Dressing For The First Day At a New Job

3 / 6
Show your style subtly. A peak lapel instead of a notch lapel. A striped tie with some interesting stripes.

4 / 6
Err on the conservative side. Stick with a classic menswear palette of blues, greys and browns.

5 / 6
Take the temperature of the office culture and gradually introduce more advanced style ideas.

A few guidelines on how to dress for the first day at a new job

Starting a new job is stressful. And the seemingly innocuous task of deciding what to wear to your first day in a new workplace can be anything but. The first impression you make to your new colleagues is an important one and you should certainly consider the consequences of how that first impression will resonate.

If you are working in a larger office, I think this is especially important. There are going to be people who see you who have no direct day-to-day contact with you and, like it or not, they’re probably going to form an opinion of you based on how you look when they see you from afar.

how to dress first day new job

So what is the best course of action? Unfortunately, like most things business casual attire-related, it depends. Mostly it depends on the type of job, environment and culture you’re entering into. Yet there are some key points that can be applied across a variety of fields.

Here’s some guidance to help you out.

how to dress first day new job

| WEARING | Reiss blazer, Michael Andrews Bespoke shirt, Banana Republic pants, Brooks Brothers tie, Rolex watch, Loafers c/o Allen Edmonds | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

Don’t overdo it. The first day of a new job is not the time to show off or “peacock”. Stay away from bright colors – pocket squares, ties or “statement” socks – and anything that might be scare-quote stylish. So maybe the first day isn’t the best day to wear a bow tie. Unless, of course, you’d like to be known as the “bow tie guy” for your entire career. And, hey, maybe that’s your thing!

Err on the conservative side. This follows logically from the first point. Stick to basic menswear colors such as blues, greys and browns. And unless your office requires you to wear a suit, try a simple blazer and trousers combo. If you’ve invested in well-tailored garments, you’re going to look better than most of the men in suits anyway. And a well thought-out blazer/trousers look can show a lot more style acumen than a suit.

how to dress first day new job

Show your style…subtly. Even when dressing conservatively, you can let people know you’re a stylish guy without broadcasting that you are “into style”. A simple windowpane plaid on your blazer, a peak lapel instead of a notch lapel, a tie with an interesting stripe pattern and even a pair of tassel loafers are easy ways to do this.

Get a read on the office culture and style. As you integrate into your new office, you’ll begin to get a sense of what’s possible (or acceptable) from a style point. I think it’s always best to ease into these sorts of things rather than to be upfront and in your face about it, especially if your office is more conservative. If you’re working in the fashion or fashion publishing industry, none of this applies to you!

how to dress first day new job

People, dudes especially, will be more accepting if you ease into it. And, in fact, if after some time you start introducing some more advanced elements into your office look – think double monks, a cutaway collar or even a double-breasted blazer – the same dudes who might have given you a hard time at first will probably want some style advice from you. I know this because I’ve been there.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

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  • Mario Guarrella

    Hi Brian,are the blazer little large,on the shoulder?Agree?

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for the comment, Mario. This blazer has a roped shoulder – more of a British tailoring style rather than the usual Italian soft shoulder you see me wearing – so it’s a much more structured look. It’s a good fit in the shoulder so, unfortunately, I don’t agree with you!

      • Peter

        Also, the fabric of the sport coat is soft, so it doesn’t drape as cleanly as, say, worsted wool. That’s why it doesn’t look like a straight line through the sleeve.

        • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

          Geez, what is with you guys being the police today?!

          Actually, Peter, this technically would be considered a blazer since it has matching pants and is being worn as a suit separate. A bold pattern only does not a sport coat make. We did a story on this a couple years back: http://hespokestyle.com/plaid-sport-coat/

          Also, if we’re getting technical, fabric alone is not responsible for the drape of a garment. If we’re talking about a jacket, like we are here, there are considerations like whether it’s fully-lined, half-lined, quarter-lined or unstructured. As I mentioned to Mario, this is a very structured jacket.

  • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

    Thanks for the comment, Mario. This blazer has a roped shoulder – more of a British tailoring style rather than the usual Italian soft shoulder you see me wearing – so it’s a much more structured look. It’s a good fit in the shoulder so, unfortunately, I don’t agree with you!

  • Nathan

    Brian, contrary to previous comments I think the blazer looks great!

  • Jonas

    Hey Brian,
    thank you so much for implementing the topic, i’ve wished. That is 100% what I waited for! As you mentioned this outfit is not too conservative and not too casual either, just simply on point. I will definitely try it out.
    I’m looking forward to the next posts…

  • JayH

    It’s pretty ballsy to roll up with peak lapels, a ticket pocket, and tassel loafers. But as long as you can own the look, it doesn’t matter what your new co-workers think. Well done, Brian.