress-down days or a relaxed event.
Another winter warmer for you – a sweater can easily be paired with any kind of trouser whether you prefer khaki pants, chinos or jeans a decent sweater will work with them all. This can also be your opportunity to have a little bit of colour in your wardrobe. Consider a blue, green or red sweater – give it a go!
These boots were made for walking, after all. Whatever your style choice investing in a pair of shoes that will not only look good but are comfortable to wear is a smart choice, it is something you will wear every day so it is worth spending a little more where you can to get the right shoe.
Make sure you are covered with a belt that you can trust to keep your outfit in one piece. It is also an excellent accessory. Do not forget – make sure you match your belt and shoes and avoid the fashion police.
Ph. Mahdi Bafande, Unsplash
A blazer can be a game-changer and allows you to introduce a pattern or some colour into your outfit without going too over the top. So why not try something a little different, perhaps a checked pattern that you can mix up with different colour shirts or trousers.
You are now ready to add those essential pieces to your wardrobe that will make you look professional, while also feeling confident. Go get them!
Source: Kaysha - Pixels
Source: The Lazy Artist Gallery - Pixels
Generally, men wear less jewellery that women but an elegant gentleman cannot go without cufflinks. They have a practical function, as they are used to secure cuffs. At first, it might be tricky to put on cufflinks but they are an accessory you cannot wear a dress shirt without. Ideally, keep the visible cuff length matched with the amount of collar visible around the neck.
Source: Snapwire - Pixels
Elegance is not something a man is born with but rather something we learn as we grow older and wiser. Therefore, the 9 fashion tips listed above are compulsory reading for every modern man aspiring to be a true gentleman!
Although finding the perfect details to finish off an outfit isn’t something most men tend to think about, the right accessory can truly be your best friend. Apart from providing you with subtle, stylish touches that easily tie your whole look together, accessories can also highlight your individuality and personal style, helping you stand out from the crowd.
From headwear to jewellery and tasteful details, here is a complete guide to men’s accessories that will help you elevate your personal style.
Although there are a wide variety of different styles available today, a good hat can add elegance and flavour to any outfit, helping you look stylish and put-together effortlessly. For example, a trendy snapback can easily upgrade a casual t-shirt and jeans combo, a newsboy cap can add some interest to a business casual look, while a fedora paired with an elegant suit helps you achieve that classy gentleman vibe. No matter which style you opt for, make sure that the hat you choose complements your outfit beautifully, and ties the whole look together.
Photo by Laura Dewilde on Unsplash
Taking inspiration from some of the coolest Hollywood dads, the right pair of sunglasses is the ideal accessory to upgrade any outfit, no matter how plain, and make you look that much more stylish and refined. While finding the perfect sunglasses for you might be difficult with such a wide array of options, you can never go wrong with a classic style, such as aviators or clubmasters, in neutral colours like black and brown, as these shades can truly stand the test of time, helping you look incredibly fashionable with minimal effort.
Not only does a good watch make a powerful statement, but it is also the perfect way to elevate any outfit, and add some class and style to a man’s look. From dress watches that are ideal for formal occasions to casual watches you can complement your looks with every day, there a number of watches you can choose from to find the ideal one for you. But regardless of your personal style, the one thing every man should own are elegant Swiss watches, as their sleek look and timeless design make them suitable for any occasion, while always making you look polished and refined.
Photo by Fábio Scaletta on Unsplash
Being the most noticeable piece of jewellery you can wear, the necklace you choose is incredibly important. Whether it is a dainty metal chain with a sentimental pendant or something as classic as a dog tag, make sure your necklace is a reflection of your personality. Apart from bands representing special events, rings can also be a great way of expressing your style, whether you wear them individually or stacked them for an impacting look. Although mostly worn by men with alternative styles, bracelets are perfect for complementing casual outfits as well, from small metal ones to eye-catching canvas and leather bands. The general style rule for wearing a bracelet is wearing it on the opposite wrist to your watch. However, fashion follows no rule and when it comes to wearing jewellery, taking your personal style into consideration can help you decide how bold or minimal you would like to go with your accessories. Men’s bracelets can be styled as a stack next to their watch, some might prefer the classic minimal look opposing their watch.
Matching your belt with the colour of your shoes is an essential rule that shouldn’t be broken when it comes to professional and formal attire. But apart from a sleek black or brown leather belt that is most appropriate for these types of occasions, casual outfits can give you much more options to express your personal taste and style. Whether you opt for a leather or a canvas belt, you can easily add a bit more interest and dynamic to your everyday looks by choosing a colour that perfectly complements the colour palette of your outfit.
Photo by Tai's Captures on Unsplash
Although it might not be the first accessory that comes to mind, socks are a great way to express your personal style, and they have even become a prominent fashion trend in the last few years. If you have a more minimalist aesthetic, you can always choose a solid, neutral pair, but don’t be afraid to experiment with a bit of colour and print every once in a while. Simply pairing a plain, casual outfit with socks in bright colours or funky patterns, such as stripes and polka dots, can add some fun and interest to your everyday looks.
Regardless of which accessories you opt for, keep in mind that less is always more. Stick to one or two statement pieces to elevate your outfits, and you will always look like a chic, fashionable and refined man.