By Jennifer Hernandez
In the Beyonce-Jay Z duet “Upgrade U,” Beyonce describes how she can help her man improve his style and status with top-designer clothes to make a good impression: “Hermes briefcase. Cartier top clips. Silk-lined blazers.” But the truth is, you don’t need to splurge on high-end business wear to look sharp for work. Investing in quality, well-fitted suits can easily take a workingman’s appearance from frumpy to fantastic.
For Your Daytime Look
Take notes from University of Florida business graduate student Harish Baskar. On a sunny Florida day, Baskar looked ornate in a slim-cut, navy-grey suit. He donned an eye-catching plaid tie with blue and red tones on a crisp white dress shirt and completed the outfit with sleek brown leather dress shoes.
Suits in variations of navy exude optimism while retaining the professional attitude of dark tones. In its guide to suits, GQ said a good suit hugs the shoulders and shapes the body so it curves, like Baskar’s. The average businessman should look for jackets one size down for a stylish fit that gives him strong shoulders. If you want to try a new accessory, leave the tie, and go for a bright, fancy pocket square, like this $8 piece from The Tie Bar.
For Getting the Job Done
Look fresh at your fall internship or new job in a slender powder blue shirt and tailored light brown chino pants. It’s OK to ditch the jacket. Esquire recommends complementing the ensemble with a statement tie or watch. You may be making coffee runs and lugging copies, but you can still do it in style.
For the Big Interview
For lunch with high-powered executives or the interview of your dreams, don’t be afraid to go all out. Button up a nice white dress shirt under a cool-toned suit. To solidify your stance (and your confidence), GQ recommends wearing dress shoes with a strong sole.
For After Hours with Co-Workers
Stand out as the life of the party while keeping it classy at Friday’s happy hour with a casual beige suit over a sensible denim shirt. Giotto Calendoli, of “The Atelier,” recommends neutral cotton pants for simplicity. Different tones and textures, like a denim shirt under a cotton jacket, contrast each other in a visually appealing way.