Reader Todd R. Noebel, SPHR Manager, Professional Support Services, with McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, Virginia, sent an email: “Since you linked to 10 must-haves for the women, maybe the men in the profession would appreciate this.”
Here is Todd’s list — and it’s a good one!
1. Tailored Suit Everyone needs at least one suit that fits them perfectly. One that will fit any occasion. Im not talking bespoke (unless you can afford it and once in your life you need to do this), but please, get your suit tailored. Suggest a solid navy suit.
2. At least 2 Freshly Pressed White Shirts They can be any collar, cuff or shade but a white shirt is a blank canvas with endless style opportunities. Please, no frayed cuffs or necks here go buy a new one.
3. Comfortable, dress shoes Having a pair of well polished, dress shoes that do not make your feet cringe is crucial. Buy the best pair you can afford youll be glad you did. Black is best, cordovan should be next on your list.
4. Blazer/Sport Coat For those days where you dont feel like thinking about what to wear and still look professional. Traditional navy or black is ideal since theyll work with everything from your dress pants to your jeans.
5. High quality briefcase/laptop bag in good repair Its a man’s version of a purse and your old school backpack just doesn’t cut it in the adult world. It should reflect both your professionalism and your personal sense of style.
6. Sweater A comfortable, well-fitting sweater is as versatile and can substitute for your tailored blazer/sport coat in more business casual settings. Again, think classic colors and styling.
7. Gray dress pants They go with everything (see Blazer/Sport coat, white shirt, etc.). Seriously. Medium to dark grey is your best choice cuffed or not doesnt matter.
8. High Quality Leather Belt Black, cordovan and dark brown. It needs to fit properly and should be classic, clean and well made.
9. A Silk Tie It needs to be clean, and should not be overly fashionable. Again, look to the traditional classics like the regimental stripe or rep ties. High quality shows as does one pulled from the clearance bin at Bennys Bargain Basement. This is also someplace where you can add your personal fashion statement once you can afford to have several ties hanging in your closet.
10. A Watch The field is wide open here its functional and can pretty much be any style you want. I might suggest steering clear of canvas watchbands for work but its not an absolute by any stretch.