If your idea of smart dressing is swapping your battered converse for loafers and putting on a clean shirt when you’ve got a meeting, then take heed of the advice below (dispensed by Will Forrester, Brand Director of Gieves & Hawkes) for how to dress for the boardroom.
1. Invest and get to know a credible tailoring house who will provide expert fitting and tailoring to suit your shape
2. Have your suit basics covered: a dark Navy travel cloth – two single breasted suits and one double breasted will act as the foundation for a good wardrobe
3. Own at least one flannel and one light chalk stripe suit
4. Have at least three blazers in your wardrobe – summer weight, year round and cashmere. All navy of course.
5. A blazer or jacket worn “casually” must have a single back vent unless the jacket is double breasted – this is a must
6. Select three dark grey flannel trousers three light grey – consider having turn-ups on several pairs so that you can look different when wearing the same classics daily
7. Own several knitted ties to wear with a blazer or a jacket
8. Dry clean the whole suit to make it last longer and look sharp and pressed each time worn
9. Know your audience before you get dressed each morning (chalk stripes sometimes referred to as banker stripes are great for financial meetings)
10. Break the rules with style and decorum
1. Skimp on suits and tailored items, quality is engineered based on longevity
2. Wear a black suit unless you are attending an occasion where appropriate
3. Wear a shiny cloth unless you are working a nightshift!
4. A loud patterned cloth with bright colours
5. Wear jeans or casual trousers with your suit jacket – the back vent is the don’t give-a-way to those in the know
6. Wear jewellery, unless it’s a classic watch
7. Forget to wear the appropriate footwear
8. Let your outerwear or overcoat choice fall above the lowest point of your jacket as the jacket must be neatly hidden
9. Wear things that don’t fit your shape or size
10. Tie your tie in a full Windsor knot, as half will do just fine and look much better