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5 tips on How To Look Sharp for Business

I was talking to a very dapper chap the other day at a menswear event (the launch of new bespoke service - The Wanderist) who worked in the finance sector. He was telling me how, despite the fact that many of his colleagues had plenty of spare cash to spend on their clothing, they were unsure on how to dress and relied on him for advice on how to do so in a stylish manner.

Here's a synopsis of our discussion and advice on how to give your business attire the edge in order to look pin-sharp.

Hardy Amies suit on Sartoria Lab blog business dress for men

Hardy Amies charcoal double breasted pinstripe suit

Ship shape shoulders

My colleague echoed my thoughts on something I've often noticed - that a lot of men tend to go for jackets larger than they need. When on personal shopping trips with clients, I find myself frequently suggesting they try on a size smaller in jackets and blazers.

Whether you prefer a strong roped strong shoulder or soft, un-padded one, ensure that the shoulder of the jacket finishes where your shoulder does to get the sharpest look. If there are vertical creases at the back of your shoulders that's an indicator that it's too big.

Tie dimple at Drakes on Sartoria Lab blog personal style tips for men

Drakes tie

Tie yourself in knots

It's generally thought that the asymmetrical Four-in-Hand is a classy, appropriate knot for business, though some prefer the symmetry of a Half Windsor. Be wary of the Full Windsor unless you're an expert at tying it, as it can end up looking a bit "footballer".

The well dressed gent I was talking to agreed that the most important thing though, is the tie dimple......the small dent in the middle of the knot. Details count in menswear, so learn to master this to give your knot a polished and professional appearance.

Hugo Boss suit from Mr Porter on Sartoria Lab blog personal shopping for men

Hugo Boss slim fit wool travel suit at Mr Porter

Lapel love

Things are on the move and though it takes a good few years for it to become a classic, the overall silhouette of menswear is moving away from skinny to a looser and wider fit.

Thus my new found finance friend was firmly set against skinny lapels, but my advice would be firstly to take into account your own body shape when deciding on the width of the lapel. If you are very slim then an overly wide lapel will swamp you and of course the opposite it true - very narrow ones should be avoided if you're a larger guy.

Prada trousers on Sartoria Lab blog personal style advice for men

Prada checked wool suit at Matches

Hemmed to perfection

It's a simple alteration to be done but my sartorial acquaintance and I lamented the fact that we often see puddles of fabric gathering at a man's ankles when they haven't hemmed their trousers to the correct length. This may be a desire to appear to have longer legs than is reality but it has the opposite affect and makes legs look shorter.

One break on the leg is plenty and doesn't interrupt the line of your trousers. Have your trouser hem sitting on top of your shoe at the front and just covering the top of the heel at the back (as above). A good tailor will slant the hem so it's shorter at the front than the back.

Joseoh Cheaney shoes on Sartoria Lab blog personal shopping styling for men in London

Cheaney classic black leather Oxfords

Sharp shoes

Apparently the financial fellas knew what they were doing here and stayed classic with a pair of black or dark brown Oxfords from the likes of Crockett & Jones, Joseph Cheaney and Church's

Avoid shoes that are lighter than your suit - for instance light tan with a dark navy suit and a pointy or square toe shape. Store them with shoe trees and keep them polished! I can't tell you the amount of times I've done wardrobe edits and come across great shoes that are in dire need of some tlc!

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