What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. “Business Casual” doesn’t have to be a bad thing. And while workplaces are getting more and more casual, it’s still the norm for many. Is it possible to upgrade the usual, yawn-worthy trousers/tucked in shirt/decent shoes combination? Absolutely. Here’s one way, without straying too far (i.e. adding a sportcoat) from the norm.
The Sweater: UNIQLO Extra Fine Merino V in Navy – $29.90 ($39.90). The HVAC systems in most offices are downright menopausal. Some days it’s hypothermic, and then the next day it’s so stifling that you wonder if Cerberus has moved into the adjacent cubicle. So skip the cheap cotton or cotton/cashmere blends and opt instead for wool. It’ll keep you warm when it’s cold, and not hold on to sweat when it’s hot. UNIQLO’s extra fine merino v necks fit great, move extremely well, and the V dips neither too far, nor too shallow.
The Pants: L.E. Tailored Fit Year ‘Rounder Merino Trousers – $62.30 w/ EXCITE & 4110 ($89). Just like the sweater, the upgrade here is to wool. And it’s worth it. Along with the temperature regulating characteristics, wool doesn’t wrinkle like a pair of cotton chinos will. And you can go plenty of wears between dry cleaning. The “light charcoal” here is neither boring-khaki, or a too-dressed-up charcoal. Lightweight and very comfortable. Code & pin are good for 30% off + free shipping through today, 10/26.
The Shoes: Banana Republic Ty Chelsea Boot in Cognac – $178. Skipping the laceups, especially the conservative chunky kind, and opting for a sleek boot instead is an easy switch that makes a big impact. Still professional, but a lot more style points. And BR’s new chelsea is something else. The leather is surprisingly nice (note: skip the suede, unlike the leather, it’s heavily burnished at the toe) and the shape is dead on perfect. Often on sale.
The Watch: Orient Bambino Version III – $124.98 ($260). Automatic, simple yet eye-catching dial & hand style, and a domed crystal. On sale via Huckberry. A dress watch that’s not forgettable.
The Shirt: Banana Republic Slim Fit Stretch Poplin – $41.50 ($59.50). An easy to move in dress shirt with a good collar for going tieless. Get yourself some decent collar stays and put a slight curve in them to keep your collar in line. Always on sale.
The Belt: Everlane Made in the USA Belt in Rhum – $45. Only got a dark brown belt? Then don’t worry about matching it to the boots. Doesn’t have to be perfect, but just make sure it’s brown and not black. If you’ve got the cash, a light brown belt like this one will look great. 1.25″ wide is trouser appropriate but can be worn with jeans too.
The Brief: KNOMO London Lincoln Waterproof Briefcase – $99.50. One day, the Saddleback. For now? This’ll do. Modern without looking alien, it’s got everything you need. Well balanced grab handles for short trips, and a shoulder strap for commutes or booking it through an airport. Waterproof exterior is a bonus. Ships & returns free via Nordstrom.
The Writing Utensil: Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen in grey Aluminum – $29.95. Even though we’re living in the digital age, having a dependable (and not to mention, slick looking) pen on you isn’t a bad idea. We worker-bees still write. The aluminum exterior helps keep it light, and the extra ink cartridges are good to stash in your desk. This way, with your own pen, you won’t have to depend on office-provided, chewed up Bics Pete in Sales has been gnawing on all day, every day. Seriously. Dude goes through ballpoints like floss.