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Suiting up for the office Christmas party

If you regularly wear a suit to work then you may think the office Christmas party is a time to dress down and wear what you like. This is not a good idea. The office party, to a certain extent, is just like any other office event except it has more profile. This means that your boss is likely to be there, there’s a good chance that your boss’s boss will be there and there may even be some clients there so it’s still a time where presentation and impressions count.

Don’t wear the same suit that you always wear to work. Instead, wear a suit that you wouldn’t normally wear…as long as it’s not a summer suit in a pale pastel colour. Navy, grey or black suits are best and, together with a crisp white shirt, you will cut a fine sartorial figure. You don’t want to blend into the crowd and by wearing a new suit or a suit your colleagues haven’t seen before; you will still make a good impact. Here are some other quick tips for suiting up for the office Christmas party:

  • Ties tend to be optional at Christmas parties but if you’re unsure, take one with you. You can always slip it on at the last moment if everybody else is wearing one.
  • Fight the temptation to wear a Christmas-themed tie or waistcoat. It’s okay to maybe have some tasteful festive cuff-links or tie clip but when it comes to being festive, subtlety is the key.
  • Accessorizing with a pocket square and a nice watch will give a classic finishing touch to your suit.
  • A lot of Christmas office parties start shortly after the working day so there’s not a lot of time to get ready. Plan your attire in advance so that you can immediately change and be ready for the event.

Another good reason for men getting suited up for the office Christmas party is showing some respect to your female colleagues. There’s a good chance that they will want to wear something more elegant and sparkly than their normal office attire and if you’re there in your jeans and shirt, they will be made to look and feel a bit awkward. Your female colleagues will prefer it if you’ve made an effort so getting suited up is just plain old-fashioned good manners!

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Developing an individual style

I am often asked by my clients about what the latest fashion and styles are in men’s tailoring and my answer is always the same. Fashion and style are two different things. Fashion is what may be popular at this present moment but it doesn’t mean
that will always be the case. Style is something that you develop and stands the test of time. It’s something that you learn from experience and being comfortable in your own skin.

Every man’s wardrobe should contain the right mix of fashion and style items so that you can wear what’s on-trend now and pieces that are more individually tailored to you, your personality and what makes you unique. Fashion is about the here and now, style is about the detail. Developing your own style is something that a good tailor can help you with because a good tailor will take the time to get to know you, what your lifestyle is like and how your body shape will suit certain clothes.

When it comes to developing your own style there will normally be your casual-self and professional-self that you need tailoring for. A good tailor will know how you can mix and match pieces to create that smart-casual look that so often is the dress attire
for events and specific occasions. Knowing your own style can be more difficult than it seems and it often helps to work with a tailor who can work with you and introduce you to palettes of colours and accessories that you might not previously have considered.

As well as in the suit you’re wearing you can bring out your individual style in a tie, waistcoat, pocket square, cufflinks scarf or hat. Accessories are great when it comes to experimenting with style and finding a fit that suits your personality and makes you more distinctive.

Why not try a bit of experimenting yourself this autumn and see how you can develop your own individual style?

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Why should you dress up?

When Lewis Hamilton was recently refused entry into the Royal Box at Wimbledon for not being dressed smartly enough I have to admit to a certain smug smirk. As a tailor I sometimes get downhearted by the unmitigating slide towards casualness where nobody bothers to dress up anywhere. Visits to the theatre, fine dining restaurants, important social occasions etc should be an occasion to dress up and if you can’t dress up for the Royal Box at Wimbledon when will you dress up?!

Anyway, excuse the rant but it is a bit of a hobby horse of mine. Dressing up isn’t about one-upmanship or displaying wealth, it’s simply a case of having a sense of style and expressing yourself. Here are my five top reasons why every man should make the effort to dress up, especially if the occasion calls for it:

Self Confidence and Maturity – being smart shows that you are comfortable in your own skin and that you have the confidence to project your style. It will display to others that you are mature, motivated and have respect for the occasion.

Self Respect – you will feel good about yourself. The time, effort and pride you take in the way you look will boost your self image and it can’t fail to be noticed by others.

Positive Reaction – clothes maketh the man and when you look good, people respond more positively to you. You stand out more and people will value the fact that you take care in your appearance.

Improves mindset – when you look the part you feel the part. Whether you’re dressing for an important social occasion or business meeting, dressing smartly will keep you focused, create the right impression, and also keep you on your game.

Remembered – the sharper you look the more you will be remembered. This may not be important to you but in some cases, especially interview situations, being remembered for all the right reasons is crucial.

So, as autumn approaches, take a look at your social and business diary and highlight those occasions that deserve some sartorial effort. And if your wardrobe isn’t up to the task, it’s time to invest!