3 Ways to Wear a Suit Without Looking Like One

It’s all fun and games with this no-pants business until someone gets fired for completely refusing to acknowledge the dress code. Outfit inspiration is one thing. Needing to ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT TO WEAR is a whole other. When I did a story a few months ago called “How to Dress for a Corporate Dress Code Without Falling Asleep,” one of you actually said to me in the comments, “I love you, but you don’t understand corporate.”

I love you, too. And I don’t. You’d think I would because so many of my friends have corporate jobs. I can never send emails with curse words to these friends because their office flags them then sends us both warnings. It’s a thing we’re working on.

Another thing I’m working on is how to make a suit feel both office-appropriate and cool.

The Classic Navy

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Karoline Lang jacket, H&M pants, Rebecca Taylor floral shirt under J.Crew striped men’s shirtCecelia pumps, Smythson briefcaseIppolita earrings, Gentle Monster glasses

Keep in mind that we’ve gotta throw the MR Aesthetic in there somewhere. That said, step 1 is to find a tailored navy blazer and pants to pair. This here isn’t an actual suit but very closely-matched blues. Underneath: an oversized shirt that I pinned at the back to create a sort of skirt underneath the blazer hems. I then added a floral shirt underneath the button-down and glasses that say, “I can see you.”

So, outfit 1: How did I do?

The Casual Friday Plaid

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Altuzarra jacket and pants, J.Crew shirt, Hermès neck scarf, Manolo Blahnik shoes, Poms sunglasses

I know plaid might not be appropriate for everyday. Maybe it’s your crazy Friday look. But this one is Altuzarra, and if I worked at a truly corporate office, I would invest in one Altuzarra suit and wear it every single day for the rest of my career/life. Its pristine tailoring makes the otherwise-average suit look special. No can do on Altuzarra? Remember that you can always bring an affordable suit to a tailor. It will cost money, but it will cost less than the price you’d spend on a designer suit. Wrap a scarf around your neck and add funky glasses for the commute.

Go Gray Prematurely 

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AYR jacket and pants, Creatures of Comfort top over J.Crew striped men’s shirt, Manolo Blahnik shoesJanessa Leone hat

I’m not sure what the standard policy is on the cropped pants, please advice, but I am sure that this color feels professional yet unexpected. If you were expecting charcoal, I guess. An odd top can act as your answer to the modern waistcoat/vest, and bright blue mules — whether you actually wear them in the office or slip into them after hours — are what glass ceiling hammers are made of.

Follow our model, Kalysse Anthony, on Instagram @kalysseanthony. Styled by Amelia Diamond, accessories market by Elizabeth Tamkin, photos by Krista Anna Lewis.

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond

Amelia Diamond is a writer, creative consultant, and Man Repeller alumnus living in New York City.

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