The Lead Outfit - shirt, pants, jacket, tie, shoe

I recently did a post for women and know a few men who could use some ideas for showing up for the pitch, whether it’s going after a new business partnership, an interview or presenting your ideas.

The safest thing is always a suit.  But let’s say the occasion doesn’t require a suit but you can’t wear jeans…then what?

General advice:

  • Overdress for the occasion.  It’s better to be the best-dressed than the worst-dressed.
  • Make sure to shop for something you like and will feel good wearing.  There’s nothing worse than dreading a particular piece in your closet.
  • Invest in something that you can wear for multiple occasions – work, weddings, etc.
  • A jacket and pants that fits you well will look SO much better than one that is ill-fitting.
  • Buy or borrow a copy of Esquire’s The Handbook of Style for a complete education on menswear terminology so you know what to ask for the next time you go shopping.

Here are four “separates” looks to consider, inspired by many guys I’ve worked with in my former corporate and agency lives, available at Banana Republic, Macy’s and Nordstrom.


The Lead Outfit - shirt, pants, jacket, tie, shoe

If you’re the leader of the pack or at the front of the room, this is a sharp set of neutrals based in blues and grey, with a pop of power red tones in the tie and shoes.  A tonal pattern on the jacket adds dimension and texture, along with a pattern on the tie and a pick stitch pinstripe on the shirt.

Shop these items:  shirt, pants, jacket, tie, shoes


The Creative - shirt, pants, jacket, tie, shoe

Purple is the color for creativity, so it seems quite appropriate to start off with a crisp shirt with purple stripes.  The orange is a nice contrast to the shirt and will stand out nicely from the glen plaid jacket (woven with a hint of purple).  A dark pant like navy or black paired with a funky black dress shoe completes the look.

Shop these items:  shirt, pants, jacket, tie, shoes


The Analytic - shirt, pants, jacket, tie and shoe

This overall palette is very earthy with browns, oranges and a sprig of green.  There is a tonal pattern in the jacket that pairs with the light pinstripe on the shirt.  Add some personality with the pattern on the tie and the detail on the shoe.

Shop these items:  shirt, pants, jacket, tie, shoes


The Geek - shirt, pants, jacket, tie, shoeBecause you’re probably the target for least likely to dress well, go classic.  A grey and blue palette is conservative and will ensure people focus on what you’re saying and not “what was he thinking with those clothes?”  A very subtle pattern on the jacket will pair well with a richer pattern on the shirt and matching the blue tie to the blue shirt is a safe bet.

Shop these items:  shirt, pants, jacket, tie, shoes

Any of the shirt and tie combinations can be paired with a sweater the same color as the jacket.  Alternately, the shirts and jackets can be paired with dark denim for a more casual day of meetings.

So this all looks great in pictures, but are you wondering what works for you?  Fabuliss can help!  See for more information and to schedule an appointment.