A Fresh Look at Formal Business Attire for Men

The modern office dress code leaves men looking interchangeable. Be brave and balance the correct elements. Take a fresh look at formal business attire for men to set yourself apart in the office.
Image CreditAklasu Six-Fold Glen Plaid Tie

Hey, new guy. Confused, you turn around slowly. Then you reveal you're not new at all. You've been with the company for years. You can't blame him. The way men in offices dress today, it's easy to confuse one navy blue suit with another. Everyone's consulted the same articles online and chose the safe route: navy blue or grey suit, a white shirt, and any old tie to announce your attire's formality.

What if I told you there's formal business attire for men that will help you stand out while still looking professional?

Keep reading, and Kevin from accounting will never mistake you for the "new guy" again.

Add Nuance to Established Suit Colours

Navy blue is classic. The inky navy shades are safe. They help the brown leather on your shoes and belt pop. Nothing looks crisper than a white shirt framed by a navy blue jacket. But everyone knows it and takes advantage.

As they should. No one looks bad in a fine-fitting navy blue suit. But if you don't want to look like an interchangeable cog in the office, you have to change it up. Try brighter blues that complement your skin tone and hair colour.

As for the navy blue suit's associate, the grey suit, consider other shades of grey. Darker greys are more polished and formal. But lighter grey suits can give you more of a modern look in the office.

Experimenting with different shades is great, but don't shy away from patterns. Subtle suit patterns like windowpane and herringbone give your office attire depth, dimension, and a little extra (without sacrificing formality).

High-Quality Shirts with a Little Ooompf

A well-fitting dress shirt made of high-quality materials looks great and lasts long, making it a must for formal business attire for men.

A crisp white shirt is essential to every man's wardrobe, so we won't tell you to do away with white shirts. You can, however, elevate your white shirt style by wearing ones with subtle hints of texture.

Subtlety is key with your other dress shirts as well. Add some variety to your weekly work attire with checkered and striped patterns on your dress shirts. They'll have a flattering effect as long as you use them sparingly. Keep the patterns small and tasteful. Save the large, bold designs for the junior associates who haven't discovered the beauty of refined, timeless style.

Tasteful Ties to Elevate Formal Business Attire for Men

You want to stand out, but you want to stand out for the right reasons. Bright shirts with bold patterns will definitely help you stand out in the office. But for the wrong reasons.

The same principles apply to the ties that you wear with your shirts. Ties should complement, not upstage, you. Choose tasteful colours and patterns. Have one or two (or three) grenadine ties in your arsenal. A grenadine's fine weave and subtle yet eye-catching texture can add depth and intrigue to your work wardrobe.



Next, keep your knot tight, and don't forget the dimple. The 'dimple' is the small fold beneath the knot of a tie. It's a small detail, but it adds a hint of sophistication and indicates that you're not a stranger to finer details.

Keep your tie game tight, and don't leave without reading Good Tie Etiquette: 5 Rules You Need to Know and Follow.

Show off Your Shoe Game

A pair of exquisite dress shoes will put a cap on your outfit. Avoid tacky square-toed shoes and invest in a pair of versatile Oxford dress shoes that you can pair with several outfits.

Show off your beautiful shoes by making sure your trousers break just as they touch the top of your shoes. The streamlined and modern look will also give you a pleasing silhouette.

And you can't show off your sophisticated style in dirty shoes. Read Men's Shoe Care: Look Sharp from Head to Toe, and add polish (in more ways than one) to formal business attire for men.

A Few Details to Put the Cherry on Top

Now that you have a solid foundation in place for your fresh and formal business attire, it's time to think about a few accessories that reveal your personal style and taste.

Starting with a belt that matches your shoes. It's functional, and a suit doesn't look complete without a belt. Next, get yourself a nice watch. It's much classier than pulling out your phone whenever you want to check the time.

After those two accessories, you can add a pocket square for a splash of colour or cufflinks for a touch of class.

Don't go overboard with accessories. You're still in an office, after all. You'll work with colleagues and meet with clients you want to impress.

Crafting formal business attire for men is a tightrope—a balancing act that requires bravery and restraint. But get the balance right, and there will be no mistaking you when you walk into the conference room.

Refined essentials that make unforgettable office outfits.