Professional Image Guidelines for Men

Dress for the job you want…not the job you have!  I’ve always heard that advice, and like to think I’ve lived that advice.  When I graduated from college, everyone, men and women, wore suits to work.  Women could wear pants suits, but we still wore suits.  Now, it seems anything goes.  Dressing appropriately for work, almost seems to be a lost art.  What exactly are Professional Image Guidelines for Men at the office?  This will apply more for Men who actually work in an office where there Are Professional guidelines, as opposed to men who can get away with shorts and flip-flops.  And yes, those offices do exist..don’t ask me how I know this. 🙂



The shirt sleeve cuff should be loose and extend to the end of your wrist.
If your shirt has a button on the sleeve above the cuff, button it.

No wrinkles in collar, cuffs or facing

Collar loose enough for one finger to fit in neckline

Collar of shirt stands one-fourth to one-half inches above collar of suit

Sleeve extends one-eighth to one-fourth inches below the jacket

No short sleeves with suit jackets


A classic “Straight” collar is appropriate for all suits. It is traditional and conservative.

The “Tab” or “Pin” collars are other traditional shirts. They are both neat and formal.

The “Button-Down” collar is the most casual of all business shirts and looks fine without a tie.  Also looks “collegiate”.

“Banded” and “Mock” collars are nice alternatives to a traditional collared shirt when a tie isn’t required. Select this style in dressy fabrics, such as silk, for an evening appropriate “smart casual” event.


The smaller the pattern and the darker the tie, the more authoritative the look.  Pattern small to medium is optimal.

The point of your tie should lay over your belt buckle.

With the width matched to lapel width

I will continue to post pictures of Pink ties to drive through my point that Every man needs to have a pink tie! 😉


When buttoning the jacket of a three button suit, fasten the top two buttons.

A double-breasted suit should always be buttoned when standing.

The cuff of your shirt should extend about a half-inch beyond a jacket sleeve.

Does not wrinkle across the back

Length must cover buttocks–measure from collar seam to floor and divide it in half for length

Collar lies flat against the shirt


Fit is everything. Too big or too tight throws off the balance of your overall image.

Pant hems should clear the shoe heel, but rest on the front of the shoe, creating a slight break.

Pockets remain flat, no bulging

Pants must be well-pressed



Dark socks such as navy, black or brown are best.
Over-the-calf socks are much better than shorter styles.

Color blends with pants and shoes

Subtle patterns that resemble solid from a distance

Argyle’s are for business causal only

Going without socks is never appropriate in a business setting.  I repeat…Going without socks is Never appropriate in a business setting!  Again, do Not ask me how I know this. 😉


The below photo is a Fashion DON’T, btw


Best shoes for business are wing-tips, Oxford’s and dress loafers. Wear wing-tips with traditional suits — Oxford’s and dress loafers with more casual looks.
For many men, shoes are an afterthought, but cheap or uncared for shoes can ruin an otherwise polished appearance.  Flip Flops are not considered appropriate for business…nor are Converse or Mandals.   And nor should one wear slippers in the office. 🙂

Highly polished (if leather)

Oxfords and suede must be cleaned

The best quality you can afford

Dark color: black, cordovan or brown

Thin or medium soles

Tie or slip-on and tassel loafers for suits and sport coats

Penny loafers or loafers with low vamp for business casual  only

Avoid  boots


An all-weather (i.e.trench) coat and a well-maintained briefcase/tote are essential finishing pieces for most business outfits. Select a good quality trench coat with a zip-out liner so you can wear it year ‘round. You are often wearing a coat when you meet someone for the first time. Make sure this is one of the best items in your wardrobe.  And don’t worry about looking too James Bond…And as far as a briefcase/tote goes, backpacks are great for going to and from the office, but for a business appointment, one should have a nice attaché.

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Make it the best quality you can afford

Leather only, hard or soft

No molded plastic or metal

Discreet combination lock


Short and clean hair; should not touch shirt collar

Hair in nose and ears are trimmed

Avoid excessive gels and lotions

Avoid facial ornaments

Avoid heavy fragrance

Clothes are clean and well-pressed

There are no buttons missing or falling hems

Nothing is torn, stained, or discolored



No bracelets, chains or fancy rings

No earrings

No heavy sport watches or calculators

Simple and elegant are best choices

Gold , silver or leather strap for watch

Cuff links simple, small size; no fancy or clear stones for daytime

Silver-toned cuff links with silver watch; gold toned with gold watch


Other Accessories

Pocket square that complements tie, never identical to it

No tinted glasses

Braces in neutral color, or to complement tie, jacket or shirt

No clip-on suspenders for business

Never wear braces with belt

Simple, classic leather belt design

No large or ornate belt buckles

Belt color matches shoes

Belt  must be in good condition


fitted clothes


And this blog is dedicated to my brother Mark, whom I have always felt is the Best-Dressed man I know…and that goes all the way back to my childhood…and this is in no way a ploy to suck up to him, as he has mentioned, at times, he finds my blog “boring”…when it has to do with girl stuff, rather than Man stuff. 🙂

This man below, personifies, Perfection…as far as dressing.


Be Happy and Be Well.




  1. I really like that black trench coat in the picture, what website did you find the picture?

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