Do YOU want to be as sexy as Harvey Specter?

No. But at least you can dress like him?

In honor of the new season premiere of "Suits" tonight, I have decided to write a post on "how to look sexy as hell in the office." In other words, "how do dress professionally and appropriately..." I will dive into the basics of grooming, purchasing proper suits, and maintaining your professional attire below.

Word of caution to the Ladies: unfortunately, as a man, I do not possess the knowledge in proper attire for women. As such, this post will only focus on male attire. I apologize if I have offended you or got your hopes up. At the very least, it is my hopes that this article will increase the number of attractive men boasting their properly worn professional attire at their respective occupations. Also, please keep in mind that some of the information is very basic and self-explanatory but a reminder will not hurt.

Grooming
1.) Make sure to have a haircut at least a week before an important event. No crazy hair.
2.) Maintain a clean face and do not forget to shave.
3.) Keep your nails groomed.
4.) Do not try to look richer than your interviewer or boss.
5.) Do not overdo your cologne.

Shirt
Before purchasing a shirt, understand that it is critical to find the one with your size. If there are attendants available at the store, measure your neck and sleeve. Also, consider whether you want to purchase a traditional or slim fit.

As for the maintenance, it is important to have your shirts cleaned and ironed at all times. If the shirt is the one you would like to use for work/interview, I would highly advise to take them to the cleaners. On a similar note, using starch on collar and cuffs will keep them firm and hard. If unavailable, purchase collar stays, but make sure to take them out before taking your shirts to the cleaners.

Straight Collar (recommended):
1.) Generally complements any face shape
2.) Most traditional

Spread Collar:
1.) More formal
2.) Try not to wear if you are young or just entered the company

Button-down Collar:
1.) The tie is optional
2.) ALWAYS button the collar

Although some other collars such as the club or cutway are available, try to stay away from the other collars.

Cuff
Simple: If you are not an MD, DO NOT purchase French cuff shirts.

Ties
For interviews, I would recommend sticking with solid color shirts (blue, white, pastels), and choosing a tie that has relatively simple patterns, but matches the selected shirt. Slim/skinny times are not recommended for work.

Four-in-Hand:
1.) Most common
2.) Simple to tie
3.) Asymmetric

Half Windsor:
1.) Versatile
2.) Medium triangle

Windsor:
1.) Most formal
2.) Wide
3.) Best with spread collars

Please hang your ties after untying them. It is also advised to use tie rollers when travelling.

Suits
Two things to consider when purchasing a suit: overall silhouette and specific proportions of the wearer.

For short people:
DO NOT wear a long jacket or wide ties or lapels
DO buy short-length suits with pants legs with very little break
DO show some cuff
DO wear a peak lapel
DO use a lower button stance with slim shoes

For tall people:
DO NOT wear padded shoulders or extra slim ties
DO wear light colors on two-button suits
DO keep cuff to a minimum and get a break in the trousers

Single Breasted v. Double Breasted:
In my opinion, I think double-breasted suits look incredible, but many consider them as outdated or generally reserved for the older generations.

Buttons:
One, two, or three on your suit! NEVER button the last one.

Lapels:
Jacket lapels are the folded flaps on the front of a jacket. Two lapels to consider: notch and peak. The peak lapel would be the one with a more pointed lapel that rises higher, but is mostly reserved for double-breasted jackets.

Vents:
Vents are those slight slits located at the rear of the jacket. You will find suits with single, double, or no vents. Your preference, in my opinion, will matter the most on this decision.

Jackets:
I would advise starting with black, grey, or navy suits. They are the ones found to be the most traditional in work place. Also, consider the patterns of your suits such as stripes, check/glen check, herringbone, and nailhead.

Pleats:
Pleats become very important when deciding the correct pants to purchase. They are the slight folds on your pants that keep them firm and intact. If you do have pleats on your pants, cuff or uncuff the end of your pants. If you have a flat front, keep the ends uncuffed.

Pants Breaks:
Pant breaks are, in lay terms, the ends of your pants and how far they should drop down to the shoes. Nothing much to say on this, but that there are three breaks: full, medium, and short. I would advice getting a break that matches your height. For short people, having a short or medium break would help your appearance.

Tailoring
1.) Shoulders cannot be fixed
2.) Pants waist must not be adjusted more than 1 inch
3.) Sleeve length can be fixed...it is recommended that you try to show 1/4 inch of the cuffs
4.) Taper the torso
5.) Check for roll in back of suit jacket

This concludes the short blog on the guide to dress professionally. I try to follow these guidelines as well but if I missed anything or if you would like to add anything on, please comment!

Comments (32)

Jul 16, 2013

Good post. Looking forward to the premiere tonight.

Jul 16, 2013

I would feel like a complete weapon walking into an interview in a double breasted suit.

Jul 16, 2013

Some of your points are more subjective than objective; however, nothing wrong with that. This is good stuff for people who don't know anything.

Jul 16, 2013

the USA website has descriptions of the characters' wardrobes by episode if you really want the exact same look

Jul 16, 2013

Holy sweet mother of god, I totally didn't realize Suits was premiering tonight. Definitely huge thanks for the reminder, have a banana on me.

Jul 16, 2013

READERS BEWARE: the highly "masculine" men on this forum will call you out, regard this as fashion advice, and call you a pussy for dressing well and caring about fashion.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Jul 16, 2013

Remember when men could actually act like fucking men and dress themselves how they wanted? Your rules regarding what you can wear at certain levels are stupid.

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Jul 17, 2013

Thanks for sharing. Great post!

Jul 17, 2013

as soon as you said black suit I knew you had no idea what you were talking about.

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Jul 17, 2013
junkbondswap:

Remember when men could actually act like fucking men and dress themselves how they wanted? Your rules regarding what you can wear at certain levels are stupid.

I don't remember because that period never existed. Back in the "days" men used to dress far better than they do today. You would wear a suit etc. just to go out of the house because that was the general attire. It's now that men don't act like fucking men. you're also a clown.

Jul 17, 2013

Looks like we have an internet tough guy running his mouth on an anonymous message board. My point is that men should be able to make their own decisions but since you still live at home with your mom I doubt you know anything about that.

Jul 17, 2013

Why should men be able to make their own decisions? Because they're men? Because if they don't, they lose their masculinity? What is so wrong about asking for advice on things that they need help with? Sometimes men want to dress well, but don't know how.

Let me guess. You've never asked for help/advice on anything in your life and have made every single decision in your life by yourself. Good one.

The only person who's trying to be a "tough guy" is you.

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Jul 17, 2013

Jesus, I need a fucking stylist.

Jul 17, 2013

Pleats, black suit, and mandatory break on pants? Please, this goes beyond subjective taste to just objectively wrong.

Jul 17, 2013

While this is a good overview, I think there is some flexibility with respect to these opinions, especially depending on geography/work environment. For example, french cuffs are perfectly acceptable even for junior bankers/consultants/lawyers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. I'm not too familiar with American offices, so I'll refrain from commenting on style requirements/faux pas' there.

If you want to keep it simple you can simply go to a Zara or Massimo Dutti store and buy a couple of suits that fit you well (please ask an attendant to help you out the first few times). I tend to buy shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt or TM Lewin. All great value for money imho. No need to break the bank to look good.

Jul 17, 2013
Hungry Monkey:

Button-down Collar:

1.) The tie is optional

2.) ALWAYS button the collar

Yeah... that reminded me of the overwhelming american dominance in this forum.

Anyway, great post.

Jul 17, 2013

It you dont have slim fit suits with high water pants and no socks. You aren't doing it right.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jul 17, 2013

Ties
Eldredge Knot
Trinity Knot

Jul 17, 2013

Thanks for the post.
As for the buttons, I've heard that its:

Top: Always
Middle: Sometimes
Bottom: Never

Jul 17, 2013
Mach 10:

Thanks for the post.

As for the buttons, I've heard that its:

Top: Always

Middle: Sometimes

Bottom: Never

Top Sometimes, Middle Always, Bottom Never. And a 2 button has a middle and a bottom. Obviously doesn't apply if you have unbuttoned your jacket to sit down or because the environment isn't super formal.

I personally don't ever button the top of a 3 button suit (the lapels are pressed to roll over the top button on mine anyway) but tall people look better doing it in my opinion.

Jul 18, 2013
junkbondswap:

Looks like we have an internet tough guy running his mouth on an anonymous message board. My point is that men should be able to make their own decisions but since you still live at home with your mom I doubt you know anything about that.

Out of your post and slayer's, you come across as more of the tough guy running his mouth, my friend. What he posted was objective fact, what you posted was opinion (and it came off as brash).

Jul 18, 2013

No interest in getting into a back and forth with a bunch of random bros who don't even lift but I will concede 2 points:

1) The sarcasm underlying the majority of my posts is lost on some of you.

2) My original post was not constructive but it was objectively accurate.

This topic has been done on the site countless times but this particular one (including the title) reads like it was written by a female Thai foreign exchange student who was attempting to compile fashion advice for bros after doing a Google search.

My reaction to the post actually had nothing to do with the fashion advice but more to do with the general sense of risk-aversion that permeates this forum/industry and hinders so many junior guys in this business. Taking good advice is a key to becoming successful but so is being able to develop your own critical-thinking / decision-making skills, identity, and credibility.

Jul 18, 2013

Lol? You're denser than I thought.

1. You say you have no interest in arguing, yet you proceed to concede your 2 points.

2. You must be dumb to think sarcasm translates well over text. Obviously no one here got it. Also, from reading what you wrote, I highly doubt you could make what you wrote sound sarcastic if you said it to me in person. Nice attempt at trying to make it seem like you were joking when you clearly weren't.

3. Learn to not take things so seriously? All fashion advice is someone's opinion. No need to get so critical or condescend people.

4. Nice attempt at putting down those who "don't even lift" when you don't know anyone here and think that not lifting is a bad thing. Oh wait, you were probably being sarcastic. My bad.

Jul 18, 2013

Agreed should never do the top button on a 3-button. To be honest, I've always thought people in 3-buttons look like doormen.

Also, wouldn't tie anything other than a four in hand. All the others make you look like a football (soccer) player.

Jul 18, 2013

Spread collars all day, Ledbury makes a nice one.

Jul 18, 2013
junkbondswap:

No interest in getting into a back and forth with a bunch of random bros who don't even lift but I will concede

Stats, now.

Jul 18, 2013
APAE:
junkbondswap:

No interest in getting into a back and forth with a bunch of random bros who don't even lift but I will concede

Stats, now.

lol

Jul 21, 2013

Awesome stuff. I will also add that a good pair of shoes make the difference. If there's one part of your wardrobe that you should splurge on - it's your shoes.

Your belt colour should always match your shoes. Brown belts/shoes look good on navy suits, and certain grey ones. Otherwise stick to black.

Also invest in a watch. Doesn't have to be expensive, something conservative and simple will do.

Don't dress better than your superiors! Seriously I used to work with an intern that came everyday in Brooks Brothers suits and Hermes ties. Don't be that guy.

It also doesn't hurt to hit the gym a little. Good posture and no gut will make a massive difference. The goal is for YOU to make the clothes look good, not the other way around.

Stay away from excessive/all jewellery if possible.

Black socks - no checkered funky designs (unless you are higher up the food chain).

If you have a permanent office, keep a spare wardrobe in there. You never know when you might need it.

Jul 21, 2013
Comment
  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Nov 10, 2015