Friday, October 8, 2010

INTEL: Dress Code, Fall 2010

Ahh, crisp fall weather. Nothin' like it. But that means it's time to start dressing again. The old "It's too hot for a collared shirt" excuse just ain't gonna fly.


Jacket: Lose the fleece. Lose the Gore-Tex. Lose the college sweatshirt. It's fine stuff for camping and tailgating but save it all for your next dirt fight. Instead, get yourself a sport coat or blazer that fits well and wear the hell out of it. Obviously, you can go nuts and get a really gorgeous one, but this is going to be an everyday garment. An inexpensive corduroy one will do fine. The important thing again is fit. The jacket should not add any weight to your appearance and the sleeves should not extend beyond that ball in your wrist when your arms are at your side.
TIP: If you get a blue blazer, beware that pairing it with grey trousers might make you look like a security guard. Avoid this by wearing a shirt in any color but white, and brown shoes instead of black.

: This is NOT going to be an everyday garment, but you can get a ton of mileage out of it. Make sure it's dark, and wear it in place of your jacket on mild days.
TIP: On cool days, wear a cardigan beneath your jacket - buttoned, it will create this cool waistcoat effect. My pattern for buttoning is--top undone, bottom two undone.

Shirt: Wear button-down collared shirts as much as possible. As I stated in my very first post, button-down collar shirts always look neat, even if you don't have time to press them properly. Point- and spread- collar shirts look too sloppy when they aren't ironed, and too dressy when they are. Get the slimmest ones you can find and don't worry about the neck being the right size - you're not going to be buttoning the top button anyway.
TIP: No Easter egg colors here. Stick with whites, blues, grays. And don't be afraid of check patterns.

Tie: Get some casual ties and rock them. What do I mean by casual? Generally, stay away from anything that has a graphic or looks like some sort of optical illusion. And nothing too shiny or silky looking. Go for solids or stripes, in a robust fabric like wool or cotton. **The GQ Eye did a post about this yesterday. $10 ties at Uniqlo.
TIP: The width of your tie says something about its formality. (Not sure if I said that correctly.) For example, at its widest, my tuxedo neck tie is about three or more inches across. My casual ties are all under two and three-quarters inches.

Trousers/Jeans: This one is simple. Your jeans should be dark, your trousers should be pleat free, everything should fit.

Shoes: Leave your sneakers in the closet and your hiking boots in the mountains. This year, you're wearing shoes or non-sporty boots. I recommend finding a nice casual chukka, like the Clark Desert Boot, or a pair of inexpensive oxfords that you can just destroy.
TIP: Go with brown shoes, here. Black shoes look great, but they're not nearly as versatile. I think the Italians have a saying like, "Black shoes are only for funerals and galas." Or something.

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