Refashioning the workplace: six style choices on the comeback trail
He mismatches his clothes, likes to wear every garment he owns AT THE SAME TIME, and has managed to scare off frightened interns. I’m not sure if it’s his pinstripe suit/plaid shirt combo, or perhaps his blue bowtie and blue/green argyle vest mishmash, but Burberry (named after his briefcase) is quickly popularizing old vestiges of workplace fashion best left in the graveyard of sartorial past.
I’m no clothing aficionado myself, as evidenced by my awesomely awful $18 thrift store coat, which The Princess would burn in a heartbeat. But Burberry’s wardrobe-challenged style has made me wonder if we shouldn’t bring back at least SOME of these once-common fashion relics.
Below are my top six pieces of men’s clothing I think could – and should -- make a comeback.
1. Tie clips. These things look sharp. Nothing says, “I work in a wind tunnel so I better fasten my tie to my shirt” more than this archaic piece. Tie clips can also be engraved with your fraternity letters, an obvious plus.
2. Suspenders. Who wants to bother with trying to slide your belt through every single pants loop? Try doing it in the morning when you’re rushing out the door. Belts also invite dorky cell phone clips and make matching the exact hue to your shoes a near impossible task. Suspenders, however, allow you to get as fat as you’d like without having to throw away your pants.
3. Ascots. My friend Luddite likes to wear these cravats whenever he’s feeling foppish. Luddite is NOT an English duke or Fred from Scooby-Doo, but if this 35-year-old long-haired metalhead thinks they’re hip, who am I to disagree?
4. Monocles. I have a slight stigmatism that requires me to wear eyeglasses when I drive, despite my left eye’s perfect vision. A perfect solution would be to wear this singular corrective lens AND look good doing so. The Monopoly guy and Mr. Peanut are big fans, and it garnered a following in the stylish lesbian circles of the mid-20th century.
5. Pocketwatches. In a society so taken over by modern technology that people only tell time on their cell phones or digital wristwatches, these timepieces are a perfect way to tell the world, “I know the difference between the big hand and little hand AND I remind you of your grandpa.” Extra plus: I’m pretty sure pocketwatches have the power to allow you to time travel like in Voyagers!, that 80s TV show I loved as a kid.
6. Work-issued ID badge. How do yuppies know WHO you are or WHAT you can do for them in DC unless they see WHERE you work? Or THAT you work? Unless you start pinning your resume to your lapel pin, the best option is wearing your work-issued ID tags out on the town. On your belt, around your neck, it doesn’t matter; just don’t take them off when you leave the office, smart guy. Don’t hold to this rule just during work week happy hours, either. Saturday nights are perfect for demonstrating your fashion expertise.
This is just the start, people. If we can incorporate these wardrobe choices into the workplace, there’s no telling where we might go. Top hats, petticoats, canes? We’ll have to wait and see.