When I first contemplated taking on this whole blog thing, I had a few ideas of what I wanted my column’s voice to be. My first post put into light the fashion-free work zone I battle on a daily basis. I talked about how the sweater vest had become the anti-apparel and how I was going to rescue it. Basically, I wanted to create a place where the average guy could get advice on what to wear to work. While I admit I have gotten a little off course (though not as bad as my parents winding up on a dirt road in Indiana after following the every command of their Australian GPS tour guide). I’m still heading in the right direction, so don’t get your nickers in a bunch quite yet.
My adventures in the world of engineering and fashion collided again last week when I walked into an auditorium filled with nerds. You would not believe how many men you could put in a room with no sense of fashion at all… it’s actually 183. This inspired me to get back to the basics of putting the working man’s wardrobe together.
Let’s focus on the king of the casual work place: the polo shirt. Just like everything, every brand fits a little differently. It takes some trial and error to find a brand that really works well with your body as some have a boxier cut while others are more tailored. I suggest going to three different stores so that you can try on the polos and compare. You will see that there is more room in different areas. For instance, the J Crew shirts tend to run a little small in the shoulders and have smaller sleeves while Old Navy shirts are much roomier for a larger build. My go-to standard is the Ralph Lauren Polo shirt. I prefer the classic fit in a solid color because it fits good on my arms but isn’t too tight in the midsection. When I can, I buy them from the outlet mall, as they are the same exact shirt but for about $15 cheaper.
As you take this journey, I have two suggestions. First, read the label. Lacoste shirts are great, but if you wash them wrong, they will seriously shrink a whole size and you’ll be out a $75 shirt. Second, make sure the fit works for your body. When you try on the polos, really take a look in the mirror at several angles or bring along someone who won’t mind giving you their opinion. Trust me, you don’t want to be the beer belly in the tailored cut! Until next time…
Style is a choice so make yours,