The following is a guest blog post by Dan Carbery, marketing intern at FreshNeck.
Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Dan, a recent college graduate from Quinnipiac University (Go Bobcats!) and the Marketing Intern here at FreshNeck. Like you, I take pride in my style, and try to put my best foot forward in every situation. Not so simple on an intern’s budget, however. As much as I’d like to have a limitless wardrobe of perfectly coordinated outfits, that’s just not in the cards right now. But fear not – resourcefulness can go a long ways. Today, I am going to show you how to maximize high-quality basics by leveraging various accessories to create an unlimited wardrobe.
Today’s basic: The Blue Blazer
You probably already own one. Perhaps it’s half of a suit, or just a separate. Either way, its simplicity provides a blank canvass for you to add to, creating a myriad of possibilities. So don’t skimp, as you’ll surely realize a return on this investment. Our personal favorite, which we’ll use here, is a simple navy suit from Black Lapel (suit $449, blazer $349), pictured below.
On to the looks:
1. The Boardroom
Okay, so perhaps “boardroom” is a bit aspirational, but the “cubicle” look just doesn’t have quite the same cache to it. It’s often said “don’t dress for the job you have, but rather the job you want,” and this couldn’t be more spot-on for a recent grad like me. There is a limited opportunity to make an impression on your boss and colleagues, and your personal style plays a significant role.
A well-crafted suit, especially a “basic” like a solid navy, can be worn 2-3 times a week by effectively swapping your shirt, shoes (black v. brown), belt (match your shoes!), tie, and pocket square. And given that your suit is muted, you can venture just a bit further out on the “boldness” spectrum when it comes to your accessories (remember the “1 statement piece” rule).
For a business look, you typically want to go with a silk fabric, in a traditional pattern (solid, stripe, polka dot, paisley). We recommend choosing a tie that is between 2.75″ and 3.5″.
- Suit – navy solid by Black Lapel
- Shirt – white solid by Banana Republic
- Tie – pink, blue, and gray paisley silk by Breuer
- Pocket Square – white, blue, and pink cashmere by Armstrong & Wilson
- Tie Bar – 1.5″ silver plated by DiBi
2. The Night On The Town
We’ve told you before about the emergence of the New Casual – how men are infusing formal elements into their casual wear. This can come in a variety of ways, from a blazer to a vest or skinny tie. Your onlookers will immediately know that you understand style and appreciate the details. The key to pulling this off is to differentiate it from The Boardroom look above. If you show up to the bar in your power suit and 4″ silk tie, they’ll know you came straight from the office.
If you’re going to rock a tie, go with something that’s not suitable for the office. Go with a overly bold color or pattern, and try to keep it under 2.5″ in width. Don’t want to wear a tie outside the office? No problem. Use a fun pocket square and/or lapel flower.
3. The Anytime I Damn Please
We all have those in-between occasions when we want to look our best but there is no strict dress code – holiday party, charity event, boozy brunch, or even a date. Perhaps it’s just a Sunday afternoon and you feel like dressing up. Enjoy the freedom and do it up right.
Similar to the New Casual look, you want to differentiate this from your Boardroom look. Mix and match patterns and textures, and add a statement piece like a bow tie, suspenders, or vest. The goal here is to stand out – for all the right reasons.
As you see, by simply changing out your accessories, you can accomplish completely different looks.
Want access to a never-ending supply of accessories? Sign up at FreshNeck.com – plans start at just $20/month.