Hook up your look with hip but mature threads that suggest a professional demeanor without shouting for attention.
Step 1: Choose suit, shirt, tie Choose a sport coat, blazer, or suit in a subdued color and current style. Combine this with an open-colared shirt or a tie.
TIP: Be sure you understand what the company rules are for casual dress. High-level casual is more dressy, for instance, though it still may not require a tie.
Step 2: Choose shirt Wear a clean, quality cotton, collared shirt. Alternate with fine gauge knits free of wrinkles and avoid shiny, silky fabrics and wild colors and designs.
Step 3: Choose sweater, change suit Wear a stylish but understated sweater, or change the look of a suit with varying patterns in the shirt or tie you wear.
Step 4: Choose pants Sport clean, pressed slacks, corduroys, khakis, and sometimes chinos in the right climate. Avoid shorts, jeans, or anything with ragged edges or hanging threads.
TIP: None of this will matter if you forget that "casual" doesn't include letting hygiene or manners lapse.
Step 5: Choose shoes and belt Wear leather shoes, clean and polished, and a matching leather belt. Basic dress boots are better than hiking or athletic boots unless the office is full of gamers, geeks, and burn-outs. Leave the sandals and flip-flops at home.
Step 6: Choose socks Slip on comfortable, dark, mid-calf length socks that blend well with your pants, so that when you sit or cross a leg no skin shows. Patterns like argyle are fine if they don't clash with stripes, plaids, or other designs in your pants.
Step 7: Trim hair Trim your hair so that it looks groomed, even if you prefer the bed-head look, which can look almost intentional with a little product. Facial hair is all right if trimmed, neat, and acceptable in the industry or to your company.
Step 8: Avoid accessories Avoid accessories beyond a watch and a wedding ring.
FACT: A recent study suggests that, for the first time in modern American society, more men are married to women whose education and income exceed their own.