Business Professional Attire for Men: A Complete Guide

by | Sep 10, 2016 | Wear It Right

Image by Robert Sheie on Flickr

If that’s what you need to wear let’s say you’re probably doing pretty well in life. Also you’re just in the right place, because we’re going to show you everything you need to know about the business professional attire.

Let’s begin with the most probable occasions you’ll have to dress like that. The business professional attire is a type of dress code you should use for conservative occasions like business meetings or job interviews. It’s a must for some professions like law and finance. Also it’s the required dress code for many “high-class” events you may have to attend.

Note: The main aim of the business professional attire is showing respect to the occasion.

Now, you have to keep in mind that this is a strictly conservative dress code meant for showing respect and not drawing attention. The good news is that its conservative nature doesn’t leave much room for experimentation and makes it pretty simple.

The business professional attire shouldn’t be taken lightly though. By getting it wrong you risk making bad impression in an environment where bad impressions are never a good thing.

So let’s get down to business. The three things we’ll focus on here are what to wear, what colors to choose and the fit. Nailing the three will make sure you look right on point in any situation where business professional attire is required.

Image by congresinbeeld on Flickr.

What Does Business Professional Attire Consists of?


The Suit

First you’ll need a full suit (jacket and trousers) in a solid dark color. The choice here is between black, gray and navy blue. Brown is also an option. You can go for a suit with a very subtle pattern if you’d like but it’s not very advisable. Better stick to the solid colors.

The suit jacket should be single breasted, with two buttons in most cases. You should button only the upper button and it’s advisable to unbutton in when sitting down.

Note: You can allow yourself to wear a pocket square, it’s optional. Just don’t go for anything too fancy.

When it comes to fabric go for wool. It’s the best and most popular fabric for a business suit, or any suit really. The wool is a versatile fabric that’s good for slightly hotter to cold temperatures and breathes well. It also tends to be wrinkle free. Never go for synthetic fabrics like polyester. They might be cheaper but as the saying goes you get what you pay for.

Shirt and Tie

Next you’ll need a classic dress shirt button-up with a silk tie.

For the tie choose a conservative color either solid or with a subtle pattern. It’s good if the color tone is dark to match the darker suit color. You can see that in the examples we prepared for you.

The shirt color should be light, where the best and safest choices are light blue or just plain white. If you feel you have enough experience to try something else do it, but if not stick to what’s proven to work best.

Image by Robert Sheie on Flickr.
Image by Robert Sheie on Flickr.

Suggestion: You can check our guides on how to fit a dress shirt and a tie to your specific body proportions.

Footwear and Belt

Now to the footwear – leather dress shoes in black or brown color. Oxfords are a good solid choice. Also make sure your belt matches the color of your shoes. Go for a conservative one, no big or fancy buckles.

Image by Robert Sheie on Flickr.
Image by Robert Sheie on Flickr.

The Importance of a Good Fit


The suit fit is not a main focus of this article, but we’ll go over it briefly anyway because of its great importance, especially in the business world. It’s a pretty long theme and we have a separate guide you can check here.

Why is it so important? Let’s say it this way – the people around you will be wearing suits too, and chances are they’ll know how to wear them well. A bad fitting suit is easy to notice, especially by someone who knows how things should be. If you notice someone whose suit doesn’t fit well you’ll think this guy probably doesn’t know his way around such type of wear. And if he doesn’t he probably isn’t into business that much. We wouldn’t want people thinking that, right? So let’s see what a good fit is in the following infographic.

Your can save the image for later use or use it elsewhere with a proper reference to this article.

Note: Wearing pleated trousers can add to a dressier look.

Those guidelines are not specific only for the business suit, but any suit. That’s great news, because once you know them you can wear any suit to your best advantage. We advice, if you haven’t already, take your time to learn what’s a good suit fit. It would be of great benifit whenever you need to wear one.

Final Words of Caution


Remember that the business professional is a strictly professional dress code and it doesn’t allow freedom for experimentation. Conservative is what it is, there’s no going around it. Stick to the principles that we’ve covered and you’ll have no problem looking great in any business professional setting.

It’s good idea to check beforehand if the business professional attire is what you have to wear. If you find yourself in a more casual environment don’t worry that you’re overdressed. Just remove the jacket and the tie (or only the tie) to create a business casual look. Being overdressed is always better than being underdressed because you can just take off some clothes.

Also make sure your clothes are clean and shave well, no beards allowed. Add a conservative hairstyle and you’ll be as sharp as you can be.

Bellow we’ve added an infographic you can save for future reference:

Your can save the image for later use or use it elsewhere with a proper reference to this article.

Thank you for reading. If you liked the article you can share it with your friends. We also encourage you to follow us so that you are always kept up to date with our latest articles.


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