Five ways to spruce up your officewear in 2023
Want a wardrobe overhaul to see in the new year? We’ve chosen five key pieces — from suede boots to corduroy blazers — to keep your workwear in check…
The best New Year’s resolutions are hanging in your wardrobe. They’re easier to keep than crash diets, better value than gym memberships and won’t be abandoned by the end of January. Because a good clothing shake-up will stand the test of time and inject some energy and fresh enthusiasm into your daily drag. So, as we spend most of our days and weeks at work, let’s start this reshuffle with your working wardrobe…
Try a button-down collar on your shirt
Let’s start with a simple one; a new shirt. As we hot-desk and flexi-work our way into a new year, the guidelines of office dressing will likely continue to loosen. And, with them, our ties. Gone are the days of starched shirts, crisp collars and Double Windsors. But you don’t want to let your sartorial standards slide too far…
That’s where the button-down collar comes in. It may not be a new innovation (Brooks Brothers first cut such shirts in 1896), but the recent surge in semi-formality has seen the style come into its own. Its design provides the structure for which we once relied on ties, and it ensures your collar still stands when a couple of buttons are undone.
Turnbull & Asser Oxford Shirt
New & Lingwood White Cotton Shirt
100Hands Japanese Chambray Shirt
Lace up a versatile pair of suede chukka boots
Shoes have gone the same way as the shirts above. Whilst we once slipped on highly-polished Oxfords and brogues to step into our offices, modern workplaces don’t demand such strait-laced formality. But this opens up a whole world of styles — with everything from smart sneakers to penny loafers all becoming fair footwear game.
Our pick? The humble suede chukka boot. It walks the smart-casual line on a capable, sturdy sole — and that napped texture side-steps the high-shine of overly smart shoes. They’re exceedingly versatile, utterly timeless and offer enough ankle support to see you through even the most calamitous commute.
Crockett & Jones ‘Chiltern’ Boots
Cheaney ‘Sherwood’ Chukka Boots
Church’s ‘Ryder 3 LW’ Chukka Boots
Mix up your knitwear with a zip-up sweater
There’s no shortage of office-appropriate knitwear for the modern man. From cardigans and sweater vests to jumpers with a number of neck styles — be they crew, mock or turtle — you’ve likely already got a fair few woolly mid-layers folded neatly in your wardrobe. But the best you’re yet to pull over? The zip-up sweater.
It’s another versatile style; a hybrid that weaves together the easy access of a cardigan with the snugness of a sweater. Paired with a crisp button-collar shirt, it’ll brings together off-duty and accomplished — and will span every season and tackle every level of office air con there is.
Luca Faloni Pure Cashmere Zip-Up
Aurélien Merino Zipper Sweater
Sunspel Lambswool Zip Neck Jumper
Pull on a pair of comfortable pleated trousers
Popular in the past, it’s time to give pleated trousers another chance. And there are plenty of pleats to choose from. Styles of such double-folded fabric designs include ‘Fluted’, ‘Fortuny’, ‘Kick’ and ‘Kingussie’. But we’d stick with the simple ‘Knife’ pleats — which allow your trousers to expand when sitting, upping their comfort credentials and diffusing any seam tension.
Choose a colour that’ll pair nicely with a wide range of shirts and shoes, and invest in a well-made pair (we’d suggest Kit Blake, or perhaps Ralph Lauren), and you’ll benefit from your neat pleats for many working weeks to come.
Aubin ‘Barcombe’ Chinos
Kit Blake ‘Grant’ Trousers
Ralph Lauren ‘Whitman’ Pleated Chinos
Upgrade your smart-casual blazer with corduroy
The final flourish of our five new workwear essentials? A blazer. But, while previous years may have seen you button up a silk-blend, or flannel jacket, why not try give corduroy a try? It’s made from tough stuff; literally, with a rugged, ridged composition and insulating properties. What’s more, it’s the king of the smart casual dress code — endlessly versatile almost all year round.
So, if you stick once more to your restrained, work-appropriate colour palette, you’ll have a statement piece with a smart-casual edge. And, thanks to the stiff properties of cord, jackets and blazers crafted from the fabric hold their shape immeasurably better than other options — and are much cosier, too.
Drake’s Green Corduroy Blazer
SIRPLUS Cotton-Corduroy Blazer
Private White V.C. ‘The Casual Cord Blazer’
Want more great style tips? Here are 7 suiting lessons to learn from Robert De Niro in Casino…
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