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It’s Finally Friday

I cannot stress this enough: CHECK THE OFFICE POLICY ON CASUAL FRIDAY! The policy in my office is, in general, jeans and closed-toe shoes. If you want to wear a t-shirt or a collared shirt, either is acceptable. I usually go with the collared shirt to maintain a certain level of professionalism, just look at the picture below:

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However that may not be the case for your office. Make sure you know the policy, or if there is one, before venturing out.  And remember, you can still be as expressive with your accessories on a casual friday. A navy blue blazer still looks good with jeans, and you can add a lapel pin of your alma mater to spark conversation.

(Holi)Dazed and Confused

The holidays are always a joyous time of the year. And while it may be joyous, it can get a little overwhelming. Especially when it comes to wanting to dress for the occasion. Now somewhat standard holidays like the 4th of July or St. Patrick’s Day are pretty easy: Red, white, & blue; green respectively. But the winter holidays get a little hazy.

I can say that I would be the one person to just wear whatever Christmas stuff I had and just hope for the best. My office is pretty laid back and I know what I can and can’t get away with in some areas. When it comes to the holidays, pretty much anything goes. Even if we werent’ as laid back, I’d still just wear my Christmas colors and hope for the best. I know that doesn’t work for everyone, but sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

I Went Down to the Crossroads

Crossroads

We’ve all heard that at some point in our lives we’ll come to a fork in the road, we can go left or right.  I’ve always liked to look at it as I’m standing at the Crossroads.  The best advice I can give you when something like this comes up is what Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  You may change jobs to a different company, you may change jobs within the same company.  Hopefully by this point you’ve figured out who you are and your clothes reflect that.  You buy the clothes for the person, not the job.  Don’t forget that.

The crossroads have always had an aura about it to me.  Eric Clapton sings a song titled Crossroads and asking God for mercy. Legend has it that Robert Johnson, an American blues singer and performer, sold his soul to the devil at crossroads to achieve success. (more…)

My Mirror Staring Back at Me

At some point there will come a time of self-reflection on your style.  A time when you have to figure out who you want to be, not what you want to be.  I had that time in my life shortly after I got the job that I’m currently in.  The dress for the office is “business casual,” which means different things to different people. To me it meant I needed to look nice but be comfortable, once I decided that, it was time to make my closet reflect that.  I’m at the point now where I think I did a good job.  You want to be comfortable not only in the material and size of your clothes, but the colors and patterns.  Take a look at this picture of me from Easter 2016:

Cason Easter 2016 Outfit

Navy blue blazer, pastel colored shirt in a plaid pattern, pink bow tie to match.  On the whole, that’s my style.  I know the bow ties work for me and I’m comfortable with them.  I know those colors and that style work for me and I’m comfortable with it.  The navy blue blazer should be comfortable for everyone, it should be a standard in the attire arsenal.  Take the time to reflect on what will and will not work for you.  Everyone’s different so I know what I have on in that photo will not work for everyone else, and that’s ok.  Just become familiar with yourself and what you’re comfortable in and let everything else fall into place.

Rolling With the Punches

There comes a time when you begin to wonder “Am I still fashion forward,” or “Is this still fashionable?” Fear not because the wonderful people at Esquire created a wonderful entitled The New Rules of 21st-Century Style.  Now this list was published back in 2014 and a few things have changed nothing has changed.  This list is handy to have around and should be your go to when you have a question about your clothes.  The list even addresses your office attire, which is the whole point of this blog so pay close attention to it.  We’ll all get to the point where we have to consult the list (if we’re not there already), so be prepared for what may come your way.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Even though you want to set yourself apart, you definitely want to keep your suits on the darker side. While khaki/tan suits are great for summer and for certain events, most of the time you need to stay on the dark side of the color wheel.  Black, navy blue, dark grey (charcoal), and grey are your friends and should be treated as such.  Yes these colors can be bland, it’s best to be subtle.  Remember a little goes a long way.

In my last post I talked about how you can set yourself apart.  99% of the time you are going to be able to match the colors of your accessories to your suits.  That’s where the darker color suits come in handy. You can even get your suits in different patters.  Different patterns work better for different people, and that’s something we’ll discuss in a later post.  For now, though, just remember dark suits are your friends.  Socks, ties, cufflinks, lapel pins, and pocket squares are the place to branch out for bright colors and different patterns.

That’s the Way (Uh Huh Uh Huh) I Like It

One thing that took me a while to find in my life was my sense of style.  Everyone has one, although they probably all vary greatly.  No matter what your style may be just remember that it’s yours.  Your look doesn’t have to define you, but it’s a part of you.  It’s what helps make you recognizable and can distinguish you from others.

For me, my style is not that distinguishable from a lot of people, but I have various quirks that make it work for me.  For instance, I’m very “traditional” with my style.  I’m an old soul and old school kind of guy and that carries over with my clothes.  But my socks and ties tell a different story.  As a bigger guy it’s harder for me to get some patterns and colors in clothes that I like in my size.  I have to get creative with things.   So where normal neck ties may not be a comfortable length to me, and extra long ties are too long, I’ve switched to bow ties.  That’s where I can branch out and get a color/pattern that may be “out there.”  The same goes for my socks.  I’m definitely the one guy in my office that’s not afraid to branch out with the crazy socks.

You can stay “business appropriate” and still show off your fashion sense with different accessories. Remember too that lapel pins and pocket squares can also be your friend.  A great place to find ties, bow ties, and matching lapel pins and pocket squares is the tie bar.  They have great choices and are easy on the wallet too.  If socks is more your game, check out happy socks.  They have a lot of designs and colors, as well as a “dressy” section.

These ideas may not be for everyone, but these are just some things that I do to help myself apart to keep from getting lost in the crowd.  You want to be able to stand out and let people take notice of you.  Otherwise you can really start to feel like a drone.