How to: Dress OK (for men)

Congratulations! You succeeded in landing a job with the Big 4. Now you need to succeed in learning how to dress ok.

Don’t be intimidated by having to buy an entire business wardrobe to start you new career. You don’t have to be Derek Zoolander, you just need to dress ok.

This post will help you build a wardrobe from the top down. Including sneaky ways to make a little go a long way.

Dress Shirts

Non-iron/wrinkle-free shirts only – these will allow you to appear put together even if the rest of your life is a mess

Stick to basic colors and minimal patterns (it will take people longer to realize you wear the same 5 shirts every week)

Consider buying “slim” or “fitted” cut instead of a ballooning “traditional” or “full”

Surprisingly, Amazon has a large selection of quality dress shirts for around $20.

Recommendation: Amazon Essentials Men’s Slim-Fit Wrinkle-Resistant Long-Sleeve Dress Shirt

Dress Pants

Starters: Navy & gray

Reserves: Khaki & black

Your grandpa called, he wants his pleated pants back. Buy flat front pants only.

Costco (Kirkland brand) is more than just delicious rotisserie chicken.

Recommendation: Kirkland Signature Men’s Non-Iron Comfort Pant


Invest in dress sockssave the ankle socks for pick-up basketball

One of my favorite memories: a colleague came to an office meeting wearing ankle socks, a partner pulled him aside, gave him $20, and instructed him to immediately go buy dress socks.

Undershirts – while reasonable people can debate “v-neck vs. crew” (my advice: follow your heart), what is not up for debate: undershirts should only be white


Will you look incredible by wearing a blazer? Maybe. Maybe not. But you will likely look better than you would without a blazer. Try to work a jacket into your wardrobe (and Power Outfit, see below)

Sportcoats are probably not the item to skimp on, but if you are looking for an affordable option.

Recommendation: Amazon Essentials Men’s Unlined Knit Sport Coat


Have 3 or 4 pairs of real (not fake) leather dress shoes.

A great, under the radar way to buy high quality shoes is Amazon Warehouse. The selection is random, but there are deeply discounted gems to be found.

Find your Power Outfit

Power Outfit = an outfit that makes you feel like a boss.  Wear it on days you are meeting with the CFO, interacting with the Office Managing Partner, or delivering a presentation.

In conclusion, follow these tips to begin your journey to dress OK professionally.

5 thoughts on “How to: Dress OK (for men)

  1. you left off socks!! Such an important part of this conversation. Just say NO to white socks, but don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it!

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