Menswear ? Putting Together A Business Wardrobe - Part 3

It's easier for men to build a professional wardrobe, but as with many other things, it's getting started that is the toughest! Let's talk this time about Accessorizing your Business Wardrobe, and look for additional articles Dress Shirts and my article on Caring for Your Wardrobe.

Okay, guys, we've talked about suits and touched on the foundation garments known as dress shirts, let's talk about accessories. I suggest you take the conservative road with regard to your business suits, especially when you are just building a wardrobe.

Conservatively-styled suits may not get you noticed at a dance club, but they will certainly be a better investment for your professional life. A good, basic man's suit will last for years, especially if you've taken into account my tips on fabric, construction and color.

Accessorizing your suit with relation to neckties and cufflinks are just one way you can add a unique personal touch to your look. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up.

When selecting shoes to complement your business wardrobe, consider your own likes and dislikes. Do you prefer lace-up shoes or loafers? Lace-up shoes are a bit more conservative, so if in doubt, start with a lace-up shoe. Loafers are perfectly acceptable, though I would emphasize that you should look for a sleek, lower cut shoe rather than a pair of penny loafers.

Shoe color can be a subject for confusion, so let's lay the ground rules: Black shoes can be worn with just about every suit, however, men with warmer coloring can also wear brown. A good pair of dark brown shoes will also complement a navy or charcoal suit.

As a general rule, socks should match or at least tonally relate to your trousers. Today's man has a wide variety of shades and patterns to choose from, but be careful not to make your legs the focal point of your business look by choosing socks that are too light. Black dress socks with black shoes are a pretty safe bet if you're unsure.

You can select from over-the-calf or mid-calf socks, but I find on most men that the mid-calf sock can sometimes cause a funny little dance called the "pull up the socks shuffle". If in doubt, stay with an over-the-calf sock.

Athletes and men with larger legs and calves may have to shop at a specialty store to avoid a too-tight sock that will cause discomfort or cut off circulation. Socks below mid-calf are absolutely out of the question for a business look. "Showing a little leg" is inappropriate and is considered unprofessional.

The color of your belt should always match your shoes. This means a brown belt will NOT work with black shoes. There are a variety of patterns and buckle styles to choose from. A glossy, shiny belt might be a choice for a man in a creative, yet professional occupation, and a smooth leather belt with little shine is a better choice for a conservative occupation like Law or Banking.

I shouldn't have to say this, but save the overly-large belt buckles (those the size of small cars) for outside of business hours. Most businessmen won't own or wear a very large belt buckle for normal business activities.

Neckties have traditionally been a creative outlet for men in their business dress. It's a chance to let some of your personality show through, though there are still rules to be considered. If you are wearing a solid white or blue dress shirt (and you should be, if you read my previous article on Dress Shirts), you have a lot of latitude when choosing neckwear.

Patterns and stripes are appropriate for wearing with solid color shirts, but don't choose too wild a pattern. The focus should be on your face, and people should be listening to what you have to say, not staring at your tie.

When selecting a necktie for a patterned shirt, consider a large patterned necktie with a small patterned shirt (or vice versa). Don't match large patterns in a shirt with large patterns in a necktie. There will be too much visual interest and no place for a person's eye to rest.

Stripes, small geometric patterns and paisleys all continue to be popular, but avoid the novelty ties. People just won't take you seriously when you wear that Hula Girl tie.

Cufflinks are a matter of purely personal choice. A man preferring French cuff shirts can have a great deal of fun choosing cufflink styles and colors. They are considered jewelry, a means of self-expression.

If you are warmer-toned in your coloring, by all means choose gold, warm metals or enamels, and warmer-toned stones like amber to wear with your shirts. If you are cooler-toned in your coloring, choose silver, platinum, gemstones in rich, dark colors and bright enamels to complement your suits and your own coloring. The sky is virtually the limit!

One last point on the accessory that can provide that extra little 'oomph' in your polish and finished business attire: the pocket square. They are very simple accessories that add that touch of elegance to your business look.

Select a color that accentuates your necktie (i.e. a gold pocket square for a navy-and-gold patterned tie and a navy suit), but don't fall into the safe-but-boring world of matching ties and pocket squares. Since they are inexpensive, purchase several and tuck one into your pocket every day. The easiest way to find good colors is to purchase them at the same time you purchase your ties.

About the Author: Dianne M. Daniels is an Image & Color Coach, Consultant and Professional Speaker, and the author/publisher of "Polish & Presence: 31 Days to a New Image". She has helped individuals refine and define their personal and professional image, along with corporations and organizations. Learn how to create your Personal Climate for Personal and Professional Success at

In The News:

pen paper and inkwell

cat break through

Looking Fashionable At The Beach

It's that time of year when we pack up our... Read More

Jewelry and Gemstone Care & Cleaning Tips

Diamond earrings, emerald rings, ruby bracelets, sapphire pendants; no doubt... Read More

Earrings The Ultimate Fashion Statement

Earrings are an important part of every woman's wardrobe, whether... Read More

What Your Handbags Say About You

You can tell a lot about a person from the... Read More

Ankle Bracelets: Accessories to Pamper and Adorn Your Feet

Feet are among the most the most beautiful parts of... Read More

Tribal Tattoo Designs

For centuries, tattoos symbolized the membership in groups, families, but... Read More

Looking for a Sexy Handbag? Check Out the Balenciaga Handbag!

Balenciaga handbags are known for being one of the sexiest... Read More

Pull Off a Blazer with These Five Steps

The key to this season is to mix it up.... Read More

Denim is Big This Season - Dress It Up or Down

For all you denim lovers, like myself, this is the... Read More

A Clothes Encounter In The Business World

Do you ever wonder where all the dress rules have... Read More

Fedoras & Floppy Hats - Hot Hot Hot for 2005 & 2006

For those of you that love hats you'll be in... Read More

Womens Fashion Ponchos Get Sexy This Summer

Ponchos have come down from the high plains and back... Read More

Eyewear Lens Technology Makes Wearing Eyewear a Pleasant and Fashionable Experience

Modern eyewear technology gives more eyewear lenses and eyewear frame... Read More

Women?s Guide: Fashion Trends for Summer 2005

If you are like me and many others the warm... Read More

Plus Size Fashion Tips: What?s Hot this Summer

The sun is sizzling, and so will you this season!... Read More

The Royal Blue Contact Lens Really Stands Out

Have you always wanted to have sparkling baby blues but... Read More

Finally, Everyone Can Feel Good in Swimwear

"Whatever reason or purpose you have for going in the... Read More

Reading Glasses for Fashion and Function

It will happen to most of us baby boomers?one day... Read More

All About Cameos

There is something about a cameo that it truly captivating.... Read More

Are You Good-Looking Enough For Your Job?

Beauty has muscle. Beauty captures our attention and pulls us... Read More

Top 5 Most Often Carried Handbags

Handbags have become the most popular accessory on the market... Read More

The Secret to having these Ten Pairs of Shoes

Whether you love shoes or not, there are ten shoes... Read More

Jewelry Gifts

When it is time for a gift for someone, nothing... Read More

Gemstone Treatments

Though not common knowledge to the public, most gemstones are... Read More

Louis Vuitton Handbags

Louis Vuitton is a name recognized throughout the world. Known... Read More

Is Your Designer Handbag Authentic?

You pay a pretty penny for a Gucci bag or... Read More

What is Your Fashion Style?

When it comes to clothing do you usually stick to... Read More

Give Your Jeans Some Attitude

These days, jeans are becoming a basic building block of... Read More

What Shoes Should You Wear for Unforgettable Prom Night

Prom night is always something you long to have during... Read More

Diamond Hoop Earrings: The Divas Choice

Men grow cold as girls grow old And we all... Read More

Turn Back the Clock with Throw Back Jerseys from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and College Sports

Throw back jerseys are all the rage across the United... Read More

Get Fashionable With Womens Flipflops

The hottest fashion trend for feet this summer is women's... Read More

Tips To Expressing Yourself With T-Shirts

T shirts can provide a lasting impression on your life... Read More