To Tie Or Not To Tie

“To Tie Or Not To Tie”

The big question that floats above every businessman’s head is when is it the appropriate time to wear a tie? Waking up and choosing an outfit for work should be an easy task, but for most, it is quite complicated– for most men that is. Women wake up in the morning and have an array of clothing options to choose from, while men pick between brown or black shoes and a brown or black belt. I often tell myself that it shouldn’t be so hard to get dressed in the morning– but it is. Let the tips and tricks below inspire you to be creative, fashionable, and personable, while also being comfortable and most importantly, professional!



I know what ya’ll are thinking… what would a business man do? I recently spoke with Paul Perkins ‘03 who works in sales and had a very interesting view on dressing up while in the workplace. First and foremost, he says that when dressing up we should dress to model our bosses, “If he is wearing a tie, then you do the same, view him as the absolute model for success because he is in charge.” Because Paul works in sales, he also pointed out that we should model what we wear on certain occasions after what our clients or those we are meeting with might wear. Mr. Perkins says, “If you are going to sell a golf club to a golfer, and he is wearing golf shorts with a polo, then you wear the same. It makes you relatable and shows him that you understand him.”

Do’s and Don’ts

  1. DO be creative in what you wear but DON’T come to work dressed like Bob Ross. An apron and pants with paint on them are not appropriate for the workplace.
  2. DO come to work with splashes of color in your outfit but DON’T come to work in an outfit that makes you look like a paint pallet or crayon box.
  3. DO dress to impress and look nice but DON’T come to work with a thousand dollar suite, diamond rings on every finger, and some alligator skin briefcase. Think classy not flashy and clashy.
  4. DO model yourself after your boss and your professional peers but DON’T copy someone’s professional look– imitate, don’t photocopy their appearance.
  5. DO mix and match your clothes, strutting around different patterns, textures, and colors but DON’T go to work in what looks to be the only clean items left in your closet.
  6. DO wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind working eight hours in, but DON’T go to work in sweatpants or pajamas– your office is not your living room and your desk is not your couch.

Rip Up The Checklist

Be a model for your co-workers… rip up the men’s professional work wear checklist and throw it in the trash. Every day doesn’t have to be dress shoes, slacks, a shirt and tie, and a belt. Those five items should not be the only things men can wear in the workplace. Allow yourself to be expressive and professional, while also maintaining comfort and style. Replace that suite with a sport’s jacket, replace that long tie with an ascot, or wear some khakis instead of that pair of black slacks. Create your own checklist, break the workplace men’s fashion stereotypes, and make your look personal to you while being professional.

For more easy tips and tricks or ideas on how to dress in the workplace, check out the links below: