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No Risky Business

February 2, 2017

By M.J

How to dress for a work advancement, because this year you’re coming in hot.

We all know the hoary old saying: “Don’t dress for the job that you have, dress for the job that you want.” Yeah, well it’s true. Stepping up your game day uniform not only makes you look like you respect yourself, but you come across as a man going places, a man to be retained and then promoted. For example, we’ve got a guy here at M.J. Bale HQ who started as a coffee-carrying intern - “you call this a tall skinny latte with caramel drizzle, rookie?” - and he’s now gainfully employed here. Yes, he’s good at his job - really good, actually - but ever since day one he has always dressed like he owns the place. In fact, the way he strolls down our corridors looking like a cross between Cary Grant and Ryan Gosling in La La Land you’d swear he was M.J. Bale’s Chairman-in-Waiting.

You, too, can be like our pseudo-Chairman. You just have to reach out and take it, preferably from our shelves in store. However, as always, there are some guidelines. Firstly, it goes without saying that dressing for a work promotion requires you to keep in mind the context of your work environment. i.e Think about where do you work, and what type of industry it is. For example, do you work at a law firm (dress formally and classically)? A graphic design firm (dress snappy)? A firehouse (dress in uniform)? Or are you a gigolo (dress in uniform or none at at all)? Secondly, don’t overcook it. If you’re not a dandy already, don’t overdo it in terms of flair and peacockery. Don’t be that guy that has always got around the office in trackies and an AC/DC t-shirt and suddenly overnight starts wearing a cravat, tassled loafers and speaking with a clipped British accent. Nobody likes an overnight star. Last, but never least, don’t underdo it, either. Raise your game, absolutely. Positively. Just do it in increments.


We asked Dan, the well-dressed intern described above, to tell us how he does it.

I’m delighted to be profiled in the Manual as an example of good work dressing, even if you guys didn’t use my name (thanks for that; I was hoping to use the page at my next job interview — joking). Here are my five ‘C’s’ as to how to dress for a promotion.

1. Clean

I like to start the morning with a clean shave, refreshing shower and a cool face wash to get ready to face the day (and my colleagues).

2. Comfort

If you’re looking for a promotion, you want to make sure your clothes are tailored perfectly. If you’ve bought ready-to-wear make sure you get the jacket and trousers altered by us, if it’s not a perfect fit (hardly any guy can fit a suit off the shelf). A correctly tailored suit elevates your posture and enhancing your walk [editor: it’s more like a self-entitled ’strut’, Dan]. Casual Fridays don’t exist for me, nor should they for you, so find a nice pair of denim jeans to pair with a shirt and deconstructed jacket.

3.  Creativity

Blue is the new black, so build around this as your wardrobe foundation. Pick your blues first then build around it by adding pops of colour in your tie, pocket square or socks etc.

4.  Classics

A classic watch, a masculine musky cologne and a mont blanc pen covers three out the five human senses, so even when you’re not talking you are still saying something [editor: so that’s what your secret is... the ‘musk’… we thought it was your natural man-mones].

5.  Cool

Ride to work with a chilled bottle of water, sunnies and an upbeat playlist to create the right attitude and mindset for arriving in the office. Be cool, calm and collected.