BY BEN DINSDALE
As summer moves into its third month, the glow of not having to do homework and grabbing drinks with colleagues after work has begun to dull, revealing the truth that there may be a certain level of monotony to a normal job. Escaping back to the utopia that is Kingston for Frosh Week is still 7 weeks away, resigning oneself to count down the days may end up being a little too soul-crushing of a task. Perhaps a solution may be to try and make the days in the office a little more uplifting, give them a little more spark. One way to do this is to step up your office attire; to try something you usually wouldn’t and make sure that not only are you looking sharp but are pushing the boundaries.
The number one thing you can do to look better is making sure your clothes fit. It doesn’t matter where you are if your shirt or pants are baggy, you will not be looking at your best.
For pants, making sure that they aren’t too long or bulky is key. Rolling your cuff up a few times is one way to make sure they cut-off at the right point, but I encourage you to try rolling your cuff up. By effectively tucking your cuff into your pants you’re doing the cheap man’s tailoring and creating a single break where you’d want it to be. This will make your pants look the right length, but also keep them looking clean and sharp.
For shirts, there are a few simple things you can do, starting with making sure they aren’t too baggy. This is an easy thing to tell. If you tuck in your shift and it balloons out of your waistband than its too baggy. Give it away, start again. Another common mistake is that the shirt doesn’t fit correctly in the shoulder, so make sure the shoulder seam is actually sitting where it should be. Finally, if you’re wearing a short sleeve shirt, and the sleeves are too long it’s going to make you and your shirt looking bigger. By giving the sleeves a few rolls, it makes the shirt appear to be sitting higher on your body, creating a cleaner look.
These tips work great if you’re office environment is a little more relaxed (like Chinos or Jeans and a nice shirt is passable), but if you’re working at a downtown law firm or some other place where people dress like they do in Suits than you will have no short sleeve to cuff.
The first thing you can do is ditch the traditional white or blue dress shirt and try something more fun. Don’t feel like you need to come in on a Monday with a lime green shirt (please don’t) but looking for a shirt in a neutral colour with a subtle pattern can spruce up a look a lot. It makes it clear that you know what you’re doing, and hey, polka dots and some low-key paisley are a treat.
Another thing you can try is ditching the socks. I mean not totally (invest in some no-shows) but wearing no socks with a suit is a very modern look and when it comes to battling the summer heat, do not underestimate the value of bare ankles (#freetheankle).
The last thing you should try is leaving the belt at home. People forget that suits were not initially designed for belts (you were supposed to be super cool and rock suspenders). If your suit is well tailored (as it should be), then there should be no need for belts. Allowing for the natural colour of the suit to flow without disruption from jacket to trouser looks great, and although the sight of the naked belt loops may seem disconcerting at first, it will create a great end result.
Dressing for the office doesn’t have to be boring. Bring the same energy and creativity you have for your regular daily attire, and make sure you’re feeling just as amazing at the office. As always, looking confident is key, so find the outfit that makes you feel at you best and look at your best.