Kenneth Cole Video Style Guide – What to Wear for the Daily Grind
“Looking for some cubicle chic? Break up the monotony of your wardrobe. File away a few outfit ideas and brighten up your day-to-day. Watch our style guide and you’ll be saying TGI Monday, Tuesday…” From KennethCole.com
The cliche is “Dress for the job you want.” And nobody really wants to work in a cubicle. But if you take the latest KennethCole.com Style Guide seriously, expect to be stuck in your three walled beige holding pen for awhile.
What they got right, and what they got wrong, after the video.
Good Grief. Dear Kenneth Cole: I like you guys a lot. I own two of your suits and I love em’. But when it comes to these style guides… you’re killing me smalls.
This is a good look for a guy in a creative field who doesn’t deal with potential clients or management on a daily basis. But if you do like 95% of the desk jockeys out there? Wearing a t-shirt to the office won’t promote confidence in your customers or your boss. Dress better (translation: more formal) than you should, and you’ll get noticed for all the right reasons. Here’s how to do it:
What they got RIGHT
The Bag – Good: Canvas Day Bag – $128.00 | Better: K.C. Leather Brief – $89.99
Yes the entire point of this style guide is to brighten up your daily look. And the Canvas Day bag certainly does that. The Navy Canvas and brown leather straps are a great combination, even though the square shape gets it close to “murse” territory. But if the top boss picks up on how great of a job you’re doing, he asks to buy you lunch and talk business, and you grab that on the way out the door… it ain’t gonna look as good. Try the cheaper Kenneth Cole Portfolio and you’ll look like you’re ready for the next step.
What they got WRONG
The Jacket – NO: Racetrack Windbreaker $149.50 | YES: Alfani RED Blazer $69.99
Outerwear is meant to be worn outdoors. A windbreaker is outerwear. If you wear it all day at the office you’ll look like you just showed up… all day at the office. Swap that out for the just right for the office (or cocktail bar) Alfani Red two button blazer. Structured a little more than a standard S, M, or L blazer, but not so much so that it looks like a suit jacket. On sale for $70..
The Shirt – NO: Orange V-Neck $29.50 | YES: J. Crew Gingham Point Collar shirt $59.50
Here comes the color. Laid back enough for a casual office, but still has… y’know, a collar… the J. Crew Gingham shirt brightens up your look without reducing your credibility. T-shirts will do that. A v-neck t-shirt will REALLY do that if you have any kind of chest hair. Combine the gingham with a knit black tie for a business style boost..
The Pants – NO: White Jeans $69.50 | YES: Gap White Chinos – $44.50
Keep your jeans dark for work. White jeans are a little too high style. White Chinos on the other hand deliver the same brightness, without the jean thickness and silhouette..
The Shoes – NO: Metro Black Sneakers $128.00 | YES: Aldo McPhearson Loafers $80.00
Anyone else getting the feeling that if Kenneth Cole had his way, everyone would wear his sneakers, everywhere? They make extremely stylish loafers, dress shoes, and boots… why always the sneakers? Anyway.. try the Aldo McPhearson Loafers. They’ve got a touch of monk-strap feel for only $80.00.
The Watch – NO: Orange Touch Screen $150.00 | YES: Hilfiger Arlington Chrono – $136.50
I actually really like the black version of the Kenneth Cole touch screen watch. But I wouldn’t even wear that one to work. Big digital numbers are trendy, and not appropriate for any workplace. The Hilfiger Alrington Chrono is cheaper, beefy, and will look great with the white pants and gingham shirt. Want to ad one more sting of color? Try the Swiss Military Hanowa Sealander in Green for $120.00
One Final Note
Y’know that guy in your office who’s a higher up but doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing? The one who gets in your way and uses his seniority to get what he wants. Remember this: it’ll be much tougher for him to throw his weight around with you, if you’re in a blazer and good shoes, and he’s wearing bad khakis and a camp shirt. Francis Bacon was right: knowledge is power. But if you know what you’re talking about, and you’re dressed better than the person you’re having a disagreement with? You’re damn near invincible.