It's time to say goodbye to summer and hello to a new season. For some of us, September this year means a (very delayed) return to the office. For all of us, the new flexibility in working schedules means autumn wardrobe overhauls are not as straightforward as they once were.
The idea of wearing a suit, shirt and tie to the office is now as outdated as the notion of ‘dress down Fridays’. On any given day, you might need a softly tailored casual blazer for a Zoom meeting, or a smart trackpant alternative to feel comfortable in while you work from home. One size no longer fits all.
The relaxing of dress codes was happening long before the pandemic, as power shifted from sharp-suited Gordon Gecko-esque money men to young techpreneurs in hoodies and designer trainers. Now, even major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs are telling employees they need only dress in a manner that is consistent with their client expectations.
Throughout all of this sartorial upheaval, the important thing to remember is this: the rules of dressing for work might have changed, but we should all still be making an effort to look our best. Whether you’re working from home, commuting into town or dialling in from a tropical climate, making the right impression matters. With this in mind, I’ve curated a short list of essentials that will help you on your way this season.
An All-Rounder Blazer
Business up top and casual down below, this blazer is perfect for remote workers who might have an important client call in the afternoon, or have to pop into the office and need to look presentable. Above the waist, an unstructured cardigan blazer from Lardini worn over a crewneck tee or roll-neck strikes a nice level of formality. On the bottom half, smart track pants from Loro Piana or drawstring trousers from Lardini provide all the comfort you need while remaining dressed-up enough for face-to-face meetings.
A Casual Jacket
Dresscodes in creative industries have always been a lot more relaxed than those in the corporate world. That said, the diversity of style is still quite limited, generally spanning only t-shirts, jeans, hoodies and sneakers. Working in a creative industry might provide more freedom of expression, but it’s still easy to get stuck in a rut. My tip? Avoid endless variations on the theme of t-shirt and jeans by introducing a few outerwear staples into the rotation, such as this suede button-through jacket from Reiss.
A Classic White Collar
A white shirt is a long-time cornerstone of a gent’s wardrobe, and I believe this remains the case today. This one from Thom Sweeney offers a contemporary take on classic silhouettes, and can be worn with a pair of tailored cargo trousers from Zegna or under a ribbed knit sweater from A.P.C.
Best Dressed Man Of The Month: William Gilchrist
William Gilchrist has shown that the often diverse worlds of rock ’n’ roll and quintessentially British style can exist harmoniously. This month's best dressed man is especially relevant given the recent passing of Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts. In 2005 William received the ultimate call – styling the band on a shoot – which led to a relationship with the rock legends that endures to this day.
His own carefree, bohemian personal style has made him something of a legend in the world of menswear. In particular, his penchant for double-breasted tailoring – which he regards as his ‘tracksuit’ – has made him as iconic as his illustrious client roster. William recently relocated to Naples, but let's hope we will be seeing the godfather of men’s style back in London town soon.
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