Men at work

Get your office look sorted with 4 essential staples + desk bests

Words: Rosie Goddard | Photographs: Andy Reeves | Stylist: Mandy Nash

The month of January comes with its own set of complexities: ‘I’m poor but I want to buy new things’, ‘I need to start eating healthily but bread tastes too good’, ‘I want to bring my A-game at work but I’m exhausted after a month of non-stop partying’.

With all of this going on, a workwear refresh seems necessary, but, well, exhausting. Where to start? We’ll help you cut to the chase with a sharp, no-nonsense wardrobe and accessories that’ll see you through the season and beyond.

Keep your shirt on

A selection of chinos and shirts in varying tones will mean you won't need to worry about wardrobe block anytime soon. Neutral-coloured shirts in shades from white through to navy will demonstrate taste beyond your years. Want to try something new? 70s-inspired browns will set you apart.

Do it differently: the mandarin collar is the only shirt style you should be looking to this season. A big brother to the classic collared shirt, the mandarin has come back to show the kids how it’s done, and its sartorial sophistication is off the charts. 

Keep it classic: button your shirt all the way to the top. It's surprisingly modern and shows you mean business. 

Suit yourself

As more and more workplaces take an increasingly relaxed approach to dressing, the power of the suit becomes accentuated. We say dress for the job you want, not the one you have – in tailoring so sharp, you’ll be getting double takes all day.

Do it differently: just because you’re wearing a suit doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy. It’s all about your choice of shoes and accessories. Throw a backpack into the mix and switch your slip-ons for sneakers when the occasion calls for it. 

Keep it classic: stick to dark colours, like navy and grey, and steer away from black, which is a little obvious. Navy and grey suits were timeless in the 50s, and they’ll still be timeless 10 years from now.

Wear the pants

Chinos really need no introduction. They’re timeless staples with work-to-party appeal, and while it might feel like the whole world is wearing them, the mark of a distinguished dresser is all in the details: the turn-up and lack of crumpled creases. No pair should ever leave the house looking like they just exited a laundry basket.

Do it differently: the tapered chino is certainly having it’s moment, which means it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Get your turn-up looking effortless yet well executed, and then pair with simple shoes and dress socks. Alternatively, borrow from Jude Law's riviera style in The Talented Mr Ripley, and opt for no socks with slip-ons.

Keep it classic: stick to beige and navy as your shades of choice. You can’t go wrong, and you’ll be investing in style that’ll serve you well beyond the office. If your dress code’s a little more relaxed, grab the shorts versions too.

Fancy footwork

We all know what they say about shoes and first impressions, and luckily we’ve got pairs to impress even the most discerning of desk mates. Really want to up the ante? Grab a selection of dress socks, from simpler pairs to styles with slightly more eccentric patterns.

Do it differently: opt for interesting textures, such as Oxford brogues with perforated details, or really let your shoes do the talking with lace-ups in deep jewel tones.

Keep it classic: Derby shoes never fail to look smart and pulled-together – find some in a wear-with-anything shade of brown.

Win best desk

Your desk is your home away from home, and an extension of your personal style, so don’t be known for your screen cleaner and cable forest. Create a space that’ll foster productivity by surrounding yourself with objects and accessories that elevate your current state.

Do it differently: if you need constant creative stimulus, lay out a few of your favourite books and magazines. If you like collecting objects, get a few together – paperweights, headphones, notebooks, pens (not the leaky plastic kind) and interesting boxes will all work.

Keep it classic: stick to the basics but make sure they’re high quality – leather-bound notebooks, well-selected tech and a leather bag or briefcase that speaks volumes about your great taste. For creativity's sake, a pad of white paper should always be set for scribbling out your best ideas, and a jar of sharpened pencils says, "I got this."


Oliver @Loys models

Jae @20management

HMUA: Roxanne Sayers