Fall is quickly passing us, but it’s never a bad time to upgrade your essentials for the upcoming winter and future fall/winter seasons to come. Besides, most of the time you can carry forward many garments to the warmer months by simply dressing them down and removing layers. A topic that I repeatedly cover on the blog is comfort, and the reason being is that it goes a long way when it comes to how you get through your day. Yes, it’s important to have great looking clothes, but what’s the point if you’re going to be itching to get out of the garment? That doesn’t accomplish too much Hence, being comfortable in your clothing is just as important as looking good in your clothing, and from personal experience – there is a direct correlation.
This is why I’m continuing to focus on such pieces. Today, I want to focus on three particular brands (Dockers, Massimo Dutti, lululemon) that do that really well (again, from my personal experience), while providing quality garments. These suggested pieces are geared towards comfort, without sacrificing the style aspect, which in my opinion is a win-win. Often times you find great looking clothes, but they don’t really feel too great when you wear them 9-5, which can be caused by factors such as materials, stretch and fit.
As a general guideline, I tend to stay away from too many synthetics in clothing. Yes, there can be benefits of synthetic dyes compared to natural dyes in some garments, but in this particular case of comfort and durability for casual work wear, natural materials go a long way. Wool, cotton and cashmere are true essentials when it comes to sustainable work wear. Most quality and comfortable suits are merino wool (as well as some sweaters) which is due to the fact that the material naturally regulates to your body temperature. Cotton is an easy choice and shouldn’t require much explanation, but cashmere is one that is also worth mentioning because of how comfortable it is. Many people stay away from it because of its steep price point, but I promise you it’s worth it. Even finding cashmere blends can be a half way point (see turtleneck below) and is usually priced more reasonably.
Another aspect that comes into play is the stretch of the garment, which might sound odd at first – like why does my garment need to stretch if it’s comfortable already? This is something which I’ve noticed more of recently, but having a small amount of spandex, lycra or elastane in a garment actually makes a big difference when wearing it for long period of time. It’s a pretty smart concept since it doesn’t quite make your pair of pants look like leggings, but it creates more elasticity for further movement. Take this for example, instead of loosening your belt a bit after lunch, the garment does the work for you. Or even when you crouch to pick up that box – you don’t have to worry about a horrifying crotch rip.
This leads me to my next point, which is the fit of the clothing. Try to figure out what your body type is. If you’re a larger guy, try avoiding super skinny pants (I’ve made that mistake a few times) and try working with a slim straight or straight leg. It’s a tapered look that appears flattering without constricting you or making you look like you’re in pair of jeggings. The same goes for oversized garments – you don’t want to be barely fitting into a massive double-breasted blazer: it just doesn’t look good.
So yes – that’s what you should look for in your work attire. Obviously, there are some workplaces that allow extremely casual attire, but for the sake what is conventionally accepted nowadays, take what you like out of this.
Here’s a quick brand cheat sheet to take a look at, if you will:
Dockers: Literally for any guy. They make great fitting chinos that go well with any look, dressed or casual.
Massimo Dutti: Classic menswear with an elegant edge. Their essentials are quality and well refined for any ensemble.
lululemon: Commonly referred to as the ‘yoga’ brand, but they have a lot more than just ‘tights’. They have some great casual work wear that is very durable and astoundingly comfortable.
If you’re wondering why I chose these 3 particular brands, it is all simply through personal experience. Yes, there are other great brands for work wear, but these brands are great for the purposes of casual work attire, depending on what kind of office setting you’re involved in. Thank you for reading.
All photography is courtesy of Julie Yeh (@julie_yay)