Pocket Squares in the Corporate Environment
First impressions can leave lasting impressions, so it goes without saying that – in the corporate world more than any other – your sartorial choices really do matter. But how do you ensure that you stand out in a sea of suits for the right reasons and not the wrong ones? Read on for Rampley & Co’s suggestions on how to succeed in executive fashion accessorising...
While gaudy or overly flamboyant accessory choices may come across as try-hard in the corporate environment, subtly co-ordinated extras worn with confidence will allow you to convey self-assurance through your sense of personal style. Ultimately, however, you want people to remember you and not your clothes, hence why we advise choosing accessories that complement the rest of your outfit rather than ones that are overly prominent. A minimal, silver tie bar and discreet cufflinks are a great place to start, for instance, because they are essentially practical items that will help to complete your formal look rather than drawing attention to themselves directly.
Naturally, we’re also inclined to think that a well folded pocket square will add further élan to your business dress. Your tie is the item that should introduce colour or pattern to your outfit, so we recommend keeping your pocket square choice simple. A white or lightly coloured classic cotton or linen pocket square will add poise to your suit and also works well with black, grey and navy depending on your preference.
Your choice of fold should also reflect the understated nature of the corporate pocket square. Although a puff fold may work for a more decorative pocket square occasion, for example, an unfussy flat fold really is the only option for a business environment; the main objective should be to highlight your confidence at work, and not to overshadow it.
If, however, you do want to use your pocket square to introduce some extra flair to your outfit, subtle finishing touches such as monogrammed initials in the corner of your pocket square could add a sophisticated edge to your accessorising.
Nevertheless, we should stress not to over-accessorise just for the sake of it. A well-groomed ensemble is the first indicator of a professional businessman who is sure of himself, but if it doesn’t feel natural to you then it won’t look natural to anyone else. Therefore, if you have a no-nonsense approach to business, a sharp suit alone may be enough for you, whereas carefully chosen accessories could suggest an eye for detail.
In short, it can be difficult to stand out against a corporate background, but we at Rampley & Co believe that a clever approach to business dressing can accentuate both your professional and personal strengths. After all, style might not be the be-all and end-all, but it is certainly a useful tool to say who you are without having to speak.
Fashion & Lifestyle Journalist