Corporate Style: How To Stand Out While Blending In

Corporate style doesn’t have to be an oxymoron

Corporate and style are two words you might not expect to see together. In fact, to some, the term “corporate style” might seem like something of an oxymoron. There is definitely a style to corporate attire, but you might argue that its style is devoid of style with a capital ‘s’. In that type of environment, it’s all about fitting in and not rocking the boat. So how do you stand out while still blending in? Here are five things to consider.

Make the investment in yourself. To be sure, investing in yourself certainly has a monetary component. You have to be willing to funnel some resources and throw a bit of cash at your project, which is yourself. However, in addition to money, there is also an investment in time. Time spent reflecting on what you hope to achieve. And time spent researching and learning about a variety of things related to clothing and style. We live in a fast-paced world filled with instant gratification. Aim to be the guy who makes considered and informed decisions rather than the one who is overeager and shows no regard for knowledge or quality. In other words, be a man of substance, not a man of superfluousness.

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Have a suit made. Having a suit made is a perfect illustration of the idea expressed above. Number one, it takes time. And number two, you can almost guarantee that nobody will have the same exact suit. Sure, you could get that Ludlow suit from J.Crew tomorrow. You could go to SuitSupply. But so could everyone else. And a lot of people do because they need/want a new suit, and stat. Hunting for sartorial instant gratification will almost certainly lead to you awkwardly bumping into a coworker (or someone on the sidewalk) and being like, “Hey, um, we’ve got the same SuitSupply blazer…cool…”

Not being impulsive when it comes to developing your wardrobe will not only save you from a potentially embarrassing situation, but it will also give you complete control over your vision. When you have a suit made you have authority over your fabric as well as details like lapel style, pocket style, buttons, whether your trousers are cuffed, and lining. Not only that, but if you’ve gone to a company that knows their craft, you’re going to get a superior fit. And there’s nothing better than that.

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| WEARING | Michael Andrews Bespoke suit, shirt and tie, Frank Clegg briefcase, Rolex watch, Tommy Hilfiger shoes | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

Carry an enviable briefcase. Just say no to the ubiquitous black Targus briefcase and look for a high-quality leather example. Not only will it get better as it ages, but chances are you’ll be able to hand it down someday. Walk in with a Frank Clegg briefcase in shrunken leather and I’ll wager your boss will ask you where you bought it.

corporate attire male 2018

Consider your watch game. Here’s where a lot of time will be spent researching and considering. Now, if you want to be like everyone else, go ahead and buy that damn Daniel Wellington watch. If you detect my disdain for DW, it has nothing to do with price. I wouldn’t tell you that a Seiko 5 would be an infinitely better choice–which it most certainly is–if price were my only criteria. Rather, it’s its ubiquitousness and the FOMO that it induces.

If you hope to climb the corporate ladder, you’re going to have to follow the herd and play by the rules to some extent. Think of your clothing and accessories, especially your choice of watch, as a subtle way to be unique and intriguing. The most astute and perceptive of your colleagues will likely take note of these things and that will go a long way in their positive perception of you.

corporate attire male 2018

Buckles instead of laces. Anchor your suit with a pair of double monk straps instead of oxfords or derbies. (Here’s the difference between oxfords and derbies, if you were wondering.) A little Italian flair down there will certainly garner some positive feedback. Just be sure to skip the funky socks to avoid being “that guy”.

corporate attire male 2018

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style


Chime In

  • David Petr

    Great post, Bryan. It’s amazing how many people say they feel more productive and confident when dressing well for their profession. It truly has an impact not just on their aesthetic, but on their personalities and drive as well. Cheers.

  • Alejandro Mendoza

    I am really enjoying this recent retoric push to become “a man of substance” and the gentleman hashtags! I wrote a piece just last week about a close friend who embodies the spirit of this post while working as an attorney, funny how inspiration for similar topics can strike the community. Great read per usual, although not sure I’ll ever go down the double monk path haha. Cheers Brian!

  • grey0135

    Nice suit. Interesting shade of blue (not navy, but not so bright as to look out of place in the office). Hard to judge a suit from the pictures (can’t really tell how a suit fits until you see someone move—it’s possible to make a bad suit look good if you photograph it right), but looks like a nice fit.

    Question: I see a bit of drape in the chest, a bit of roping, and some structure in the shoulders (but not overdone). Would you say that’s typical for Michael Andrews bespoke? How would you describe their “house style”?

  • Sunil Nat

    Superb Blog I like the way Corporate wear style and Incorporate style is explore in there own way. Suits Commonly should be Fitted to the Person who is wearing the attire. There are some Kind of Suits colour which makes your personality Groom and makes you look great. If you wear suit which is of Navy blue colour so you should have knowledge of making pair of Shoes, Belts, Shirt and Accessories which is been Published in the above blog. Dappering yourself is the best way to make your personality look Exploring and Trending.

  • wisc

    Nice post, just a comment regarding the watch choice, to quote you :” a subtle way to be unique and intriguing”. Then Rolex might not be the best choice, what’s unique or intriguing about it? Why not go for something more obscure?

  • Joyce

    Speechless!! Looking so professional…. this post will best ever in my mind. Everything is perfect collection.

  • Juliana Pinilla

    Amazing!! I really like the way you use the accessories, especially the briefcase. I believe that a leather briefcase is not only useful for day to day life, but it helps to create our identity and our own personal brand.
    INMO Leather Bags is a brand focused on creating high quality and stylish leather bags. I am sure you will love it.
    Here is the link to their website:

  • Muskan pupneja

    Super amazing. I totally like the way you make the use of everything.

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  • Eric White

    Well… I didn’t needed to do corporate suiting everyday but there are sometimes we all have to do, and its comes really hard for someone new… thanks for the article is definitely answered crucial questions :)

  • Ronnie

    Well, your suit looks fine af, but have you tried Manning Company Bespoke Tailors? They are the most Famous Hong Kong Tailors! I love their tailoring. Manning Company has given me some of the best suits I could’ve hoped for. Manning Company is a known name for Bespoke Tailoring and I highly recommend you try it.
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  • Pedro Lambareiro

    A little Italian flair down there will certainly garner some positive feedback.

    Except if we’re talking of an STD

  • James Vivian

    This was great advice for me, especially the part about blending in and yet having your own sense of style. Would you recommend Canada Clothing’s Custom Made suits? I really liked some of their patterns.