Boardroom Threads: The Power Dressing Canon

By Aditi Banerjee

Boardroom iconography has seen variations of suit, including those that have endured as power dressing canon. This year, add instant punch to your work wardrobe with five trends that run the gamut from timeless to bombast.

Get Your Khaki On

The smart, lightweight khaki suit is season appropriate and a great neutral – what a bit of luck this versatility; the colour of shirt you choose to wear it with could be any degree of departure and it would still look good. Consider blue and green for pastel shades, and know that your cotton/linen khaki will anchor them masterfully. You could choose instead to go for a slightly darker, possibly patterned shirt and then wear a slim pastel tie in order to be able to come out even. Roll with the punches if you’re opting for a brighter colour, though they are better incorporated in subtle accoutrements like socks, ties and pocket squares. Dark neutral shirts hardly bite the dust – pair them with a sand coloured shade of khaki or maybe a blanched, stony hue.

Small Collars, Big Impressions

The merits of a small collar aren’t unthinkable, and it almost never existed only in short bursts of trendiness. For a smart bespoke feel, pass up the lobster bibs and plump for a narrow collar. Keep it contemporary, and that’s whether you go for a cutaway or club collar. Narrow point and tab collars best employ this style and help to thin and elongate your face while the semispread collar works with every kind of suit and tie. Remember that the size of your collar should sync up with the size of your tie. If you decide to wear a blazer to work, skip the tie altogether. Be sure your blazer is trim and with narrow lapels.

The Flat-Front Trouser

The flat front trouser has a dart as a contouring feature that allows the pant fabric to lie unbroken against your body, putting forth a unified visual aesthetic. The silhouette is smooth, tailored and slim, affording a way more snug fit than a pleated pant that has creases along the front, created by folding the fabric and sewing it down before attaching a waistband. It has a looser silhouette and affords a roomier fit, but there’s a chance the extra fabric may look a little nubby if you have a thin frame. Your flat-front trouser should be well tailored, just a little slack around the waist, and worn on the hipbones. Casual cotton or denim is best served up in a flat-front variety as well.

The Suede Way

Suede shoes are in every way complimentary, and yes that is true for business dress as well. Save for the monsoon, there isn’t a season you can’t wear suede shoes at the workplace, especially if they’re brown. A suede twist on classic oxfords, in fact, is a great way to wing it during summer months. Another thing – wear them sockless, and with skinny suit pants or khakis. With a business suit, a pair of captoe oxford lace up suede shoes looks best. When you’re picking your suit, stick to shades of blue, gray, brown, olive and tan.

Pattern Boldness

Switch up your choice of pattern when you go to shop for dress shirts. Take a chance with plaid, or gingham. Vertical stripes are great too, and they mean business. If the look you’re going for is smart casual, pick a shirt with small checks; this type of chequered pattern strikes a vibrant, urbane note in the boardroom and pairs wonderfully with pants of solid colour. Don’t shy away from mixing up the colour palette too – reach for a lime green, pink, or lavender gingham.

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