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Reader Question

Outfit of the Day: A Smart Look for a Casual Office

By Megan Collins | Sep 25 2012

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Today’s Outfit of the Day is inspired by Mark, a reader who just wants to look nice at work. Us ladies should be so lucky to work with more Marks in our offices.

Mark asks:

My office is pretty casual, for financial services anyway. One of the many benefits of being in Southern California.  Currently I wear a pair of nice slacks, dress shirt and loafers most days though I throw in some jeans sometimes if I know I won’t have any meetings on a particular day.

 

I was looking to add some chinos to the mix as something in between the slacks and jeans.  Something comfortable but also decent looking.  I know pleats are bad but can you give me some guidance on cuffs?  Also, while I’m asking, can you recommend some casual, but nice shoes?  I’m currently either a loafer or chuck taylor sort of guy.  I’m a little lacking in the in between.

 

As an example and because their shorts fit me well I was looking at these [from Land’s End]. Thanks for the help.

 

 

I used the pants in question, and chose khaki because it’s so versatile. They’re still a little..mmm, stodgy? But knowing a brand fits is invaluable, so I won’t override them here.

Don’t be afraid to play up contrasting patterns in your shirt and tie, like with this striped Brooks Brothers dress shirt and polka dotted Paul Smith tie. It adds personality but still looks professional.

Us ladies notice a guy who punches up a work outfit with some visual interest. It shows extra effort. We like effort.

I was really stuck between the two pairs of shoes, because they’re both great options that will instantly elevate your footwear game. Then I found this reversible belt, and…problem solved! The other little bits – the watch, the bag – add to that “finished” look that I think so many guys are missing these days, where everything’s, y’know, fine, but it’s not really a look. It’s just a bunch of clothes.

 

The Details:

Pants: Land’s End, $44
Belt: BOSS, $95
Brown Buck Shoe: Original Penguin, $100
Black Saddle Oxfords: Florsheim By Duckie Brown, $335
Shirt: Brooks Brothers, $88
Tie: Paul Smith, $135
Bag: Jack Spade, $425
Watch: Fossil, $135