Outfit of the week – 3 x business dress basics

Posted by Atte Rytkönen on 23.4.2017 in General

The key and secret of those most best dressed men is simple. At least I want to believe so. The secret is to keep your garments simple, classic and interchangeable. That’s how I try to build up my wardrobe.

This post consists of three outfits I wore for work this week. I call them as business basics-looks. Three simple looks with my favorite colors, blue, gray and brown. And as a sum-up I will give you a tip, how three looks can change into over 50 different looks.

All three suits are actually quite different from each other but for me they are my trusted office uniforms. One noteworthy thing is that they are all also suits that I can wear year around. And if you take a look of the outfits, you can once again see why simplicity is the key when it comes to building your wardrobe. With simple pieces you create versatility. In fact I could basically take almost any part of these outfits (suit, shirt, tie or pocket square) and move it to another attire. And they would still work.

Gray checked suit with shantung tie

The first suit is a made-to-measure piece by Vaatturiliike Sauma. And you have seen it featured here multiple times. Some might say that I have rather wide range of suits and accessories but still there are of course some pieces that I like to wear more often than the others. And this suit as well as the two other suits in this post is one of them.

Light gray suit with restrained check pattern and neapolitan shoulder structure.
The gray suit with 3-roll-2 buttoning, lightly roped shoulder and patch pockets. Perfect choice when you need to be dressed-up but you still want to be slightly casual.

For most days at work I wear a white shirt. And for this combination I think the classic white button-up shirt is the best option. You can see there is a small pattern on the suit with light blue and rustic brown / orange check. Therefore the dark brown tie is a natural choice for this suit. And due to the rough texture of the shantung silk there is no need for a pattern on the tie.

Gray suit with brown shantung tie and white shirt - close up.
Four different colors, four different materials and two different patterns – all in harmony.

Brown & orange accessories

In terms of the pockets square there are of course multiple different ways to choose one. You can pick a color that is used on your suit, jacket or shirt and then repeat the color on your pocket square. But in my opinion it is not wrong to choose a pocket square featuring that are not visible anywhere else in your outfit. In that case you just need to make sure that the colors are in balance. And that they do not clash with each other.

Gray suit with restrained check pattern and soft textures.
Orange and brown is one of my favorite color combinations.

For this outfit I chose an orange linen pocket square with paisley pattern. The orange brings up the rustic brown / orange check on the suit and at the same time it higlights the dark brown color of the tie. Brown and orange are in my opinion always a good combination. As long as you go with darker shades of brown.

The DLA brown shantung tie with double four-in-hand knot.
The DLA brown shantung tie with double four-in-hand knot.

And then a tip. If you wear suits on daily basis and you go for made-to-measure or bespoke tailoring, try to have your trousers without belt loops. Instead choose side adjusters or use braces. In my opinion this gives much more cleaner look for the suit.

The gray suit details - no belt loops.
Details. And no belt loops.

Double-breasted gray suit with some blues

The second suit is a ready-to-wear piece from Swedish Rose&Born. Since I bought it in 2014, it has been one of my go-to suits. I love it as I can wear it to almost any occasions. I can wear it with a white shirt and blue tie for business meetings. But I can also wear it with a t-shirt and sneakers for a casual evening with my friends.

Gray double-breasted suit with white shirt and blue tie
You should always keep your double-breasted jacket buttoned. Unless you are just taking picture.

In my opinion this kind of a suit is at its best when you where it with a simple white shirt and plain tie. For some reason I like to wear most of my double-breasted suits with plain ties. Even though there are multiple patterned neckties that could do the trick as well. The suit is made of Dugdale Bros & co gray herringbone wool fabric. Therefore I tend to pair it with ties that have a little texture instead of smooth silk fabrics. Cashmere, wool and silk-wool mixtures are my personal favorites to pair with this suit.

Gray double-breasted suit and the DLA kullervo pocket square
If you have a patch breast pocket, be careful with your pocket squares. You dont want the pocket to look to bulky.

Wool-grenadine tie and art in the pocket

The tie I chose to wear here is a little different than usual. It is made of fabric with grenadine silk and wool. The wool gives the tie even more depth and smoothness in my opinion. And it makes it appropriate to wear year around, as the texture of the fabric is easy to pair as well with wool as with cotton suits and jackets.

Gray double-breasted suit with blue silk-wool grenadine tie - details and textures.
Details and textures.

The pocket in this one is the DLA Kullervo herding his flocks square. The restrained colors, soft handfeel, and beautiful, iconic art print make it the perfect finish for any outfit. Even for this kind of business attire. The colors repeat the blue of the tie but at the same time the soft shades of brown and yellow brings a little contrast to the kit.

Blue grenadine silk-wool tie with double four-in-hand knot
Again the double four-in-hand knot with a single dimple.

Blue chalk stripe suit and brown accessories

The third suit is also a ready-to-wear piece. I have bought it from Sauma and it is made by Italian Tagliatore. I have said it earlier, wearing a pin stripe or chalk stripe suit, particularly blue, can showcase a very traditional look. But you can also make chalk stripes to be very fresh, restrained and modern. This time I went for the more business-oriented look.

Dark blue chalk stripe suit with brown herringbone tie
Dark blue, light blue and brown – a safe play.

For the third day of the week at the office I went for the light blue shirt. As you know, in terms of business dress the light blue shirt is the only serious rival to the white shirt in popularity. And as I already mentioned, I personally don’t really wear any other shirts than white, light blue or denim for work. Some people say that you should not pair stripes with stripes. In my opinion, you can do that. But you need to make sure that the patterns are clearly different in terms of size.

Dark blue chalk stripe suit with brown tie and cotton pocket square - close-up
The white pocket square with contrasting borders.

Subtle patterns and textures

As the summer gets closer you can start to go for more seasonal tie choices as well. For the first time this spring I decided to wear my brown linen tie featuring a subtle herringbone pattern. The beauty of this kind of ties is the fact that when you look the outfit for afar, it looks plain. It’s a blue suit with brown tie and light blue shirt. But when you take a closer look, you can see the chalk stripe on the suit, the thin pin stripe on the shirt and finally the small herringbone pattern on the tie. So it is the details that makes the difference here.

Dark blue chalk stripe suit with brown tie and light blue shirt - definitely business appropriate
Plain and simple when you look from afar – patterned and textured in detail.

Above I mentioned that I could basically take almost any part of these outfits and move it to another attire. And they would still work. As a sum-up, just this kind of piece is the pocket square in this outfit. It is a simple white cotton pocket square with brown contrasting borders. For the first outfit I could wear it as such. With the gray double-breasted suit I probably would wear it just as a white tv-fold.

BLue chalk stripe suit with brown tie and double dimple.
Double four-in-hand knot with the double dimple.

So keep this in mind. I have here three suits, two different shirts (in terms of color), three ties and three pocket squares. So basically I could make 54 different kind of ensembles with these pieces. That’s what simplicity and versatility are all about.

Blue chalk stripe suit with the Alfred Sargent Moore oxford shoes.
My old and trusted Alfred Sargent Moore oxford shoes.