Also, while Into Mind tends to be focused towards women, the basics are still the same for men.
As it stands my wardrobe is made up of 4 pants (navy, black, 2 different shades of gray–and an olive green is on the way to make a 5th), 3 dress shirts (the standard light blue, purple, and green), with 3 different ties (though none to match the green yet) and 3 more casual button-down shirts. I also have 3 pairs of shoes (tan oxfords, the light brown chukka boots, and a pair of black square toe dress shoes that I’ll replace with my first paycheck) and 2 belts (a black and a black/tan reversible). I also bought 1 polo shirt after arguing that I wouldn’t look so dad-ish if it had a Star Wars logo.
I’m pretty lucky in terms of sizing, given that I’m a medium (16″, 32-33 dress shirt), size 10-11 shoe, and have a 36-30″ pant size. If you’re worried about things fitting though, Haggar makes these really great Work-to-Weekend pants that I keep jokingly calling Husky Pants for Boys for Men. They have a comfort waist without looking comically elastic. This way they have a little more give while I’m still losing weight without me needing to replace my whole wardrobe 20 pounds down the road.
I tend to avoid short sleeve dress shorts because I have slightly disproportionate arms, so I look more like a teenager who borrowed his dad’s clothes versus a man in his mid-20s starting his career. Obviously I don’t want to dress like a dad (think: anything you’d wear golfing), but I don’t want to be boiling in the summer, so I had to find other options. Instead, I tend to opt for button-down shirts where I can roll the sleeves. One of the best things I ever learned was how to roll my sleeves without looking like I was scrunching them up. It took a little practice, but now I can even make my flannels look dressed up when I go out with friends.
Also not necessarily related to dress, but it’s nice to think about overall presentation.
My best friend got me a Fjällräven bag for Christmas that I’m going to carry to work with me.
It’s still practical and I’d rather risk looking like a hipster rather than being the guy schlepping around his old college backpack (or conversely, being the dork with the briefacase– there’s definitely a time and place, but for me this job isn’t it)
I’m not even sure if this helps, but if people want me to talk more about this I might do a part two on building a wardrobe, job hunting, interviews, and how I’ve managed to market myself despite not having a ton of professional experience in recent years (the last time I worked in an office was almost 4 years ago, then I did 4 years in retail).