Updated: Apr 29, 2019
While your Zuckerbergian uniform of a t-shirt and jeans may seem appropriate for many instances of tech culture, putting your best foot forward style-wise in the workplace will definitely help you level up.
Whether your office has a dress code or is a casual environment, your personal style can be just that — yours. With a few signature pieces and the ability to identify cuts and styles that work for you, you can be well on your way to looking sharp on the daily.
Figure Out What You Like
It’s true there aren’t as many men’s fashion magazines as there are women’s, but that
doesn’t mean you don’t have resources. Men’s style blogs are a great way to keep up on what’s current and get your own inspiration, from casual wear to business wear.
Also, don’t discount platforms like Pinterest, where you can create your own personal style boards and categorize them any way you’d like — you can also just browse.
Odds are you already have an idea of what you like, but staying aware of what’s new and how other men are putting together looks can be an amazing source of guidance. Even simply looking at fashionable cuts and tailored fits can help you better identify what to try on when shopping — no need to start from square one.
To Suit or Not to Suit
Depending on your work environment and dress code, you may or may not need to own multiple suits. We do recommend you have at least one that you love. After all, you never know when you may need to dress up, and wearing the one in the back of your closet from 2005 isn’t going to cut it. (Ok, well at least a sport coat)
As you likely know, a good suit is something you can’t just buy off the rack — it almost always requires tailoring. Spending the time and effort to not only have that done, but to research styles and cuts that work for you first, is imperative.
Making thoughtful, informed decisions about your clothing is nothing to shy away from.
For those who work in a more casual environment, you can still achieve that sharp, professional look while maintaining a cool level of comfort — add a few tailored blazers to your closet and pair with quality denim and a tee (in your proper size) for a slick, business-casual look that will impress. Learn some essential fit knowledge.
Add a Pop of Color
Hey, men can wear pink too! Working in the tech world, there is a level of creativity,
innovation and ingenuity involved — and that can easily translate to the way you dress.
While we don’t necessarily expect you to go for that banana yellow dandy suit, we do think adding a bit of color or a fun pattern to your daily look is nice, and helps you stand out from the crowd. Try a pocket square or sport coat in an unconventional color or a button down or tie in a print such as stripes or checks, then balance it with a great pair neutral, tailored pants or quality denim. For those looking to dip their toes into color (pun intended), try a pair of brightly colored socks that can peek out from time to time — it shows flair, individuality and attention to detail.
Elevating the Jeans and T-Shirt Look
Ok, so you work from home. Or perhaps dressing up just really isn’t your thing. You can
still rock that the jeans and tee look without looking basic.
One of the top mistakes men make when buying clothing is ignoring proper fit. Shirts a size too big, pants that are ill-fitting or too loose, etc — it’s easy to just buy what looks comfortable. It is possible to still be comfy and look sharp, however.
Most boutiques or nicer stores have trained sales staff that can help you find the right size and fit, it’s just a matter of asking. Pair a cool t-shirt that reflects your personality with some great denim, a belt and your favorite kicks, then pop an open button with the sleeves rolled up over it — viola!
Get with Grooming
Regardless of your work environment, bringing your A-game both in and out of the
office is important. After all, you’re smart and talented and your outside appearance can and should reflect that. Even if you don’t consider yourself traditionally good looking, style and good grooming is the one thing we can all own — it gives confidence, self-esteem and tells the world you love yourself.
Treat yourself to a haircut at a real salon and ask your stylist for his or her advice on what works with your face shape — and make sure they give you a lesson on how to maintain your new style until the next cut (products are your friend).
Keeping any facial hair (including nose and eyebrows) shaped and/or trimmed can make all the difference in your look as well.
It’s all about maintenance — a small amount of care and routine goes a long way.
Investing in some basic skin care products such as a cleanser and daily moisturizer with SPF is also a great bet too, and adds virtually no extra time to your daily routine. Esquire has some great, easy tips on grooming habits.
Style In A Box
Still not confident in your own style? Try one of the "style in a box" clubs. They pair you with a professional stylist who finds out about your style and lifestyle and then sends you pieces each month or quarter.
Nordstrom Trunk Club (includes alterations at Nordstrom)