New Season, New Style – 5 Ways You Can Take Your Formal Wear Up a Notch

Looking to finally ditch your dull suits this SS15? These tips will help you step away from the same old, same old and add some much-needed excitement to your formal wardrobe!

Bare Some Skin

Although its probably inappropriate to turn up to the office shirtless, baring some skin in the work place is most definitely not. In fact, a great way to amp up your formal looks this season is to ditch your socks and show off a bit of ankle. This look can easily be achieved with pretty much any pair of low shoes, but looks best when done with a simple pair of loafers. Not only is the look extremely fashion forward, but can work for anything work may throw at you. Wear your trousers as normal if heading to a more formal event, or, for an instantly perfect, semi-formal style, roll them up or invest in a stylish, cropped pair.

Get the Look

Black Cropped Trousers    Black Leather Loafers

Brown Leather Loafers      Grey Cropped Trousers

Pocket Square-Flare

Often overlooked by suit-wearers, the right pocket square can add a whole new level of sophistication and style to your outfit. It’s understated yet elegant appearance not only has the ability to liven up even the most tired looks, but, done right, will launch you to the top of the office best-dressed list. Go for whichever colours and patterns suit your style – the most simple pocket squares can make just as loud a statement as the most vivid. For a refined, classic look, opt for something that compliments the rest of your outfit. However, the more adventurous dressers out there should not be afraid to use a pocket square as an opportunity to colour clash. A bright yellow pocket square paired with a pale-pink tie can provide you with a look that oozes the same sophistication whilst also drawing everyone’s eyes.

Get the Look

Floral Pocket Square 2   Purple Tie & Pocket Square

Grey Tie & Pocket Square     Floral Pocket Square

Clash of the Textures

Another fun and effective way to mix things up with your formal wear is to add some different textures to your look. Pull suits apart and pair a classic pair of pants with your favourite tweed or houndstooth jacket. Accessories like neck and bow ties are also great and easy ways to add textures to your outfit. For something more laidback, go for one that’s woven or knitted , or for a more sleek, edgy look, a leather or velvet tie may be more up your street. A pair of suede brogues or textured leather loafers could also give the same effect without you having to alter your look too much.

Get the Look

           Yellow Knitted Tie Grey Suede Brogues

Brown Tweed Blzer      Blue Velvet Bowtie

Hints of Prints

Adding prints to your formal attire also adds excitement, and, of all those listed here, is probably the method most likely to get you noticed. The choices here are endless really, with everything from shirts and suits to pocket squares and shoes, you can easily add prints and patterns to any part of your outfit. However, for style success there are a few things you should remember:

1) If going for a printed shirt or suit, make sure everything else is solid colour – too many patterned pieces will leave your outfit feeling too busy and maybe even a bit silly.

2) When adding prints through your accessories, feel free to add quite a few pieces. However, while its fine to wear the same print in different sizes or prints with matching colours, do not match prints exactly; it doesn’t look good.

3) It is okay to clash patterns and colours, just make sure you do it right. Pattern clashing works best when the colours in each pattern match, whereas with colour clashing you should use the same print for each colour or only go for one item that’s printed, as clashing colours and patterns at the same time will leave your outfit looking confused.

Get the Look

Feather Print Shirt      Printed Dress Slippers

Splash Pattern Pocket SquareTartan Suit

Embrace the Braces

Ditch the belts this season and give your formal outfits a bit of a dapper feel  with a pair of braces. Whether you decide to go for a clip-on pair or a traditional button pair, braces work both as a statement piece or as a great accessory. To make a pair of braces your outfit’s key piece, find a pair in a bright colour or bold pattern, and make them stand out even more by keeping the rest of your outfit plain. However, if you’re just looking to accessorize, go for a plain pair in a shade that compliments the rest of your outfit.

Get the Look

Braces Black     Braces Paisley

Braces Striped  Braces White

So, will you be taking your formal looks to the next level this season? If so, how?

Have any other ways to make formal wear more interesting?

Let me know in the comments below!

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