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Do You Need to Know How to Build a Business Wardrobe?

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Section: Building Your Wardrobe - Blog

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If you want to create that all-important first impression, you must build an amazing business wardrobe that makes you stand out in the crowd without looking out of place. Here's our expert advice on the essential items to include in a career wardrobe.

jobS dictate wardrobe needs

What you do for a living dictates, to a large degree, the type of clothing you'll wear. Creating a positive first impression is important when we meet clients, potential employers, or even business partners for the first time. Here's our take on four different career paths as well as our recommendations for some must have clothing items.

  • Professionals – mostly wear business suits
  • Business owners – usually dress in blazers & sports jacket etc.
  • Working men –typically wear a "uniform" such as casual vests, men's trousers, casual shirts etc.
  • Creative men – individuals for whom denims and shirts express the creativity required in the job.

professional man's wardrobe

As a professional man, you'll want to make a major investment in your suits and business shirts, but it's important not to neglect the casual aspect of your life - all work and no play is not a healthy lifestyle!

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Here's our tips for crafting the perfect professional wardrobe:

  • 6+ Suits
  • 3+ Pair Dress Shoes
  • 2 Pair Casual Leather Shoes
  • Belts to match shoes (see above)
  • 15+ business shirts (simple, conservative solids, herringbones, light pinstripes etc.)
  • 5+ Casual Shirts (more adventurous fabric choices are ginghams etc.)
  • 15+ Ties
  • 1 Pair jeans that fit – no holes
  • 4 Pair Slacks, Dark & Light
  • 4+ Button-up collared sport shirts
  • 2+ Solid Polo Shirts
  • 5+ Sweaters
  • 10+ Undershirts (V-neck)
  • 2+ Sports Jackets
  • 1 Navy Blazer
  • 10+ Pocket Squares
  • 2 Simple Dress Watches
  • 1 Overcoat
  • 1 Pair Leather Gloves
  • 1 Trench coat
  • 1 Hat
  • Presentable Athletic Clothing
  • Collar Stays, Cuff Links

business owner's wardrobe

As the owner of the company, there may be days when you'll have to roll up your sleeves and work alongside your crew, and then dash back to the office to slip into a more traditional outfit such as a suit or sports jacket, business shirt and tie to meet with clients or investors. Because you wear many "hats" that define your varied roles, you'll need a versatile mix-and-match wardrobe to suit each occasion or function.

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Here's our recommendation for pulling together a working wardrobe to suit your needs:

  • 1+ Suits
  • 1+ Pair Dress Shoes
  • 2 Pair Casual Leather Shoes
  • Belts that match the shoes above
  • 10+ Business Shirts (simple, conservative solids, herringbones, light pinstripes etc.)
  • 5+ Casual Shirts (more adventurous fabric choices, ginghams etc.)
  • 3+ Ties
  • 2 Pairs of well-fitting Jeans
  • 5 Pair Slacks, Dark & Light
  • 5+ Button-up collared sport shirts
  • 5 Solid Polo Shirts
  • 5 Sweaters
  • 10+ Undershirts V-neck
  • 2+ Sports Jackets
  • 1 Simple Dress Watch

helpful to have:

  • 1 Navy Blazer
  • 5+ Pocket Squares
  • 1 Overcoat
  • 1 Pair Leather Gloves
  • 1 Trenchcoat
  • 1 Hat
  • Collar Stays, Cuff Links

working man's wardrobe

While your work environment may or may not require you to wear a uniform, odds are you tend to wear business casual wear more than suits and ties. Because of this, you'll need to invest more in those garments and less in suitings and accessories.

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The key to making this minimalistic wardrobe work for you is to invest in core pieces and staple colours that can be mixed and matched to form a multitude of versatile outfits.

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Here's our opinion on the type of items that might be useful:

  • 1 Suit
  • 1 Pair Dress Shoes
  • 1+ Pair Casual Leather Shoes
  • Belts that match above shoes
  • 4+ Business Shirts (simple, conservative solids, herringbones, light pinstripes etc.)
  • 5+ Casual Shirts (more adventurous fabric choices, ginghams etc.)
  • 3+ Ties
  • 2 Pairs of well-fitting Jeans
  • 2 Pair Slacks, Dark & Light
  • 2+ Button-up collared sport shirts
  • 3 Solid Polo Shirts
  • 3 Sweaters
  • 5+ Undershirts
  • 1 Sports Jacket
  • 1 Simple Dress Watch

helpful to have:

  • 1 Navy Blazer
  • 3+ pocket squares
  • 1 Overcoat
  • 1 Pair Leather Gloves
  • 1 Hat
  • Collar Stays, Cuff Links

creative man's wardrobe

Those with a creative bent understand their mode of dress is simply another means of expressing their inner muse.

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While we do recommend you own a suit, business shirt and tie just in case you need it for a fashion emergency, we realize you'll probably be investing most of your wardrobe dollars in comfortable but stylish jeans and trousers as well as complementary garments and accessories.

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Here's some suggestions to spark your creativity but feel free to substitute and innovate as your spirit moves you.

  • 1 Suit & 2 Ties
  • 1 Pair Dress Shoes
  • 2 Pair Casual Leather Shoes (Suede or Saddle Shoes)
  • Belts that match above shoes
  • 10+ Tailored Shirts (less conservative fabric choices, ginghams etc.)
  • 4 Pairs of well-fitting Jeans
  • 2 Pair Slacks, Dark & Light
  • 6+ Button-up collared sport shirts
  • 2 Solid Polo Shirts
  • 6 Sweaters
  • 10+ Undershirts
  • 1+ Sports Jacket – unique style or fabric
  • 1 Simple Watch
  • 5+ Pocket Squares
  • 1 Overcoat (Aim for a Unique Fabric)

helpful to have:

  • 2 Vests – to wear in lieu of a jacket
  • 1 pair Leather Gloves
  • 1 Hat
  • Collar Stays, Cuff Links

Every man, regardless of background or profession, will probably have some formal occasions in his life where tuxedos and dinner jackets are required.

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The full black tie ensemble is a onetime investment that enables you to have a quality outfit for special occasions. In fact, it is an outfit that will pay for itself after five or so wearings.

If you need some visual inspiration, browse tuxedo style options in our online tuxedo style gallery or schedule a one-on-one appointment at our showrooms.

Original idea for article from Antonio Centeno, author of the internet's most actionable men's style guide. We recommend a read!

Image Credits © Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com © Fashionstock .com | Dreamstime.com © Mark Hryciw | Dreamstime.com © Vonora | Dreamstime.com © Vonora | Dreamstime.com © Konradbak | Dreamstime.com © Nejron | Dreamstime.com

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