2012 May 18

There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently about the love lives of certain men, some of which has been fuelled by recently published or up-coming biographies of famous men, detailing their conquests in the boardroom and the bedroom.

One thing that’s interesting about some of these men is that they are immediately identifiable by their distinctive and limited clothing choices. Simon Cowell, for example, wears jeans. He wears jeans with a white T-shirt, or a black T-shirt, or a white shirt. Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld both wear fitted suits in black with white shirt, black tie and – for Lagerfeld, shades.

There are advantages to having a casual uniform.

1.    You never have to coordinate anything – your clothes all work together, all the time
2.    If you choose a look that suits you, you always look your best, so you can get on with your life (perhaps that’s how Cowell does it? Less time in front of the mirror equals more time spent spotting talent?)
3.    You don’t have to spend time shopping.

On the downside, the casual uniform can go horribly wrong

1.    Your look may date you – Simon Cowell’s high waistbands have earned him a lot of derision
2.    You may become clothing wallpaper – if you’re not a millionaire mogul or a fashion high flyer your chosen look might lead to you blending into the background once people get used to seeing you around.
3.    Your look may not be your best – Jimmy Savile may have thought he looked great in a tracksuit but Gok Wan might have told him to lose the trackies and get stylish!

2011 October 24

As Gok Wan produces the ‘perfect’ flattering dress for Sainsbury’s and M&S claim theirs is even more perfect, spare a thought for the many women who don’t get to dress in a particularly feminine fashion at work. It’s still possible to look great and dress for practicalities, with a few tips on how to choose casual clothing:

1.    Buy the best jacket you can afford – a badly fitting one looks like you’re wearing a sack. If you work in an environment where you have to move around a lot, choose a jacket with sleeves that can be zipped off to make a gilet for warmer moments. Reversible jackets allow you to ring the changes on your appearance at no extra cost.

2.    T-shirts make a work wardrobe special – stick to bright clear colours and set them off with antique brooches if you’re allowed to wear jewellery – this gives an impression of class without cost.

3.    Where possible, colour-coordinate your scarf, hat, gloves, belt and shoes. Brown leather is the absolute gold standard for classic dressing, and can be teamed with a bright scarf, hat and glove set to give a fashionable look for little cost.