How to Buy a Suit for the Office and What to Wear It With

how to buy a suit for the office mens street style

Every guy needs a good suit for the office – and it’s important that you know how to buy a suit and what you can wear with it. Here’s your guide to looking confident and successful at work every day.

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In the early 19th century a British man named Beau Brummell redefined and adapted this old 17th-century dress suit. He then popularised it, leading European men to wear well-cut suits, fitted with neckties. Towards the end of the 19th century, the modern lounge suit was created as a very informal piece.

Today, the suit is commonly known as the ultimate conservative outfit. Wearing a good quality suit is the easiest way to come off as professional and feel confident when you’re at the office. Buying a suit for work might seem like a daunting task, so keep to this guide and you’ll be looking handsome and productive in no time.

Grey Suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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Men’s Office Wear

The main factor when choosing your office suit is the colour. Stick to the main neutral colours when buying an office suit, as these are all formal, easy to adapt into any wardrobe, and are easier to style.

Navy is a good colour to go for because you can include stylish details which will make the colour stand out. For example, if you pair a red tie with a navy suit, the colours will automatically pop more than a black suit. It also allows you to mix it up from the classic black suit, which is always a bonus.

A charcoal grey suit is just about as versatile as navy. The darker shade allows you to have two grey suits that both differ from one another. The other grey suit would be a lighter grey, which could sometimes be seen as a little more casual. A lighter shade suit makes it easier to introduce patterns like checks or herringbone into the suit, as the patterns are easily more visible.

Black suits are seen as the most formal and classic choice. You simply can not go wrong with one of these, however, they can get fairly boring and repetitive to wear every day.

Blue suits – different from navy suits – are more casual. They really stand out and brighten your whole look and are at the peak of men’s office fashion.

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Make Sure it Fits Well

There are a few things to look out for when it comes to the fit of your suit. The overall style has been slimmed down in the last few years. If you grab a suit in a slimmer fit, you’ll look better and neater than you would with a sloppier or bigger suit. This doesn’t, however, mean that a regular fit suit won’t suit you. Everybody will suit different styles and fits.

Now onto the fit. Your jacket sleeves should end half an inch above your shirt cuffs, and your suit trousers should fit perfectly on your hipbones that you don’t need a belt to keep them up. A lot of men decide to accessories their suit with a belt regardless, and this often looks good, as it breaks up the colours a bit.

No tailoring can repair an ill-fitting shoulder. Even if you lose a lot of weight, you’re probably going to stay the same suit size because your shoulders aren’t going to change. Shoulder seams should never extend beyond your actual shoulders, and you should avoid excessive padding for an effortless and handsome look.

pinstripe suit for men street style
Vertical Navy Pinstripe Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Men Style 1

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Shirts and Ties

If you want to look professional at work, add a shirt and tie to your formal style. Make sure your shirt doesn’t have fixed cuffs with baggy arms. Extra fabric under your armpits or billowing fabric around your waist also looks bad. A shirt that properly fits is far more professional, and it’s a piece that can wear to any formal event. Buy a shirt and tie at the same time as your suit, so you leave with a whole outfit that you know will all match.

Grab a tie that showcases your personality and goes well with the rest of your suit colour wise. However, it’s a great idea to stay away from fluorescent colours and childish patterns. These ties are simply not appropriate for work. A skinny black tie or a muted down style will work as they can be teamed with different coloured shirts and suits.

Man in Navy suit street style
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

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Men’s Style Ideas: Accessories

A nice watch will enhance your look and add to the style you are trying to create. A leather strap watch adds a slick edge, while silver watches are a good choice because they go with most colours.

You can really show off your personality through cufflinks as well. Match your cufflinks with the colours of your watch, or just go for another design that you may be interested in. You don’t need to take cufflinks too seriously, just have fun with them. Most shirts have buttons anyway, so don’t worry if you don’t want to deal with cufflinks every morning.

If you want to dress extravagantly for work, a pocket square is a nice detail that pushes your look to the next level. A simple place to start is to match the colour of the square to a colour within your tie. Once that’s sorted, you can start experimenting with patterns and fabrics. You will really add character to your look by accessorising with a pocket square, and it will add new dimensions to your look.

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A tie bar or tie clip is also an accessory worth mentioning that adds style to your suit. Its main use is to keep your tie held down to your shirt to keep you neat, but it also looks really good. You can bag them in a variety of shapes, but mostly only in the colours of silver or gold. With most men’s accessories, we believe that less is more, so opt for a minimal style for maximum effect.

As mentioned above, belts are a stylish accessory you can add to your formal look. Even if your pants do fit properly, you might like wearing a belt simply because you like the look of it. Match the colour and finish of your shoes with your belt. For example, a pair of black oxfords would call for a black leather belt.

Shoes

You should trust your eye when you choose shoes. Any shoe you wear with office wear should be formal, neat and polished clean.

If you’re wearing a black suit, you should wear black shoes or it won’t look as formal as you may want it to look. Plain black or deep burgundy shoes work well with charcoal grey suits. You can pair a navy suit with black, brown, or burgundy shoes depending on the occasion.

A light grey suit looks great when you pair it with tan shoes. Tan monk-strap shoes, oxblood brogues, and black braided loafers will all work well if you want to rock a blue style.

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How To Wear A Suit For The Office

  • The aim is to always look smart, so matter what you buy, make it’s well-fitted. Your shoes should be polished, your shirt tucked in and your top button done up.
  • Buy a suit in the main colours, so that you have daily options. Go for a grey, black and navy suit. You can play around with different shades of these colours, too.
  • Don’t be afraid to accessorise. Wear a tie clip, a belt and a watch to break up your look.
  • When it comes to shoes, brogues, monk-straps and loafers are all great formal options.
Man in Blue Suit Street Style
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

On That Note

Buying a suit for work isn’t as daunting as you may once have thought. With this guide, we hope we have set you up for your basic, everyday go-to style. Start with a simple look, as less is always more! Office wear for men should be easy. Nobody needs that extra morning hassle of slaving over what to wear with what. Once you become more comfortable with matching up your look, you can become more daring with patterns and colours.

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