Be the best-dressed man in the office with these 8 back-to-work essentials
Whether you’re pushing for that exec-level promotion or starting a new chapter in your career, here are the finest items to help you transition from the sofa to the water cooler…
Like our adolescent terror of returning to school in September, going back to the workplace after a fortnight of festive excess and bacchanalia can feel like a shock to the system. But it’s not just the thronged inbox that fills us with foreboding – it’s also the early-morning dark skies, the frosty, unforgiving commute, and the aggressive glare of the fluoro lights above.
But with a new year comes a new mindset, so the ethos goes, and there is something sweet in the notion of having a designated period in which to give our officewear a little refresh, and, hopefully, make the arrival to the desk an easier pill to swallow. So whether you’re pushing for that exec-level promotion or starting a new chapter in your career, here are the finest items to help you transition from the sofa to the water cooler…
Rebuild Your Foundations
Let’s begin with the backbone of the wardrobe – if the bitterness of December is anything to go off, the remaining few months of winter will be a tumult of below-freezing temps and prickly, spiky mornings. To counter such Hoth-like elements, it might help to add big-ticket purchases to your wardrobe; though we’re sure you’ve already invested heavily in trenches and wool trousers, it can’t hurt to have a few more items on the rotation – not only will this ease the stress on your other garments, but it’ll also allow you to switch up your ensembles with more regularity.
This single-breasted overcoat by heritage brand Aubin has a classic feel, thanks to its straight cut and three-button detailing, and, being slightly less structured allows it to easily slip over several layers. We’re particularly fond of the herringbone detailing and dark-grey hue – features that’ll (subtly) stand you apart from the crowd of puffer jackets. When it comes to things below the belt, make a beeline for New & Lingwood’s navy chinos, a simple, straightforward pair of trousers that hit the right tone between dressed-up and dressed-down. The timeless look also means they’ll be an investment for the seasons to come.
Aubin ‘Ramsden’ overcoat
New & Lingwood chinos
Splash Out On Some New Building Blocks
Over the decades, you’ve been relentlessly told about the endless number of shirt-tie combinations, waistcoats and pocket squares to consider for the boardroom. However, with the breaking down of traditional work norms in the past few years, so too have the rules of dressing shifted gear – a more loose and less-fussy approach has been taken, with emphasis on versatility.
When you’re jumping between the informality of working from home back to the bullpen, all while rushing through the grimness of the outdoors, you’ll need an insulating, wear-anywhere layer that’ll pair with either informal pieces or HQ-friendly items. Aurélien’s full-zip fine-knit can – like a good navy suit – be the sartorial workhorse you need; it has a refined and slender profile, and though it’s well-suited to wear with crewneck t-shirts, it can also be further elevated by this sharp hair-lined button-down by New & Lingwood.
Aurélien zipper vest
New & Lingwood Oxford shirt
Step Up Your Footwear Options
Shoes maketh the man goes the adage – and even though we’re a little inclined to steer away from this maxim (we make sure that everything from hero items to subtle finishes and details are given equal importance), we do believe that a bad bit of footwear can undo a man’s efforts within an instant. We’re happy to assume you’ve pumped some money into getting a quality pair of Derbys and heavy-duty workwear boots, so we’ll guide you towards two of our current favourite flair items, ones that don’t make a statement through bold patterns or prints, but whose rich materials and hues provide a hit of understated luxe to whatever getup you’re wearing.
The go-to label for the well-heeled, Crockett & Jones’s ‘Boston’ is a classic pennyloafer that features minimal detailing in order to underline its traditional Goodyear-welted construction and fine, waterproof suede shell. On the other end of the scale are these low-cut sneakers by Aurélien – the main draw is that the unembellished styling allows it to work outside of office hours.
Crockett & Jones ‘Boston’ loafers
Aurélien ‘Cambridge’ sneakers
Find The Right Finishing Touches
Though we often advocate minimal-style dressing, the type that allows good-quality materials and cuts to do all the sartorial talking, from time to time we find ourselves having a certain penchant for picking up some accessories. If you’re also thinking about the finer details, we recommend you eschew becoming the man in the loud tie or the wearer of garish socks – instead, the below two items should help subtly elevate your wears.
For carrying documents, daily reads, or slimline tech, few do portfolios better than the family-run Ettinger; its ‘Bakerloo’ carry-around is defined by its calf-leather shell, and is finished off with two retractable handles (but it can also be carted under arm) and a brass lock. To tie things up, Awling’s belt is the epitome of craftsmanship, featuring a hand-finished fixed brass roller and blind debossed branding.
Ettinger ‘Bakerloo’ portfolio
Awling chocolate-brown belt
Want to freshen up your grooming game, too? These are the bathroom essentials for 2023…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.
Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?
Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.