10 outfits that are perfect for work
We're a long way from the Don Draper era, when men were expected to wear the same gray suit everyday to the office, day in, day out. With most offices today having a more relaxed approach to dress codes, the doors have opened on a whole new world of sartorial options.
Unfortunately, that new world comes with a price—outfit anxiety. It's a grim moment when you open up your closet and realize there's nothing in it you want to wear. Fortunately, we're here to help pull you out of that wardrobe rut with a month's worth of employment-friendly looks.
1. A Bright Blue Suit and a White T-Shirt
Call it the dressed-down alternative to your standard suit-and-tie getup. A brighter blue sets the suit apart from the rank and file. Plus, the color plays perfectly against a crisp white tee and minimal sneakers.
2. An Unlined Khaki Sport Coat and Navy Chinos
Flip the script on the whole "navy blazer and chinos" thing by, well, actually flipping it—color-wise, at least. Start with a soft-shouldered khaki sport coat, toss on a gray polo underneath, and finish with a pair of slim, navy chinos.
Sand Slim-Fit Unstructured Linen Blazer (Dhs1,320) by Aspesi, mrporter.com; slim-fit chinos (Dhs149) by Uniqlo, uniqlo.com; polo shirt (Dhs330) by Lacoste, lacoste.com; suede bluchers (Dhs2020) by Alden, jcrew.com
3. A Chambray Shirt and Khakis
Chambray may have been designed for work that's just a touch more physically strenuous than replying to emails, but it's become a modern office staple. With dark khaki chinos and a pair of loafers, you can't go wrong.
Japanese selvedge chambray shirt (Dhs675) by Officine Generale, endclothing.com; Gio vintage khaki chinos (Dhs735) by Unis, unisnewyork.com; black No. 1 belt (Dhs367) by Bison Made, bespokepost.com; Chalmers calfskin penny loafer (Dhs3,280) by Ralph Lauren, ralphlauren.com
4. A Navy Suit and a White Shirt
It always has been a classic, and it always will be. Nothing beats the power of a well-cut navy suit. Keep it crisp with a plain white shirt, and simple with a pair of brown oxfords. And then add texture with the tie. Avoid any unnecessary bells and whistles.
Navy blue Ludlow suit (Dhs2,400) by J. Crew, jcrew.com; Milano white dress shirt (Dhs337) by Brooks Brothers, brooksbrothers.com; melange knitted silk tie (Dhs800) by Tom Ford, mrporter.com; cap toe oxfords (Dhs2,185) by Salvatore Ferragamo, barneys.com
5. A Navy Oxford Shirt and Black Jeans
Not only do the dark colors have a slimming effect, they also offer a spruced-up alternative for casual Fridays. And to keep things from going too dark, break it up with a slightly lighter shade of suede chelsea boots.
6. A Dark Patterned Sport Coat and Blue Chinos
Sometimes it's good to bring a little bit of Italian sprezzatura to the office. You don't want to go full peacock, just mix things up with a darker patterned sport coat and a pair of blue chinos. And then ground it with a basic white oxford shirt—sans tie.
Checked wool and cashmere blazer (Dhs11,000) by Isaia, mrporter.com; stretch-cotton chinos (Dhs1,028) by Dunhill, mrporter.com; white Oxford shirt (Dhs218) by Everlane, everlane.com; taupe suede desert boots (Dhs477) by Clarks, nordstrom.com
7. A Black Cashmere Sweater and Gray Trousers
Never underestimate the power of minimalism. It doesn't take much to look sharp, and a simple black cashmere sweater, gray trousers, and a pair of white Stan Smiths will prove it.
Black cashmere sweater (Dhs3,636) by Saint Laurent, mrporter.com; light gray flannel trousers (Dhs1,010) by Acne Studios, endclothing.com; white pima tee (Dhs100) by Buck Mason, buckmason.com; Stan Smiths (Dhs275) by Adidas, nordstrom.com
8. A White Oxford and Dark Olive Chinos
It's about as bare-bones an outfit as you can construct, clocking in with just three items total. But thanks to the high-contrast interplay between dark olive and white, it's as striking as it is simple.
9. A Navy Cardigan and Khakis
The pattern on the shirt brings a little levity, but the cardigan keeps things from getting overly casual. So it'll look like you're having fun, but not too much fun. Unless you work at a gulag or Google, that's probably the right balance to strike.
Navy merino cardigan (Dhs1,500) by Officine Generale, mrporter.com; slim-fit floral shirt (Dhs360) by Club Monaco, clubmonaco.com; stretch slim-fit chinos (Dhs240) by Topman, topman.com; Beckman Round leather boots (Dhs1,285) by Red Wing, nordstrom.com
10. A Gray Chalk-Stripe Jacket and Black Jeans
If the navy-blazer-and-khaki-chinos combo is what you'd wear to the yacht club to eat canapés, this is what you'd wear to a jazz club for a date. But first, to work, where it'll also fit right in. Plus, how else will you pay for the date?
M5 selvedge black jeans (Dhs1,050) by 3x1, 3x1.us; chalk stripe wool and cotton jacket (Dhs3,200) by Barena, mrporter.com; Co-mix alpine tee (Dhs280) by John Elliott, revolve.com; Achilles low black (Dhs1,500) by Common Projects, needsupply.com