Reader Question

Reader Question: Springtime Office Apparel For Guys

By Gabi Meyers | Last Updated: Oct 17 2016

Happy Wednesday! Intern Gabi’s here to knock out a reader question for me this week.

You know the drill: Read up, learn something new, then show up in the comments with something interesting to add to the conversation.

Office attire at The Office (NBC)
 

With warm weather finally showing it’s face again after a what-felt-like-it-was-never-ending winter of rain, sleet, snow, more sleet and hail, we can finally throw our winter boots to the back of the closet where they belong. For me, this also means pushing all of my sweater dresses to the dark part of the closet, and realizing that my summer clothes consist of sundresses, jean shorts, and bathing suitsnot really office attire.

I didn’t think this would apply to a guy’s closet; you wear chinos, button up shirts, and ties all year long. I assumed this meant much of the same wardrobe carrying over, until Reader Dave asked:

Dear SG,

I’d love to see some some posts this time of year about warm-weather style, specifically for the office.  As I began to adopt some of your advice over the winter, I found it fun to vary things up with different types of sweaters, layers, etc.   However, as the weather gets warmer, I feel that there are fewer options. How can I maintain my new and improved SG self going into the warmer months?  What staples should I be shopping for?

My closet was caught a bit off guard by this week’s sudden 80 degree temps, so I’m stuck in an uninspiring, pre-SG polo and khakis combo that has left me feeling pretty average today.

I should point out that our work environment is very casual–short sleeves are widely accepted. Not that this is necessarily a good or bad thing–just throwing it out there.

To help Dave out (and hopefully the rest of you, too) I came up with a few key pieces you guys can use, and showed you how to style them.
I’m sure all of you guys will be feeling the heat in the office soon enough, so I put together three looks, each of varying formality. That way, you can find at least one look that will work (get it?!) for your work environment.
All pieces can be found at Banana Republic.

Business Casual

Sweater: $80 Shirt: $60 Pants: $60 Shoes: $158 Belt: $50
Short-Sleeve Button Up

As Dave said, in casual offices short-sleeves are totally acceptable, so take advantage of them! They feel a bit dressier and less sporty than a polo, and they come in a variety of patterns and colors. Just avoid pairing ties with them unless you are/want to be the Dwight of your office.

Colored Chinos

Continuing with the bright trend, why not try a pair of colored chinos? Traditional khaki chinos are essential, but there’s no reason why they have to be the end all be all of your work pants wardrobe. I’ve seen you guys rock them in you #OOTW entries, so I know you can make it work for the office. It will definitely make your hot secretary have a double take you when you walk in. Some colors to consider are those with names inspired by nature: moss, salmon, sky blue, rust, and many more.

Light-Weight Cardigan or V-Neck Sweater
When the weather gets warmer, many offices crank the air conditioning. If you’re allowed to wear short sleeves in your office, you probably don’t need to wear a jacket, so just go with a sweater. Choose one in a lighter weave, like cotton, linen or a blend.

General Business Attire

Shirt: $80 Tie clip: $39 Tie: $60 Pants: $90 Shoes: $140 Belt: $50
Chambray Tie
A tie is a tie is a tie. But a chambray tie is niiiiiice. I don’t know why I like this fabric so much, but it feels totally perfect for spring, and this gray shade provides the perfect balance to the colorful plaid shirt. And don’t forget the tie clip!
Bright Prints
We’re finally past the winter doldrums, so dress like it! I’ve never heard of an office that prohibits colors, so why not go for a few of the colorful prints that stores are selling now? If you’re more conservative you can choose between solids, stripes, and plaids, but if you’re feeling adventurous there are tons of other patterns like florals, polka dots and more!

“Suit Required” Business

Suit Jacket: $400 Shirt: $60 Pocket Square: $25 Tie: $60 Pants: $180 Shoes: $140 Belt: $45
Linen Suit

Wool is great for the cold, but kind of meh bleh-eh-eh for everything else. If you have to wear a suit everyday over the summer, why not invest in something lighter? A linen suit drapes beautifully, and this shade of blue feels just right with this fabric. Plus, it can work with most colors, such as any of the plaid shirts on BR’s site right now.

Accessories!

It’s a lot harder for guys to show off personal style than girls, especially in the office. We have a LOT more options for appropriate work wear with flair than you guys, so I can see how you can get lost in the polo-and-khakis rut. But if you don’t want to, you don’t have to! Ties, pocket squares, watches, shoes, and patterns on all of them are a great way to make your look feel personal, so don’t be afraid to try bright colors or crazy patterns in these pieces.

All of these options can be worn out of the office, (some for grocery shopping, and other for your friends’ weddings) so they’re great investments for anyone. Plus, they all are easy to pair with other pieces: a linen suit pairs well with polo; a short sleeve button up looks great with jeans; and cardigans and colored chinos are already staples in many of your wardrobes.

Tell Us,

What do you wear to the office when the weather warms up?