What To Wear To The Office – Professional Outfit Tips when Dressing For Work


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! In today’s video, we discuss how dressing
for the office has changed over the years and what you should wear to work for your
office environment today. In most offices today, business casual is
a firmly rooted dress code and to learn more about it, please check out our business casual
video, here. As far as dressing for the office goes, a
lot depends on the culture but over the years, things have changed dramatically and today,
we go through the decades and we will give you a specific rundown of what items to wear,
what not to wear, and particularly, what shoes you can focus on. In the last thirty years, the formality scale
has dropped dramatically and today, probably just 1/10 office workers wears a full suit. As with many trends in menswear, the World
War set a huge impact on style and dress code for the office and it usually meant that it
was more casual or at least, more utilitarian. In the 1950s, there was a post-war boom, materials
were again plentiful at least in the US, and so people wore suits, white dress shirts,
ties, and proper oxfords. The classic black cap toe oxford was definitely
a staple shoe at the time. Of course, characters like James Dean popularized
a much more casual and youthful look with undershirts, however, that did not catch on
in the office. If you wanted to work at a proper office,
you could not show up dressed like James Dean. During the 1960s, mod style had a heavy influence. Nevertheless, people still wore suits. In terms of style, you could see that lapels
got narrower and so did the ties. Trousers usually had huge cuffs or turn ups,
or sometimes an excess of two inches. The big casualty during this decade is the
hat. Also worn by older gentlemen who consider
the hat to be an essential part of their business wardrobe, younger men simply went without
it. Of course, the 60s were great for fantastic
menswear fabrics that were heavier and not as soft as they are today. At the same time, they drape really well. At the same time, man made materials were
becoming a lot more popular so you would see nylon, polyester, and all kinds of other things
blended into classic menswear which eventually would fade again but at that time, it was
a bit tight and was very popular to have artificial fibers in your business wardrobe. The style influencers at the time, just like
the Beatles, still wore suits, dress shirts, and ties. In the 1970s, the disco and hippie style dominated
men’s fashion and that even had an influx on the office. People still wore suits but they had a lot
bolder patterns, lapels had gotten wider, colors were a lot bolder, and everything was
different. Lanvin, Pierre Cardin, or Yves Saint Laurent
were really popular designers and would oftentimes, license their name to have suits produced
even for the American market. In the early 70s, you’d still see flare pants
but by the end, they became more European and slimmed down. The ties were longer and much wider and the
rise fo pants were much lower. In terms of shoes, the derby shoe became more
popular now but in very traditional white-collar environments, you would still see the black
cap toe oxford as the dominant business shoe. In the 80s, things changed a bit again. Designers like Giorgio Armani created a more
unstructured suit that was quite wide, the gorge of the lapel was low, and eventually,
the power suit became really popular. Just think of Wall Street, in the US, Ralph
Lauren also became really popular and he always had a taste for wider ties and wider lapels. Shirts were oftentimes Winchester shirts that
had bold stripes, colored combinations that resembled the typical power style. The classic office shoe was still the black
cap toe oxford, sometimes you would see black derbies, or things like Gucci loafers in black. Even though you had power suits on the one
hand, on the other hand, combinations became much more acceptable for office wear. Also, TV shows like Miami Vice popularized
the style of wearing a tshirt with a jacket on top. Obviously, this was not worn to the office
but it showed the desire to casualize a formal wardrobe. The 1990s were definitely the heyday of office
wear and men’s fashion. Vogue declared the end of the era of the power
suit and things became a lot more casual. In the US, casual Friday became a lot more
popular and people who quit the traditional jobs and started working on tech startups
in Silicon Valley really changed the way people dressed to the office. Everything became more casual and not wearing
a suit was a tradional F.U. to the classic establishment and the way they dress. In terms of shoes, you could still see anything
from the classic black cap toe oxford in a law firm, for example, all the way to New
Balance sneakers with tech startups. In the 2000s, the influence of the Silicon
Valley further increased. New generations were not interested in wearing
business suits, they were not used to wearing suits, and they certainly don’t want to wear
it to the office. Fast fashion started to dominate the retail
world and so quick turnover of many different seasons and trends with very low quality and
very little substance became mainstream. Also, jeans or denim have become universally
acceptable no matter whether you go to church or at a fine restaurant. In the early 2000s, jackets became a lot shorter
and suits became a lot slimmer. A very popular shoe in the US for business
was the tassel loafer and even today, you can find men who are about to retire wearing
the same 90s suits that are quite wide in cut with their sometimes brown or oxblood
or black tassel loafers. In terms of shoes, the tassel loafer from
the 90s became less and less popular and you found a lot more shoe companies that used
the internet to bring shoes from the manufacturer directly to the consumer, thus cutting off
the middleman, and saving the consumer quite a bit of money. One of those companies is Ace Marks and the
shoes we are showing you today in the video are mostly from them. If you want to check out their website, you
can do so here and they supported us in making this video. Today in most office environments, business
casual and casual Friday is the most prevalent dress code. At the same time, a lot of people don’t really
understand what it means specifically. The boundaries between work and office have
been blurred; we find a lot more working from home now and working outside the office. At the same time, surveys indicate that 1/2
of senior level management thinks that their employees dress too casually. So some men are really into dressing up and
they love it when they can wear suits to the office while others would rather wear sweatpants. Overall, I think there are more men interested
in classic men’s clothing and dressing up today than they were 10-15 years ago. So, what should you wear to work? Honestly, a lot of it deoends on your workplace
and the culture there. That being said, we are big supporters of
the plus and minus rule. So, don’t just look at what the employee handbook
says but actually observe what people are wearing at the office and at your workplace. Now ideally, you want to stay within one step
above of what people wear. Ideally, you don’t want to step below because
it definitely has an impact, people see it, and they will judge you maybe just subconsciously. You’ve probably heard of the old saying “Don’t
dress for the job you have but for the job you want.” That as a caveat, many CEOs today dress very
casually because they are already at the top of the company and they don’t have to impress
anyone. At the same time, if you have client contact
and you want others to respect you at the office, dressing well and dressing a step
up is important. Now that being said, sometimes your manager
or superior can feel threatened if you outdress them so that is one aspect to keep in mind. You do not want to offend people and hirt
your chances of climbing the ladders simply because they feel threatened by the way you
dress. Honestly, if that happens at your workplace,
it’s probably time to change jobs anyway because that is not the kind of culture that you will
likely thrive in, especially not if you like to dress up. if you want a full rundown on what business
casual means today, please check out the video, here. That aside, now we discuss five wardrobe staples
that you can incorporate in most office wardrobes. The first item is the classic navy blazer. Even though you never have to wear suits at
work, having a blazer is ideal because it makes your otherwise very informal outfit
rather formal without being over the top. To learn more about the blazer along with
all of its options, what you can wear, and what is a good choice, please check out our
in-depth blazer guide, here. The next item you want to invest in are quality
cotton chinos. Ideally, you get them in some khaki color,
you can also go lighter with stone, or darker with navy, it’s a classic staple slacks that
sit in between jeans and dress slacks in terms of formality. You can also wash them at home so you don’t
have to worry about dry cleaning costs and they are just a wonderful business staple. You can also wear them just with dress shirts,
or with sport coats, or a blazer, and they always look good. Of course, you also want to invest in dress
shirts. If you don’t work in a super formal office,
you can be a little bit more relaxed with your shirts, you can have stripes, you can
add some colors, maybe checks, and you cand ecide if you want to have button cuffs or
French cuff for cufflinks. Cufflinks are certainly a bit more formal;
I personally like them because it gives me a chance to wear all the different cufflinks
in my collection. If you don’t wear neckwear to the office,
I suggest you go mostly with checked shirts; you can incorporate different colors such
blue, green, or red, and I would opt for a button-down collar because it stands up more
nicely, tips always stay down. Because if you wear a jacket, the tips should
always stay underneath. I’d also go with button cuffs rather than
French cuffs, otherwise, not having a neckwear but the French cuffs is kind of a clash of
formality. Of course, if you love cufflinks overall,
you can still wear them. On the other hand, in a lot of offices today,
neckwear is not required anymore and it is simply something that you can wear to express
yourself. If you don’t want to go with the traditional
three-fold business tie, you can opt for different things such as knit ties, for example, which
are different in texture, they are more casual and they are definitely office appropriate. If you decide against neckwear, I suggest
to always have a pocket square in your blazer or sport coat because it really upgrades your
look, makes it more unique, polished, and finished. In terms of shoes, the rules have relaxed
a lot. For the traditional office, you can go with
the classic black cap toe oxford. At the same time, brown at the office today
is probably more popular than black if you look at all the offices across the US and
Europe. It really does not matter if you go with derby
shoes or monk straps. In my opinion, a great shoe for the office,
c for younger men, is the double monk strap shoe. It is right in between the classic office
leather dress shoe with the leather sole and a sneaker. Even though you can wear it in black, I prefer
colors in burgundy red or maybe brown because it is casual enough to wear for a happy hour
after work but also perfectly appropriate for most office environment. That being said, most offices today are casual
enough to go with brown shoes at pretty much any instance and if you want to go with brown,
there are so many shades all the way from a lighter tan to a medium tan to medium brown,
dark chestnut brown and really dark brown. I would definitely suggest to stay clear of
sneakers and always invest in a quality pair of dress shoes. Now down the line, it always pays to invest
in quality dress shoes because the cost per wear goes down. You may think that is easier said than done
because you are just starting out your career and this is your first office job, it may
be hard to come up with all the money for nice quality dress shoes. First of all, you can fin a lot of mone by
buying the right kind of dress shoes so please check out this video on five men’s dress shoes
every man should have. That aside, you can buy quality leather dress
shoes in different price points. You can invest 200 dollars, 300 dollars, or
2000 dollars, to learn the difference between shoes per price category, please check out
this video, here. That being said, Ace Marks provides a range
of quality office dress shoes that won’t break the bank. Does Ace Marks produce the best menswear dress
shoes ever made? Absolutely not! However, what they do offer is a really big
bang for the buck because they sell directly from the manufacturer to you as a consumer
thus, saving the middleman market. If I would have to pick just three shoes that
are appropriate for office wear, I would go with the black half brogue oxford.The burgundy
double monk strap as well as their brown penny loafer. Last but not the least, an often overlooked
detail in officewear are socks. A lot of men wear short socks or mid-calf
socks when they slide down, they expose your hairy calves which is still unproffesional
in this day and age. To prevent that, you should go with over-the-calf
socks that stay up and for a range of different socks in different colors, please check out
our shop here and we also have a free guide on how to pair shoes socks and pants so you
look the part so check it out here. In today’s video, I was wearing two different
outfits/ The first one consisted of a checked dress shirt with a button down collar and
barrel cuffs or button cuffs with a pair of khaki chinos and a pair of over the calf socks
from Fort Belvedere that has kind of a chino color as well as the red of my Ace Marks double
monk strap shoes. They have a very elegant Italian last and
I really like wearing them because they are a mix between casual and formal. Later on, I kept on that same outfit and simply
added a navy double breasted blazer which is part of a suit and I added a pocket dquare
with kind of a turquoise blue with paisley pattern that pops and just creates a visual
interest that roudns up my outfit. Overall, even though I skipped the neckwear
for this video because most men probably don’t wear neckwear and it is a typical office outft
that I could wear with or without the blazer. If I had opted against the blazer, I will
just keep the jacket in my office, If you enjoyed this video, please check out
our dress code series particularly the business casual guide as well as the five men’s shoes
every ma should have. If you subscribe to our channel, video like
this come right to your inbox and if you are looking for quality men’s leather dress shoes
that don’t break the bank, I strongly suggest you take a look at Ace Marks website.

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