By Sage Onderdonk, Men’s Senior Styling Director at JCPenney
It’s that time of year for new resolutions and goals. Is advancing your career on your list for 2017? If so, it’s time to embrace the philosophy of dressing for the job you want, not the job you have.
The trend today is for business casual workplaces to skew more toward a business look and less toward casual. This actually works in your favor, because a professional appearance plays a big role in how others regard you at the office. Give more thought to your work wardrobe, and you’ll find that your managers, coworkers and customers take you more seriously.
The simplest way to elevate your look is to add a third piece—a suit jacket or sport coat. It’s easy to take it off during the day, but having it handy will ensure you’re always prepared for important impromptu meetings.
You don’t have to wear a tie with a suit, but ties are definitely on trend right now, so consider adding a few to your collection. If you work in a casual environment, your three-piece look could be dressy jeans, a blazer and your choice of a turtleneck, crewneck or even a v-neck t-shirt. And if your company is laid-back, wearing a pair of classic Converse with a suit shows you’re totally on point.
JCPenney carries a wide variety of suits in both traditional and slim fits, so it’s easy to find one that you can wear right off the rack, with no extra tailoring required. If you prefer a traditional fit, check out Stafford. If your style is more modern, JF J. Ferrar carries a wide selection of slim-fit suits.
Here are the six key pieces that belong in every guy’s 9-to-5 wardrobe:
- Classic black suit with a white shirt
A navy blazer used to be a mainstay in every man’s wardrobe. That’s been replaced with a black jacket. A black suit can be worn with or without a tie, and a crisp white shirt adds high contrast for an uber-professional look.
- Pinstripe jacket
The fit is critical. A jacket that’s one size too big or too small or just doesn’t fit you well projects a sloppy look. Make sure your jacket contours to your body.
- Slim, flat-front pants
In addition to black pants, invest in another neutral shade like gray to bring more versatility to your wardrobe.
- Leather belt
Keep it simple and classic. Avoid belts that are braided or have intricate or unusual buckles.
- Lace-up brogue shoes
It’s important to look sharp head to toe. A pair of classic shoes adds the perfect finishing touch to both dress pants and denim.
- Black pants
These should be flat-front pants with a clean line and should fit you well. A higher-quality fabric will look better and last longer.
Start with these basics, and then build from there. What’s your most tried-and-true look for the office? Show me on Twitter and Instagram using #jcpStyle.
Sage Onderdonk, Men’s Senior Styling Director at JCPenney
Aptly named, Sage Onderdonk has been fashion-wise since she was a little girl styling her friends’ dress-up sessions. Today, this New York-trained fashionista is the men’s senior styling director at JCPenney, where she mixes the latest trends with emerging street fashion to give the guys a unique signature look. What’s her favorite part of being a JCPenney stylist for the past 14 years? It’s helping people show the world who they are and what they stand for through their clothing choices.