Style & Self

From Office Slob to Full Fledged Professional: 5 Basic Wardrobe Maneuvers For Guys

23 Jan , 2013  

Miles is a Filthy Hipster

Since you’re reading an article on Felix Exi I should already be able to assume that you live on the forefront of good taste and have an impeccably refined style that acts as an extension of your inner self, showcases your best features, and escalates the value of your personal brand. I like to consider myself part of this handsome legion who figured things out once their moms stopped laying clothes out for them in the morning; however, there are many people who are not able to navigate a closet with such miraculous ease. These unfortunate souls aren’t just nameless faces- they are our friends, neighbors, and colleagues- and as such we are obligated to help them figure out not just what to wear, but how to wear it.

I don’t want you to waste too much of your time trying to assist the less fashionable as I’m sure your schedule is filled with Beautiful People things to do, hence why I’m writing this editorial. Instead of going through the awkward process of deconstructing the pour soul’s wardrobe you can just forward them the link to this piece and hope they take the hint. Trust me, they’ll appreciate your concern. And to make sure we’re not completely demolishing their sense of self-worth, we’re going to keep the advice very basic and to one section of their attire: business wear. Naturally, this was chosen as your personal presentation at work is paramount in determining your professional success. Don’t feed yourself lies about “hard works” and “skills”, your talent has nothing to do with it– people only care about who your dad is or how foxy you look in a tight pair of slacks.

I’ve already figured out who I’m sending this piece to first: my roommate, Brian. He’s 6’3”, a fitness enthusiast, has a decent head of hair, and isn’t burdened by a totally busted face. Plenty of women would be delighted to give up hope and settle for somebody who looks like him.  He also has a tireless work ethic and is considered to be a very knowledgeable employee by his coworkers. He, nevertheless, is the inspiration for this commentary.  For the last six months his management has been delaying the process of his promotion from Assistant Office Bitch to Associate Office Bitch, and the reason is because he shows up to the office looking like the flyest hobo in the soup kitchen.  At the rate he’s dressing they’ll probably fire him at the end of the month and then he literally will be the flyest hobo in the soup kitchen.  I’m emailing him this checklist as soon as I’m done with it.  I suggest you figure out who the Brian in your life is and do the same.


1)      Ironing Isn’t Just A Lady Chore

I know when you think “ironing” you think of some Stepford Wife wearing a milk-white apron, bent over an ironing board in the kitchen the way God intended, but its 2013 and about time you started embracing nontraditional gender roles, bro. Wrinkles are never desirable whether it be on your slacks, on your face, or in the fabric of space-time (you’ll never make it to that corner office from the infinite depths of a black hole, ya goose!).  If you want to be a smooth operator in the boardroom you better have some smooth threads to drape yourself in.

2)      You Paid For An Entire Dress Shirt…

…SO MAKE SURE IT INCLUDES THE ENTIRETY OF BOTH SLEEVES! Unless you are the owner and operator of a tiki bar on a beach it is never appropriate for you to wear a short sleeve dress shirt to the office. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been cranking out extra wrist-curls at the gym so you can impress Becky from accounting with your bulging forearms, you should be saving that peacock show for the weekend.

3)      One More Thing About Your Shirt

Tuck it in. I can’t believe I have to even mention this, but I’ve seen Brian come home rocking the ultra-casual shirt flop so I feel compelled to put it on the list. If your shirt isn’t securely tucked in what’s keeping it from flying off your body? Exactly.

4)      Put On A Damn Tie

There are a certain handful of occasions where a man must absolutely wear a tie: weddings, funerals, New Year’s Eve parties, and any work function.  I’m sorry if you don’t think ties are comfortable (ask any girl, that’s not what looking good is about), I’m sorry if you’re not sophisticated enough appreciate the lone, dangling swathe of fabric- what I’m not sorry about is telling you that ties make you look fancy, and fancy is never bad for business. Hell, you’d be better off wearing two ties at the same time than none at all. I’m joking, don’t do that. I tried to make it happen, but the world isn’t ready for 2tiez.

5)       To Pleat Or Not To Pleat

When you are at your local Pants Store browsing the trousers you’ll notice that you will be given the option of flat-front pants or pleated pants.  Determining which choice is right for you is not a matter of preference but a matter of guts, or, more accurately gut.  If you’re rocking a full blown John Goodman then, by all means, pleat it up, however, anything less than a sympathy paunch you’ve sprouted for your pregnant lady friend should be accompanied by flat-fronts. I know the difference seems trivial at best, but trust me, to the people who are in positions to advance your career, it’s not. Have you ever seen a skinny man wear pleats? He looks like he belongs in a goddam Blondie comic.


Like all good albums have a hidden bonus track, all good list articles have a hidden bonus item. My final office fashion commandment is to make sure your blacks are black enough.  Black people aren’t all the same shade, you racist, and neither are your clothes. Just because you would identify a pair of socks as being black doesn’t mean that they will still look as black when paired with other black pieces. Think Wesley Snipes laying shirtless on Manute Bol. Over time, black fabric starts to turn dingy and loses its depth and richness of color.  Usually the cheaper the fabric, the faster the color goes bad.  To avoid this premature souring, you shouldn’t buy dress socks that come in multi-packs of 4 or greater, nor should you buy your “dress socks” from stores that boast a produce department.

I hope this helps.  I really do.  As your (internet) friend I want nothing but the best for you in life.  I just hope you have the courage to admit you have a problem executing a proactive professional style and you can find the will to make the necessary changes.  We’re all rooting for you, slugger.  If you need any more help just come and find me – I’ll be standing around the water cooler with everybody else making fun of your swagless ass behind your back.


Best Wishes,

A Guy Who Wears A Company Issued Uniform To Work

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I'm a disease free, college educated 20something. I enjoy stress eating, day drinking, and bath robes. I live in Lansing, Michigan. The hood, to be specific. In an unfinished basement. Stop by if you're on the block. No fat chicks. Or white chicks. Alright, maybe a few.