Columns

5 Easy Steps To Improve Your Look In The Office

Yes, you probably look just fine when you walk in to the office every morning. Hell, you probably look pretty similar to just about every other Tom, Dick, and Harry that works with you. And no, you probably haven’t asked for my advice or constructive criticism on the matter, but the fact remains: most of you are stuck in a postgrad style rut.

Fortunately, you’re in the hands of a professional. Follow 5 easy steps, and people will notice you for your chiseled jaw line and incredible ingenuity rather than noticing you because you look like a 7-year-old playing dress-up in his dad’s closet.

1. THE OFFICE ISN’T A GOLF COURSE

This is not okay.

This is not okay.

I know you really, really want it to be, and it’s totally awesome that you got to play Pebble last spring, or that your best friend got you a polo when he was at the Masters this year, but when it looks like you’ve probably got your beat up Titleist glove hanging out your back pocket, I just can’t take you seriously. I realize this is an extremely common, if not ubiquitous look, in offices around the country, but that’s part of the problem. When you look like every other dude at the water cooler, it’s impossible to stand out. Lose the oversized Dri-Fit polo, lose the gaudy tipped belt, and for the love of god, lose the pleats. Your wives and girlfriends will thank you, I promise. I cannot stress that last part enough: Lose the fucking pleats.

2. BUY CLOTHES THAT FIT

If your shirt looks like this, drop whatever you're doing and sprint to a tailor.

If your shirt looks like this, drop whatever you’re doing and sprint to a tailor.

Most of you guys are not morbidly obese, so stop buying clothes that would suggest otherwise. Do you know why old dudes love Brooks Brothers? Because the classic BB dress shirt is cut for 60-year-old corporate fat cats with a 38-inch waist and a Jabba-the-Hut-sized gut. Memorize this term and do not let it scare you: “Slim-Fit.” I know, I know, this is terrifying, but start buying slim-fit shirts and slim-fit pants and slim-fit fucking pajamas, man. Yes, you need a slim-fit. YES, YOU TOO! If your shirt is muffin-topping over your pants, there is a problem. When you tuck in a shirt, if you have enough extra fabric billowing around your back that you could pitch a tent with it, that shirt does not fit you. If your pants require a belt to stay properly around your waist, they are the wrong size. If the leg opening of your pants covers so much of your shoe that I can only see the toe box, they are too goddamn big. Making this change might not feel comfortable at first, but give it six months and you will wonder why nobody told you to do this, like, 4 years ago. You’re going to look more athletic and more mature, you’re going to feel more put together, you’re going to cut a more striking figure, and people will take notice.

3. INVEST IN YOUR SHOES

This is what you're going for.  Classic and versatile.

This is what you’re going for. Classic and versatile.

It’s common knowledge that one of the first things women notice about a guy are his shoes. We check out cup-size, they check out feet. This is because your shoes speak volumes about your personality, about how you carry yourself, about the type of man you are. This is not to say that a girl will ignore you because you have on your old boat shoes at the bar on Saturday afternoon. This is to say that even if you’re at happy hour on a Wednesday, and you’re nailing everything else about your look and your game (be it with your boss or an attractive coworker), if one of them looks down and sees a pair of black, square-toed Skechers from 2001, you will lose any goodwill and credibility you had just built. I swear it to be true. You don’t have to drop a G on a pair of benchmade John Lobb’s, but buy a pair of well-made brown lace-ups that you can wear with anything from a suit to a pair of jeans. You will get what you pay for, so choose the nicest pair you can afford. Don’t go with something too Italian and sleek, don’t go with something too clunky and casual.

4. LET THE WRANGLERS GO

Slim, dark, done.

Slim, dark, done.

Before you scream blasphemy, hear me out. I’m not telling you to throw them away. (Side-note: Anything overly distressed, boot-cut, or baggy, I am telling you to throw away.) You’ll still need them for a shit-kicking concert, going out to the ranch, hunting, mowing the lawn, and for when your girlfriend wants you to role-play as a handsome, but rugged, bull rider. They are not, however, okay for going out or wearing on casual Friday. You need to upgrade your denim game, and doing so is a lot easier than it sounds. Here are the requirements for your new jeans: They should be dark, they should be a slim-straight cut, they should fit you snugly but comfortably at the waist, and they should be properly hemmed. That’s it! Walk in to any store you’re comfortable with, give them those details, try them on, walk out with new jeans. Next issue.

5. CHOP THE MOP

Just ask for the Draper.

Just ask for the Draper.

Yeah, office style concerns more than clothing and footwear, bro. It would also be nice if you took a shower every once in a while and groomed yourself properly, you Sasquatch, but first, let’s focus on the moneymaker. That hair of yours is gorgeous, so why are you still paying $8 to let the meth-addicted beauty school dropout fuck it up at Sports Clips? Get a real haircut, dude. If you are paying less than $10, it’s not a real haircut. Find a good barber or a well-reviewed salon and pony up the $20 to $60 that a nice cut requires. It will be worth it. Even if you do the best fucking TPS reports anybody has ever seen, you’re not going to get promoted with that shaggy mess on top of your head. Keep it neat and clean, and when all else fails, just tell the stylist or barber that you want to look like an extra on Mad Men.

Email this to a friend

Barrett Dudley

Barrett may never own a house, but you should see his shoe collection. E-mail him with any style questions: barrett@grandex.co

40 Comments You must log in to comment, or create an account

Show Comments

For More Photos and Content

Latest podcasts

Download Our App

Take PGP with you. Get

New Stories

Load More