office style

Men’s Fashion in the Workplace (as told by the Banker)

Disclaimer: Please note I asked my husband, the Banker, to create a post to speak about men’s fashion in the workplace. The opinions expressed in his post are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bethanimalprint. 

Fresh to Def. 

Old and Busted. 

*Mad respect for Richard Gere, though. In the 80’s, the above suit probably guaranteed that Mr. Gere would never have to pay for a Fuzzy Navel.  

Yo. Banker here. Since I spend my days closing deals and eating steaks, my wife believes I’m an authority on the fashionable male. And you know what? She’s right. 

A component of my job is dealing in risk management, so I’ve decided to outline what I believe are ‘Office Style Risks.’ They are as follows:

  • Risk:  Wearing a square-toed shoe…at any time.  Wearing these is the most surefire way to proclaim “my shoes are cheap and I’m probably jellin.”  Mitigant: Wingtips, man.
  • Risk: Wearing black dress shoes with navy/tan/khakis slacks. I don’t give a shit what the cigarette-smoking dude from Men’s Wearhouse tells you; black shoes paired with anything other than grey or black pants is not going to look good on you. I guarantee it.  Mitigant:  Pair your navy slacks with cordovan cap toes, like these.
    • Inconsistent messaging side bar: It’s completely acceptable (and encouraged!) to wear brown dress shoes with light grey dress pants.  
  • Risk: Wearing a crew-neck t-shirt under your dress shirt.  It’s challenging to express how much credibility you lose when you show up to a meeting with a white tee clearly visible under your work attire. You’re either a new hire or nearing retirement. Either way I’ve stopped listening to you. Mitigant:  Wear a v-neck under your dress shirt. Or, if you’re from San Jose, a sleeveless tank top.  
  • Risk: Mixing patterns (excludes shirt/tie pattern mixing). This is likely an affront to men’s fashion mags, but it’s important to separate style and office style. When you pair a gingham shirt with baggy pinstripe dress slacks, it signals you’re the type of person who uses their mouse to navigate excel sheets.  Mitigant: Don’t do that.
  • Risk: Showing up with a floppy collar. Of all office fashion missteps, this is the most cringe-inducing. If your collar forms a ‘U’ shape, you’re probably the guy that microwaves salmon in the office breakroom. Mitigant: Iron your shirt. Also, invest in some collar stays, like these.  Not only will they keep your collar straight, they also serve as a screwdriver and bottle opener. Boomstick.

So now that I’ve outlined common office style risks and provided tools to mitigate them, let’s take some questions from readers:

Question:  Dear Banker, I still wear some of my old suits from 5-10 years ago. Unfortunately, they have pleats and no less than four buttons. Are they still acceptable to wear to a job interview?
Guy living with his parents, Burlingame, CA

The Banker (TB): Only if you’re interviewing for a bartending job at your local Elk’s lodge. Time to update. Basically, all the features you outlined above should no longer be present on anything you buy today.

Question:  What do you think of this whole funky sock movement?  Do you partake? 
Hopeful deal closer and steak eater, San Francisco, CA

TB: Not only do I fully support the funky sock movement, I’m a Ted Baker/Psycho Bunny/Thomas Pink client.  Look, we don’t work in an environment where you can wear checkered pink/blue/yellow pants and still maintain credibility. My advice is to be subtle with your flair in the office; wear slim-fitting, tailored dress clothes and pair them with crazy socks.

Question: Are loafers okay in the workplace?

– Confused Esquire Reader, Los Angeles, CA

TB: This is polarizing, but I’m going to say no. Loafers make the owner appear lazy. Until you’ve hit a point in your career in which your bonuses alone put you in the 1%, loafers should be reserved for Fridays.  

Question: When I wear an undershirt (v-neck, of course), it becomes untucked and all the extra fabric gathers at my waistline pushing my unstable psyche toward Amanda Bynes-ian levels. What do I do?!
– Guy embarrassing himself, Phoenix, AZ  

TB: Two things: 1) Buy Hanes slim fit v-neck t shirts (less fabric) and 2) tuck said shirt into your boxer waistband. It works and no one has to know.  

Question:  Can I wear jeans with flip flops?
Guy who takes selfies, Scottsdale, AZ

TB: Stop it.

That’s all the time we have for today; stay tuned for my next post, “Everything is sticky,” about the joys of parenting.  

The Banker

*Photos originally from GQ Style Guide ( and The Awl (

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    This. Is. Awesome.

    P.S. Pleats make me break out in a cold sweat. Not ok.

  • Kaare Wagner

    Many thanks! Agreed on pleats (*shuddering).

  • carascliche

    Simply amazing. I can’t even describe how much I LOVE this post!

    xx Cara

  • Christa Scott

    Banker- love your post! Reminds me of the days when you had your own blog. You and Bethanimal are a match made in fashion heaven. Love you two! Xoxoxo.