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The suit and tie: what businessmen wear to work

Your work look can say a lot about who you are. We previously explored what women wear to work and why, now it’s the businessmen’s turn. Is the old suit and tie still the norm, or has the workplace evolved and gone casual? We profiled five Aussie businessmen and their work wear choices.

Grahame Cox, director, Upstream Australia

Do you think what you wear to work is important and why?
Very important. Best to start with an effective deodorant. This way you know that when your boss grunts: “This stinks”, you know it is your work and not your personal perfume. Try to change socks and underwear weekly. Avoid anything bearing ugly bite marks or spores. Kaftans are a no-no although very practical in the leg. Leave the short pants and long socks to disgraced geography teachers. Don’t wear women’s clothes during business hours, unless of course you are a woman. And remember, a necktie should be worn around the neck not to keep your hair back in a ponytail, or used as a belt.

Do you have a favourite work outfit and why?

Jeans and a t-shirt bearing the word ‘revolution’. Why? The IT service guys warm to you.

How would you describe your work wear style?

Soiled. But image is a perception drive by the mind, and I’ve got the mind of a 25 year-old.

Jamie Kenyon, independent accounts manager, Calidad, Sydney

Do you think what you wear to work is important and why?
Yes certainly, depending on your role. A builder isn’t going to wear a suit. In my sales and management role, a shirt, smarter pants and black shoes help me to gain focus, a corporate uniform. I actually dress down to visit some customers, as they’re generally self run business owners that dress in a polo shirt and I like them to connect with me on the same level.

Do you have a favourite work outfit and why?
Yes, one that I feel strong and proud in. I always make great sales in it!

How would you describe your work wear style?

Casual Corporate, smart but comfortable

Anthony Petts, Sales and Marketing Director, HTC

Do you think what you wear to work is important and why?
I think it is absolutely important. While you need to look the part it’s important to keep some individuality as well. I’m a pretty lively kind of guy so I like to think that my choice in ties and shirts tend to reflect my personality. I also live and work mostly in Melbourne, and fly up to Sydney on a weekly basis to work from our Sydney office, so I typically wear a suit which covers me for all occasions.

Do you have a favourite work outfit and why?

Definitely my work from home outfit—shorts, t-shirt and thongs! While I enjoy dressing in snappy attire, I always look forward to working dressing down, though I think my wife prefers me to wear my usual suit.

How would you describe your work wear style?
My wife calls it spunky, I would call it smart and sophisticated with a little bit of James Bond suave thrown into the mix.

Bill Taylor-Mountford, General Manager, Australia/New Zealand, Acronis ANZ

Do you think what your wear to work is important and why?
Yes. It sets a standard and creates the right impression. It also demonstrates to our customers and clients that we are professional.

Do you have a favourite work outfit and why?
My preferred outfit is a crisp white shirt and charcoal pants. This outfit is extremely flexible and can be mixed with various ties and jackets when required.

How would you describe your work wear style?
Smart, simple and classical. I really like the European style of business dress, especially the French and Italian. It’s relaxed but impeccable.

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