A Basic Guide to Dressing Smartly for Work

There are a lot of men in Singapore don’t pay much attention to fashion and dressing well. Although this is the case, there is still a perfectly good reason for it; the heat. We dress for convenience instead of style, which is really a good thing. What men have to know though, is that we don’t have to sacrifice style at all. Especially in an office environment where we are expected to dress smartly too.

Knowing how to dress, what to wear, and what not to wear in the office can actually have a lot of benefits, even if you don’t notice them. That’s why we’ve listed a really simple guide you can use for reference!

Find the right fit
This is already fairly obvious, but there are still a lot of men who make mistakes with this one. We tend to pick clothes that are somewhat bigger so that we can let some air in. Again, here’s the issue with Singapore’s climate. Anyway, the right fit will always look good and it won’t really be as hot as you think. Plus, if you’re still worried about not looking good even when you’re wearing the right size, there are still a lot of aspects that can come together to improve your overall style.

Go to a tailor
This is somehow a continuation to the first point. If you’re really having difficulty looking for your size, you can try going to a tailor. It will be good for a man to at least have a few shirts, pants, or suits that are tailored for them.

Match colors
One of the more concrete examples for this one is with belts and shoes. As a rule, the color of your dress belt should match the color of your dress shoe. If your belt is brown, your shoe should be any shade of that color although preferably the same or a little lighter. Also, wear darker tones as they convey a stronger impression. Avoid neon colors, obviously because it passes off as informal for some reason. And wear black or gray socks only!

Get a trim
It is quite known that Asian men and beards don’t exactly go together. With some exceptions, of course, many cannot grow beards and look slick with them, unlike many westerners. Nevertheless, having no facial hear is still considered most professional. If you are one of those who can grow a thick beard and look good in it though, you can try to maintain it and keep it clean-looking.

Pay attention to footwear
The first thing people subconsciously notice is someone’s shoes. Now, whether this is true or not, it still shows that shoe style can mean a lot. That’s why you should not forget to clean them once in a while. Lastly, you should avoid wearing ankle socks with your dress shoes. Although it looks trendy, it’s deemed unprofessional.

Ways to Fit In to Workplace Dress Code

Getting your office outfit right every single day is a challenge. Especially when starting a new job, it can be tricky to put together an outfit that will make a good first impression, while still considering your comfort and style. Even long-term employees can find themselves in work wear fashion rut at times. Whether you’re stepping up you workplace fashion or just want to start off on the right foot, this guide will help you during those times of company dress code uncertainty.


1.       Fit Into the Office Culture

Make your wardrobe choices based on how formally or casually your colleagues in the office dress up. This does not mean you have to forget about your personal style and definitely does not mean that you should be a copycat. Your aim is to look like a representative of the team and the company you’re working for.

2.       Avoid Casual Fridays

When dressing down on a Friday, perhaps because you have a party to attend to after work, be careful with how casual to be at the office. Unless you’re the founder of the company, it’s never going to be okay to dress in tees and jeans. Flip flips are never acceptable in any office environment as well, unless your office has sand and ocean. And even if Pinterest showed you ways to dress up a pair of ripped jeans in the office, higher level and older staff may not appreciate the trend as much as you do, so you may want to be extra mindful with that aspect.


3.       Find Subtle Ways to Glam Up

If you’re unsure of how much is too much, your best bet is to go for less. Wear classic jewelleries—think of stud earrings and a simple gold or silver necklace. The same goes for your make-up. Save the smoky eye for after-office fun time; not when pouring coffee in the office pantry at nine in the morning.

4.       Keep Yourself Well-Groomed

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how a polished look can be set back by chipped manicure or worse body odour. These things can get easily set aside when the job gets stressful or if you woke up late because your alarm did not go off. However, you should never go to work without brushing your teeth, with dirty hands and with hair that looks like have been through windstorm. You want to look and smell good, and not to be “that girl” in the office with terrible B.O. (body odour).

Looking presentable at work requires a bit of thought and effort, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. When dressing for the office, remember that less is more. Keep it simple, classic and appropriate.


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