Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Jul 31, 2012.
I like this look.
No workum, Kemosabe.
This seemed as good a thread to ask this as any: what's the difference between a suit pant and what are more generally "dress" pants, meaning a wool pant not sold as part of a suit? I don't venture into more formal clothing very often (my workplace is a jeans and button-up shirt sort of place) so I don't wear either suits or wool pants very often.
Or should I just generally avoid wearing a wool pant without a jacket?
Wool dress pants without a jacket is a really gumpy look, IMO. It is the uniform of the middle-American cubicle drone, and it's seldom a flattering one.
In theory, there isn't anything inherent to the odd trouser that makes it categorically different from the suit pant. But odd trousers are best acquired in fabrics, colors, textures, etc., that clearly differentiate them from smooth worsted suit pants.
All of my undershirts are V-necks but I always wear a tie to work as I find it unacceptable for underwear to show at work. Most V-necks are not very deep and will show without a tie.
You must be leaving several buttons undone then. I can get away with 1 or possibly 2 unbuttoned and not show my v-neck undershirt.
Having worked in both New York and London, I can say that business casual in New York is far worse than over here.
Polo shirts, rubber shoes and monstrously baggy dockers were the order of the day.
When I worked there, I would always wear a suit and tie on Fridays. I explained that casual Friday served as a contrast to an otherwise formal week.
In a casual week, logic dictated that a contrasting Friday would bring with it formality. I think this was embraced as a British eccentricity.
In my current workplace, the majority of men wear dark blue, grey or tan odd trousers with checked or striped shirts, in either blue, white or pink. The shoes are, for the most part, decent - Jones, Loake, Church's, Crockett and the odd pair of Lobbs (we have shoeshine man who visits every 2 weeks so you can see a lot of people's shoes spread out at the far side of the floor - not a good day to wear socks with holes in them).
I always wear a sport coat and pocket square to work and complement this with a waistcoat in buff or cream in the colder months.
I will admit that I have worn suits without a tie from time to time though. If for no other reason than to give them an airing.
I have a tan cotton suit which I think works very well with a light blue shirt and a number of my pocket squares.
Dress shirt and wool dress pants are my uniform for work here in NYC as a non-management employee. I think a suit would look out of place unless I was interviewing or had a formal after work event to attend. I think adding an odd sportcoat to the uniform would make me look too stuffy as a male in his early 30s. What would be your suggestion for someone in my position?
I say dress how you want as long as it conforms to the dress code of your workplace. Forget how you think it will come off. If you want to wear a suit wear one. If a sportcoat then so be it.
A well cut blue odd jacket is not going to make you look stuffy. It will make you look sharper if done right.
Would a well-fitted sweater look good on your body type? If so, this can be a reasonably sharp look for a man in his late 20s to early 30s.
On days where it's too hot for a sweater, a sharp blue sportcoat that you ditch indoors is totally fine. A plain, solid navy sportcoat or blazer with unobtrusive buttons and a flattering cut will not make you look stuffy. When in doubt, keep it simple and keep it well tailored.
At the end of the day, though, you shouldn't outdress your peer group by a significant margin. I don't care what people here will tell you. Dressing noticeably different from your peers will stand out, and seldom to your benefit.
A lot of American workplaces are an odd mix of egalitarian and hierarchical. You should dress according to your status within the firm, with maybe a very slight margin for overdressing. But slight. If you don't feel comfortable dressing above a pair of pants and a dress shirt, that's fine, but make sure your pants, shirts, and shoes are of good quality and are well tailored. That alone should put you ahead of most packs these days.
I disagree with almost everything in this post.
That's fine. I would expect a fair amount of disagreement, particularly with my advice about peer groups. This isn't the kind of place where people like to do that.
A lot of this is industry dependent, too. I have noticed a lot more attention paid to hierarchical appearances in law firms and banks, with much less attention paid in the corporate world.
Could you elaborate more on what you disagree on, and why? Just for our edification, and I'm not being sarcastic.
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