Corporate attire can be a tricky beast. Get it wrong and you look sloppy and unprofessional. Get it right and you look like the dog’s proverbials, winning the respect and envy of colleagues, contacts and higher ups alike. A suit and tie should be simple, right? But as with so many things in life, the art of simplicity lies in perfection.

Basically, there’s a lot that can go wrong with gentlemen’s professional attire and, as part of a fairly straightforward look, these errors stick out like a sore thumb, leaving you looking less than spot on. To help you out we’ve compiled six of the most common office fashion mistakes men make. Avoid these pitfalls and you’ll wind up looking perennially, professionally en point…

1. Poorly Fitted Shoulders

1Few men want to look like Margaret Thatcher in the 80s. Whether you have slim shoulders or are built like a barn door, getting the correct fit on your shoulders is all-important. Too wide and you’ll look like a school kid wearing his first ever blazer his mother assures him he’ll “grow into”. Too narrow and you’ll look like a shot-putter on steroids squeezed into his son’s suit. Take time to find a suit jacket which fits perfectly on your shoulders to look the part.

2. Too Long Trousers

Trousers should fall neatly at your ankle, just skimming the tops of your shoes. Any longer and, again, you’re going to wind up with that surly teenage schoolboy feel, which is never a good idea in a professional environment. Get your trousers hemmed to hit that sweet spot and you can’t go wrong.

3. Creased Shirts


There are only so many hours in the day, we get it. But if you’re going to invest any of your precious minutes in ensuring you look smart in the office, get busy with your iron. No matter how top drawer the rest of your outfit is, if your shirt is looking worse for wear, you’re going to look unprofessional instantaneously. Keep it neat, boys.

4. White Socks with Dress Shoes

Waltham Socks LR

You’d be surprised by how much airtime your socks receive on a daily basis. From sitting cross legged in meetings, to slumping on the tube during your daily commute, your socks are on display regularly throughout the day.

With this in mind, it’s a good move to pay attention to detail. White socks are only really acceptable in a sporting context, never ever pair them with your upmarket shoes. Invest in some staple black or grey socks or, if you’re feeling whimsical, a flash of colour adds a dash of personality. Our formal Base collection looks great with a crimson or navy sock.

5. Incorrect Tie Length


The tip of your tie should reach the top of your belt buckle. No ifs, no buts, any other length is too short or too long. Get it right.

6. Buttoned Bottom Button


Never, ever button the bottom button of your blazer. And don’t try that tongue twister during work drinks. The top one or two buttons are acceptable, but don’t do the bottom one up, it ruins the fit and feel of your suit. Capiche?


Do you make any of these professional attire mistakes? Do you disagree with our six rules? Have your say in the Base London Facebook group or explore our collection of formal footwear in the Base online store.