It's a New Year - Time for a New Look and a New You

new stylesWell, now that the New Year’s parties are over, it is time to get back to work with a fresh look. If you’ve gotten a new job or a promotion going into the New Year, you need to look professional and stylish. Even if you’re going back to the same job, there’s no time like New Year to freshen up your look – after all, having people view you in a different light could be the difference between getting and not getting that promotion. Bell & Barnett are here with a variety of tips on how to look great for the new year without breaking the bank.

Before you go out and buy that slick silver suit with patterns for the new year, consider what your workplace is like. Is your workplace more casual or more formal? Do you need to wear a tie all the time? Are there suits as far as the eye can see, or is the boss wandering around in jeans and a t-shirt? For those of you going into a new work place, finding out the dress code may be more difficult than those who have been working there for years. But if you ask beforehand about the dress code you can usually find someone to explain the ground rules to you. From there you can decide what to do next.

If you are in a workplace where everyone is wearing t-shirts and jeans, one way to stand out is by wearing a button up shirt. You can still look relaxed in a button up shirt (you can even go sans tie if it is a very casual workplace), but you will add a sharpness to your look that wasn’t there before and it will definitely grab attention. Adding some (conservative) colour to a wardrobe can help as well – having a selection of blue and even pink dress shirts can really help you look good without wrecking your professional look. That being said, still avoid loud and flamboyant displays (Hawaiian shirts are not work attire, sorry gentlemen).

However, since it is very rare to find office jobs that have such a laid-back attitude to attire, it’s probably a safe bet that many of you will have a few dress shirts and ties already on hand, maybe even a suit or two. But the New Year has come around! Maybe you’re sick of wearing the same old work shirts and patterns, or your suit is wearing a bit thin. So at the beginning of the year, you should invest in a new wardrobe. Which, as it happens, is not as expensive or stressful as you’d imagine.

First of all, when you are buying a new wardrobe for yourself, make sure it all works well with each other and is interchangeable. What is meant by this is that you can mix and match your ensemble and it all miraculously goes together. For example, getting a pair of plain white and blue and dress shirts, along with a business shirt with a navy stripe pattern or even a plain beige shirt, will give you a basic canvas on which to build the rest of your ensemble. Since these colours go with almost anything (and for the white business shirt, can go with everything). These types of shirts look stylish (make sure they fit and are tucked in), and because of their versatility, they can go with anything - so they should definitely be a part of your new wardrobe.

The next thing that needs to be addressed is a blazer or suit jacket. For a starting wardrobe, ideally you should have two versatile blazers, which means they will have to be neutral and conservative colours. A navy blazer or even a full suit is a great starting point, along with either charcoal or black (or both), since they can go with just about anything. Alongside the suit jackets should be two to three pairs of versatile suit trousers. These should ideally match your suit jackets in colours, so a pair of navy trousers, along with either and black or charcoal, as well as a lighter grey pair of trousers, make excellent additions to a wardrobe.

What about the man who is perfectly happy with his wardrobe (he may have gotten new shirts for Christmas that he actually likes)? Well, there are small, subtle ways of sprucing up an outfit that can make a world of difference. Buying yourself some new cufflinks can go a long way in making you feel and look classy and sophisticated. Tie bars and pocket squares, so long as they complement your outfit in a sophisticated fashion, can really make an old outfit look new again with minimal effort.

Of course, having the stylish clothing only goes so far – you will need to match a smart and professional look with a smart and professional attitude. But once you freshen up your appearance with a new suit and tailored fitted shirts, or even with accessories such as cufflinks and tie bars, your attitude will probably shift as well. Good luck gentlemen!